Just like with everything else, children also develop wisdom teeth at different ages. There is no specific age until when your kid will develop wisdom teeth but the average age range to start showing is between 17 and 24.
Because these are the last teeth to erupt, they can sometime cause problems. There are also those people for whom wisdom teeth never erupt so they don’t cause any problems at all. In case that they do start causing problems, you can have them extracted in order to avoid pain, infection and even crowning.
How can you tell if your kid’s wisdom teeth are coming?
It is more likely that your kid’s wisdom teeth are pushing their way through if he/she is complaining about the following:
- Difficulty opening his/her mouth
- Tender gums that sometimes bled
- Bad breath and bad taste in the mouth
- Swelling of gums or the jaw
- Jaw pain
Problems caused by wisdom teeth
If your teenager is complaining about some of the symptoms described above, you can suspect that it can be related to a wisdom tooth. If you know for sure that they are, it’s very important to monitor HOW they are pushing through. We recommend that you contact us and come with your teenager so we could examine them and maybe do an X-ray. This way you can be sure that your teenager’s wisdom teeth are erupting the right way and if they don’t, you can know what to expect and how to manage it. When a wisdom tooth starts erupting, there is a risk of:
Incomplete or partial eruption – This happens when one or more wisdom teeth only erupt partially. Partial eruption can leave the gum tissue open and increases the risk of bacterial infections which can then lead to pain, swelling and stiffness.
Insufficient space – For some patients, there’s just not enough space so the wisdom tooth could erupt. In most cases, this will cause the tooth to erupt at a weird and odd angle and put added pressure on other teeth. This is also known as impacted wisdom tooth. Now, wisdom teeth can be impacted partially, when only one part of the crown is showing or it can be fully impacted, when the wisdom tooth never breaks through. Impacted wisdom tooth could cause a series of problems like gum disease, cysts, crowding of other teeth and even tooth decay.
Should you remove them?
In the majority of cases, if a wisdom tooth is having a hard time breaking through it can become impacted. In order to protect your kid’s smile, impacted wisdom tooth needs to be removed. If the tooth is erupting at an odd angle, which will eventually cause it to push against other teeth or if it didn’t break through the gum tissue, it’s most likely that it will need to be extracted.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of preventing impaction. Instead, you should regularly visit the dentist with your teenager (at least every six months) for cleaning and checkups. Through these routine appointments, we will be able to monitor the growth, emergence and possible problems with wisdom teeth. You can also consider getting fresh X-rays which help us detect an impacted wisdom tooth even before they cause any real problems or symptoms.
For further questions about wisdom teeth or dental care of your child, make sure to contact us and schedule an appointment.