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Is There an Age Limit for Wisdom Tooth Removal?

April 26, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — youramerican @ 1:39 am
an x-ray of an older person’s wisdom teeth that need to be removed

Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the last of the adult teeth to come through the gums. They normally erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Unfortunately, many people’s mouths don’t have enough space for these last teeth. As a result, the wisdom teeth can become impacted, leading to various oral health issues. While this procedure is mostly performed on younger patients to keep their oral health in good condition, is there an age limit to have them removed? Read on to find out more about wisdom tooth extraction at an older age.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Often Need to Be Removed?

As stated above, since wisdom teeth are the last to arrive in the mouth, they can become partially or completely stuck under the gums if there is not enough room in the mouth amongst the other teeth. These impacted teeth can lead to various oral health issues, including:  

  • A swollen or tender jaw
  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Damage to the other teeth
  • An increased risk of infection

If any of these symptoms occur, it’s best to have the third molars removed as soon as possible.

Can Older Patients Still Have Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?

To get straight to the point…yes, they can! There is no age limit for wisdom teeth extraction. However, the roots of the wisdom teeth tend to become more firmly embedded in the jaw with time. This can make the extraction procedure more complex for more mature patients, but it’s still completely possible.

Why Might You Need Wisdom Teeth Extraction Later in Life?

If wisdom teeth are not removed, they can lead to serious issues later down the line. For example, their location can make them difficult to brush and floss, putting you at an increased risk for cavities and gum disease. And if wisdom teeth become impacted, they will be even more vulnerable to oral health complications, as mentioned above. While wisdom teeth don’t always have to be removed, your dentist may recommend an extraction if they are beginning to cause problems in your mouth.

What Can You Expect with Wisdom Tooth Extraction as an Older Patient?

The main difference between a wisdom tooth extraction for younger patients and more mature ones is the length of the recovery time. While teenagers or young adults will typically only need to rest for about one to three days after the surgery, those at an older age may need as long as a full week to recover.

While your mouth is healing from the procedure, you may experience some mild swelling and discomfort. You can take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen to help ease your recovery. Additionally, you will be on a soft-food diet as your mouth recuperates, as harder foods might dislodge the blood clot protecting the surgical site. By following your dentist’s instructions, you will be sure to return to a healthy and happy smile as soon as possible!

About the Author

Dr. Tommy Murph and his team at American Dental are eager to help you keep your smile healthy, whole, and beautiful! He earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina and has completed over 600 hours of continuing education. With over 25 years of experience, he can assist you with any tooth extractions needed, including your wisdom teeth. To schedule an appointment, contact him through his website or call (843) 488-4357.

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