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When Should Teens Get Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?

hand holds radiographA common misconception is that there is a particular age when a person should have their wisdom teeth removed. The truth is that there is no “perfect age” to undergo a wisdom teeth extraction; some people don’t even need to have their wisdom teeth removed.

Wisdom teeth do not need to be removed if they are healthy, fully erupted, positioned correctly and able to be cleaned using basic daily home care practices.

Wisdom teeth, or the third molars in the very back of the mouth, often times will not have room to grow in properly which can cause some problems. Erupting wisdom teeth can grow in at various angles in the jaw which can be painful.

If wisdom teeth have only emerged partially through the gums, a passage way is created which can cause its own slew of problems. Specifically, a partially emerged can be hard to see and even tougher to clean thoroughly resulting in bacteria which leads to gum disease and oral infection.

Some dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth if they have not fully emerged or if they have growing near the nerve of the lower jaw. Additionally, some dentists believe that it’s better to remove wisdom teeth before roots are fully formed. This is why many young adults will have their wisdom teeth pulled even if they are not causing any tooth problems.

According to the ADA (American Dental Association), wisdom teeth removal becomes necessary if a patient is experiencing

  • Pain
  •  Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Damage to nearby teeth
  • Gum Disease
  • Extensive Tooth decay.

So there you have it! There is no “right” time to have your wisdom teeth extracted. Your best bet is to have a conversation with your dentist about your options. If you are experiencing any discomfort schedule a dental consultation today!

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