Wisdom Teeth Later in Life: Is It Unusual?

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Elena

09/04/2023
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Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in and include four teeth—two at the top in the back of the mouth and two at the bottom. Teeth tend to come in at certain ages, but the exact age is sometimes difficult to pinpoint.

Wisdom teeth usually come in between the ages of 17 and 21, but they have been known to appear as late as age 30.

How Unusual Is It for Wisdom Teeth to Start Growing In at Age 23?

It is, in fact, unusual for wisdom teeth to come in at age 23, but it does happen. Wisdom teeth are usually completely formed no later than age 21, but they can start breaking through the gums later than that at times. If your wisdom teeth come in later than your early 20s, it is possible that they’ve grown in crooked instead of straight.

People who are in their late teens who haven’t seen their wisdom teeth start to show do not have to worry. In fact, as long as you aren’t being bothered by the situation, there’s no need to do anything about it. On the other hand, if you experience pain or inflammation, or if you start getting cavities there or notice they’ve become impacted, it’s definitely time to see a dentist.

What causes the wisdom teeth to basically “hide” sometimes and not let you know they’re there? Usually, it’s because the teeth surrounding the wisdom teeth are in the way. Wisdom teeth are also called the third molars, and they can be completely formed but not poke through for various reasons, usually because the surrounding teeth won’t let them.

Fortunately, as far as taking care of the problem and removing the wisdom teeth, there usually are no extra problems doing so at the age of 25 or 30 as compared to being a teenager or in your early 20s. Dentists have tools at their disposal to make it easy and virtually painless for you to have these teeth removed at any age.

Is It Possible for Wisdom Teeth to Never Erupt through the Gums?

Indeed, some people have wisdom teeth that are fully formed under the skin but never break through the skin. This is nothing to be concerned about if this happens to you unless, of course, you are experiencing any type of pain or discomfort. Some people, in fact, never actually see their wisdom teeth break through the skin, and that’s perfectly acceptable.

 If you’re past the age of 25 and haven’t noticed your wisdom teeth coming through, it is usually due to one of two reasons. First, it could be genetics. If you have parents who never had wisdom teeth, this could mean you won’t get them, either. Second, it could be that the teeth are under the skin but taking their time protruding through the gums.

If the teeth are under the skin but not protruding, it is usually due to things such as there isn’t enough room for them to stick out or they are stuck underneath the gum. Sometimes, these things cause them to become impacted, but again, if they are not bothering you because there is no pain or discomfort, you do not have to contact your dentist unless that’s your wish.

Why Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth So Bad?

If impacted wisdom teeth are ignored, several problems can occur. They may damage the other teeth in your mouth and cause them to become crooked, even causing an infection in some cases. If the wisdom teeth erupt only part of the way, it becomes very difficult to clean them and easier for the teeth to become decayed.

Impacted wisdom teeth might also cause a cyst to form. This happens because a sac is developed and then fills with fluid. These cysts are sometimes painful and can cause damage to the teeth, jawbone, and nerves. If you get a cyst, keep an eye on it because it might actually be a tumor and not a cyst, which you’ll need to get checked out by a dentist.

Finally, with impacted wisdom teeth, especially if they are only partially impacted, you are at risk of getting certain gum diseases, most noticeably pericoronitis, which results in an inflamed gum and usually a lot of pain. If you’re getting headaches, having problems opening your mouth, experiencing bad breath on a regular basis, or you have a bad taste in your mouth, the teeth could be impacted.

And in case you’re wondering, no one is ever required to have their wisdom teeth removed, especially if they aren’t experiencing any problems or pain. This has to be a decision made with your dentist and can be determined at any age. While most people who aren’t having problems with their wisdom teeth won’t experience any in the future, that is not always the case.

If you ever experience problems or you have any questions about your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to pay your dentist a visit.

Conclusion

For most people, wisdom teeth form and protrude through the skin between the ages of 17 and 25, but that isn’t always the case. In theory, wisdom teeth can come through even as late as 30 years of age. The good news is that this is usually not a problem unless you’re experiencing negative symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and even jaw and neck pain.

Wisdom teeth also never have to be removed, but this is a decision that needs to be made with your dentist.

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