It’s best to have wisdom teeth removed in early adulthood, if necessary. For those who wait until an older age, the risks and complications associated with wisdom tooth removal are more likely to increase.
Complications of Non Removed Wisdom Teeth
First we must explain the complications that can result if wisdom teeth are not removed. The problems include:
● Impacted teeth. If the wisdom tooth does not have enough room to grow, it can become impacted. Impacted teeth are painful and can cause problems like periodontal disease and damage to the surrounding teeth.
● Tooth decay. Even if you practice good oral health and hygiene, if you have an impacted wisdom tooth, you are more at risk for tooth decay, especially if the tooth is only partially erupted.
● Infection. Bacteria thrives in the partially erupted wisdom tooth site, and this can cause a serious infection to develop.
● Cysts. When a wisdom tooth grows, it grows within a sac in the jawbone. This sac can fill with fluid, and form a cyst that can damage the jawbone, teeth, and nerves. In some extreme instances a tumor may even grow, resulting in the need for surgical removal of tissue and bone. Cysts are not uncommon with impacted wisdom teeth, and not only damage the bone, they can be very painful.
Postoperative Complications for Older Patients
Wisdom teeth are usually removed during early adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 25, because the roots are not fully formed and can be removed easily. This is done to limit trauma and decrease the likelihood of postoperative problems from occurring. If a person waits to have wisdom teeth removed till later in life, roots have had a chance to develop, and complications can result. The most common issues are:
● Longer recovery time – If teeth are impacted, the wisdom teeth removal surgery can be more complicated, and the recovery time for the patient will reflect this.
● Risk of nerve damage – As a person ages, wisdom tooth roots grow downward towards the nerve that controls feeling in the lower lip. If the roots are in close proximity to this nerve, there is a risk of injury to that nerve during surgery.