While many people view wisdom teeth extraction as a rite of passage that takes place in the teens or twenties, some people find that their wisdom teeth simply don’t bother them. By the time wisdom teeth grow in, the jaw is fully-formed and may have ample space to accommodate your new molars. However, some people do find that they have the need to remove them at a later age.
The question is: Are you ever too old to have your wisdom teeth extracted?
Why Remove Wisdom Teeth Now
The good news is that it’s never too late to have your wisdom teeth removed if they’re causing you any problems. Some people never encounter a single issue with their wisdom teeth when they’re younger, but problems can arise at any time. You might start to notice some discomfort or pain in the back of your mouth that can signal that it is time to remove your wisdom teeth.
Common symptoms that should be warning signs to remove your wisdom teeth include:
- Bleeding or swollen gums
- Jaw pain
- Damage or displacement of other teeth
- Inability to open the mouth as wide as possible
- Pain surrounding the wisdom teeth
- Halitosis or an unpleasant taste
Impacted wisdom teeth should also be removed. This occurs when there isn’t enough room in the mouth for them to erupt through the gums or to develop appropriately. This can lead to pain in the teeth surrounding the area or possible tooth movement as the wisdom teeth fight to come through the gums.
Along with these symptoms, you may need to consider having them removed if there is an infection in the area.
That being said, some people never have any issues with their wisdom teeth; they have a large jaw that can accommodate this third set of molars without disrupting other teeth. However, it’s possible that problems will develop later in life. This means you should be prepared for the odds of having them removed later on down the road.
Risks of Wisdom Teeth Removal As an Adult
Technically, you can have your wisdom teeth removed at any age. The only thing to keep in mind is that there are increased risks that stem from having your wisdom teeth removed as an adult, particularly an older adult. Those over the age of 50 tend to have more issues with the process and the subsequent healing.
To start, wisdom teeth removal in Saskatoon for those over 50 might mean a much more involved process. The older you get, the more bone density you’re likely to have compared to those who have the procedure done in childhood. The result is that you will have a much more involved procedure that could take longer.
Of course, a more involved procedure also means that there’s going to be a longer time frame when it comes to your overall healing. Older adults run the risk of complications post-surgery such as more intense bleeding, a greater risk of infection, and even injuries to the local nerves.
A commitment to good oral hygiene and frequent follow-ups with your dentist can minimize the odds of developing these challenges.
Planning for Wisdom Teeth Removal
While having your wisdom teeth removed is an outpatient procedure, you still need to take a few precautions and make plans for your recovery. Make sure that you have a comfortable place in your home to relax when you arrive. This might mean a spot on the couch or in your bed where you have access to things like television or the internet to entertain you.
You’ll need to plan on taking a few days off from work or school to recover. Rest is paramount in the immediate aftermath of removing your wisdom teeth. Not to mention, you’ll likely be on pain meds that can make driving dangerous and impossible. Make arrangements for someone else to cover your responsibilities.
Before you head to your dental office, make sure to stop by the grocery store for special foods. You’ll want soft things to eat for the first few days to allow healing to take place. No straws are permitted as this can increase the risk of developing a painful condition known as dry socket.
Also, be sure to have plenty of gauze, ice packs, and other supplies to tend to the site of your surgery and the swelling of your face.
Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
There’s no such thing as being too old to have your wisdom teeth removed, though you may have more complications from surgery as you age. If you need a Saskatoon dental office that deals with the removal of wisdom teeth for older adults, contact Dental House today!