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Has anyone had their wisdom teeth out after age 40?

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gina007

Junior member
Joined
Apr 15, 2015
Messages
1
I'm 39. I just had an extraction yesterday. I had done my left side wisdom tooth when I was 20, and just yesterday at 39 I did the right. It was causing some on/off pain and I had a cavity in it as well as a cavity in the tooth it was pushing up against. So it was worth it to me even though the dentist frightens me.

The difference in age from my experience:

At 20, it was much easier. The root wasn't as developed into a solid bone and I was 20. Everything is easier when you're 20. The pain lasted for exactly 24 hours. And then I was totally pain free. Though I missed a few nights of partying. :)

At 39, it was just as easy to get it removed, however the healing is a bit shocking to me. The pain I feel (even after having 2 babies ala natural) kinda stinks. I told my husband I'd rather have another baby! His response "but you don't have to raise a tooth..." he wins. So the pain was a bit worse this time around and I believe it's because it was like a solid block of bone coming out. Nothing that was intolerable, just not fun. I also think being older doesn't help in the quick healing department, but the upside is that I haven't eaten in 2 days and I've already lost a few lbs. yay. Down side is that I'm bored with laying around...

Result: I can feel everything, there is no nerve damage from when I got it done in my 20's or when I got it done now. And an ex-ray was done to see where the nerve was compared to the end of my tooth and the doctor was pretty confident that it would be fine. You do have to sign a disclaimer "just in case". But I was willing to take the chance because I was tired of the on/off pain associated with it.

I did do it only with the novocain, and I didn't get sedated or put into a dream like state or anything. Fully awake and only the first shot of novocain. he offered another one but I didn't feel a thing so I didn't need it. I also took 400 MG's of motrin about 2 hours after the surgery. And I've been taking it ever since. Sorry, maybe I'm a weirdo but with two little kids I don't have time for sedation. Just get me in and get me the heck out!
 
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Sean K

Junior member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
1
Yes - I'm 45 and in Canada, BC.

On a routine x-ray, my dentist noticed a shadow around an unsurfaced wisdom tooth, bottom right. What he went on to explain (because I never had either any inclination or advice from previous dentists to have it removed earlier) was that unsurfaced teeth are surrounded by enzymes at the tip that destroy the tissue above the tooth slowly, in order to facilitate upward movement, to expose itself fully. An impacted tooth will be unable to expose itself so, in theory according to this maxilo-facial-surgeon, the tooth will continue to destroy the tissue surrounding it while the enzymes persist. Now, this is obviously at a very slow rate but, ultimately, there comes a point when the destruction is critical and removal becomes not only necessary, but risky too.

Like many others here, my wisdom tooth root had a 'hook' shape at the end, which appeared on the x-ray to be hooked under the nerve in my jaw, so its upward removal would have affected the nerve. I was warned that the process had a good chance of leaving me permanently numb with some facial paralysis on that side of my face. So the choice...allow the potential shadow to increase until such time as my jaw needed sectional removal surgery, or risk the extraction with a chance of appearing to have Bell's Palsy but with the benefit of no more jaw death...I opted for the removal.

The removal process was surprisingly easy. An awesome anaesthetic, from which I woke up feeling super happy and relaxed (I do not use any forms of drug recreationally other than occasional alcohol). There was no pain at this time and, by the time my daughter drove me home, I slept like a baby for a few hours. No dry socket, no elongated healing process, really no pain to mention and, most importantly, no after effects like numbness or paralysis. The 'hook' that had shown on the x-ray was better exemplified on a later 360 degree scan and, although close to the nerve, wasn't actually directly underneath it; perspective is important in these decisions and would recommend this scan for everyone where available.

2 years later, there's no more sign of any danger. Fingers crossed. But, I still have three more wisdom teeth that no-one has spoken about...I'm not about to offer them up :)

Hope this helps somehow!
 
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FallenAnjel

Junior member
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
5
I just joined so I could post to this thread. I am 44, will be 45 in sept. I don't like dentists... ok who here does? thus the name of the board. lol. I had my two lower wisdom teeth out separately.. left one when I was about 28 or 29, right lower when I was 39. My two top ones are not in and I was told they will never come in. I never have had pain, or anything, it's like they don't even exist.

When I got the first one pulled at 28/9, I had all sorts of horror stories from everyone but I healed very quickly and could have went back to work the next day. (it was half way erupted).

Second wisdom tooth, bottom right, came in w/ a hole in it, like a cavity but no cavity, no pain or anything. I got that one removed at 39. (with the one in front of it as well--more on why in a minute). More pain than at 29. I was in tears on the way home and 800mg of ibuprofin helped. (like an OP here I do not take any rec drugs NOR drink. Only had demerol once when I had a c-section 13 years ago). Despite being put on 2000mg of pennecillian/day (or something really high like that) I ended up w/ a major mega infection even tho I followed all advice from dentist. Was put on Flagyl and Clindamycin for a week. I had nerve pain for a year afterwards. My gastro system didn't get back to normal from the antibiotics for almost 18 months. last nerve pain I had was in 2011 I believe. It was like someone stabbed me in my jaw w/ a needle. It dropped me to my knees. Thank goodness nothing since.

I am now 44 and just went to a new dentist after a year or two because the last one hurt me and said, "There's nothing I can do about that...". (this was not the one that pulled any of my previous teeth). Not to mention she decided to scrape my teeth as she said, "while I'M filling a cavity" and I had no Novocaine. I almost punched her.

Ok so....... my upper left last molar (3RD molar?) has to be pulled. filling fell out and I never fixed it. (STUPID STUPID STUPID!!). so she says she will send me to the oral surgeon to pull it and while he's doing that he should pull the wisdom tooth. Oh, you mean the one that virtually doesn't exist???? The bottom right one really didn't exist and that one came out and look what happened!!

I AM PETRIFIED of getting this done. I DO NOT want to be awake for this AT ALL. No way no how. I don't even know if I WANT to do it. If I have to go in at 65 to get a tooth removed I'd rather live 20 years w/ nerve damage than 40 years w/ nerve damage.

Oh and why did I get those two teeth removed? Because I have crappy state insurance that 1-doesn't cover back teeth (and front teeth even sometimes because my sister had a bad front incisor and it took months to get approved for a cap). I didn't even think about paying out of pocket to save them (I would have) and 2- the crappy dentist that pulled them didn't even TELL me I could pay out of pocket. That dentist was a butcher IMHO... making me make a fist to put under my jaw as she pulled two rock solid teeth out of my mouth. (I never went back to them either and I told them why too).

Another thing about the crappy insurance is i can guarantee almost w/ 100% certainty they won't pay for anesthesia. (then again IDK the actual procedure for taking out a non-erupted wisdom tooth, maybe anesthesia is required because it's actual surgery.) They won't pay for xrays or bone scans or whatever else to see if I'll have nerve damage or sinus problems. NYS insurance sucks big time. they wouldn't even pay for more than 30 blood pressure pills/month. (I couldn't take them twice a day). Real nice, huh? They'll pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for me to be in the hospital for some sickness, death but they won't pay for a lousy prescription. I guess they never heard of "an oz of prevention is worth a pound of cure". And if it took months for my sister to get approved for a front tooth cap this ought to be interesting.

So that's my dental history in a nutshell. What to do, what to do. I've also never been put under anesthesia except whatever I had to have my c-section (spinal block maybe?). I was totally out of it but was not out cold.

I"m glad I found this page. :jump:
 
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kdirksak

Junior member
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
1
I am 47 year old female red head. Just recently broke my 23 year streak of not going to the dentist. The first 7 of those years I had no insurance, the last 15 of those years, I had insurance but was too busy working, going back to school and dealing with life.

Part of not going to the dentist was knowing about the impacted wisdom tooth on the lower left. It finally started erupting in my early 40s and the pressure of it doing so caused the neighboring tooth to crack. I simply could not chew on that side anymore. I haven't chewed on that side for about 5 years. Now that I'm trying to eat healthier whole foods that require LOTS of chewing I am more motivated to get this taken care of.

This past Thursday, I went into the oral surgeon. I didn't get pre-op prep, which I think would have been helpful. But I live in a semi-remote location where medical, dental specialized professionals are few and far in between and they have BOOKED solid schedules. You get what you get and hope for the best if you don't want to fly to a big city for a dental procedure.

So I did not want to be put under for the procedure, (I prefer knowing what's going on) this is the only guy in town that would do this with local anesthesia, and trusting in his many years of experience (The doc was in his 60s) we went ahead. Nothing was ever mentioned about the proximity to the nerve and risks involved. I think that depended on my situation and that the tooth already started erupting. However, tons was said about how much more risk there is for infection, more swelling, slow healing and dry socket due to my age. Plus being a redhead, gives me a risk toward being more of a bleeder and needing more anesthetic during the procedure. Apparently studies show that redheads feel dental pain more. For what little work I had done, I have been fortunate in this so far.

I really didn't like the blood pressure cuff that cycled every few minutes. I convinced him to get rid of it once he realized my blood pressure was ok after the Novocain shot. I was more nervous sitting there waiting for the Novocain to take effect than I was during the procedure. Like my mind was calm but my body was not, shakes and tremors that I had to focus to control. That all went away when they started working. I think when they FINALLY start working, you get to a point where you have to surrender yourself and hope and pray for the best.

Anyway the extraction went reasonably well. He drilled and sawed and pried for what seemed a long time and stitched it up. All I could do was breathe, go somewhere else mentally and stay out of his way. And after all was done he gave me gauze, and a syringe thingie to irrigate the hole with water after a few days...and the tooth. OMG that was big. Don't even want to think about the crater sized hole it created.

After all was settled up, I went home via bus cuz I didn't want to drive. And when I got home I settled in to laying upright with ice packs started the 600 mg ibuprofen every 6-8 hours regimen, waiting for the pain to show up. It did show up on the 3rd day, but nothing so bad that required Percaset. The toughest part has been jaw stiffness to open chew and eat! Eating is such a challenge.

So all in all so far, not bad for what it is. The experience isn't always bad. :clover:
 
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carole

carole

Well-known member
Forum Buddy
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,630
Location
UK
Hi :welcome:to the forum.

Thank you for taking the time to write of your experience, I am glad it went well for you and that you are healing well. :butterfly:
 
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fturla

Junior member
Joined
Oct 11, 2017
Messages
1
Hi, I am over 50 years old and believe it or not my wisdom teeth have only recently started to move and appear out of my gums. Unfortunately, the wisdom teeth are not correctly positioned and are causing pain to me which I could not figure out why. The solution I was given was that most if not all of them will need to be removed in the near future because they will not properly position themselves in my mouth and therefore cause various infections and pain if I decide to keep them. They also would increase the crowded nature of my teeth in the future. I expect to have at least two wisdom teeth removed within the next 12 months. And I will try to determine if the other two will cause a problem or if a dental examiner determines if they should also be removed or can be safely untouched for now.
 
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StingRay

Junior member
Joined
Oct 30, 2014
Messages
17
Hi, I am over 50 years old and believe it or not my wisdom teeth have only recently started to move and appear out of my gums. Unfortunately, the wisdom teeth are not correctly positioned and are causing pain to me which I could not figure out why. The solution I was given was that most if not all of them will need to be removed in the near future because they will not properly position themselves in my mouth and therefore cause various infections and pain if I decide to keep them. They also would increase the crowded nature of my teeth in the future. I expect to have at least two wisdom teeth removed within the next 12 months. And I will try to determine if the other two will cause a problem or if a dental examiner determines if they should also be removed or can be safely untouched for now.
I believe it. Mine didn't start to move until over 40. Here is my details afterwards.

 
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Texasbear

Junior member
Joined
May 10, 2018
Messages
4
Location
Austin, Texas
I was told at 18 that I didn’t need my wisdom teeth extracted, then after a few years passed and I moved to Texas, my new Dentist asked why I had never had them removed. I was 30 then and they had started to come through the gum line. They would occasionally get inflamed and hurt, but nothing to terrible. I told him my old Dentist was under the impression I didn’t need them removed. He said he would watch them and see if they where becoming an issue that needed to be adressed! Now at 47, I still have them. My lower ones are essentially in as far as the crowns. I water pick often and floss daily as well as use proxy brushes. My Dentist has said that as long as they are not showing decay or if they don’t abscess or cause the nearby teeth to decay, I should probably avoid getting them removed this late in life! Yes I’ve had sore gums at times, when they where coming in! It probably was similar to teething pain. They have crowded my teeth, and made some crooked. My upper ones are way up in there and my Dentist said as long as they don’t move, they shouldn’t be a problem. My Hygenist said that I shouldn’t mess with them until they move or if I encounter issues with my bottom ones decaying or abscessing. She said if I remove them now, especially the top ones, I should have a scan like the one mentioned in a previous post! She shared a story that her husband had his removed at 52 years old and his perfectly aligned teeth moved in all directions! He also has some nerve damage that he’s gotten use to. He has some numb feeling in his right side of his mouth, jaw, and cheek and has chewed up his cheek and didn’t even realize he was doing this!

Im worried about this happening to me as I always have the worst case senerio with medical procedures! I also have been taking medications for years now that wouldn’t allow me to take pain medications. I don’t tolerate pain well, nor do I like opioids as they make me extremely sick! If I had to have them removed, I’d have to go into a rehab facility as I’ve been on ADHD medication for 20 years and two Benzodiazepines for 15 years. I’m dependent on these medications now and I couldn’t just quit taking them! I’m extremely allergic to SSRIs and after trying 6 different ones, my Psychaitrist put me on Benzodiazepines. I don’t take more than I need, some days I don’t take one of them at all, but I have been on these long enough that I couldn’t quit cold turkey! SSRIs all caused me to break out in a rash on my chest and arms, a couple of the others caused anafalxia, but not so bad I needed to go to the ER. I was on half the lowest dosage, as a precaution. But these medications and my body don’t get along with each other! If I can make it another 10 years without any issues with my wisdom teeth, I can plan to start reducing these medications on my own and get off of them, have all my teeth pulled and hopefully by then implants will be cheaper. I don’t have perfect teeth now, but I could with implants. I would still have to go back on the other medications as without the ADHD medication, my concentration is way off.

I’m able to get behind the bottom two and floss as well as water pick the whole region on both sides. I’ve had both of the last two regular molars on both sides filled and I worry about them causing these teeth to break as occasionally they feel like they are tight. I’m extremely OCD about hygiene and especially oral hygiene. I’ve been lectured by my Dentist for brushing to hard and to often, sometimes five times a day. I’ve stopped doing that now. But I’m still not sure if I want to go through having them removed or not. One, it’s expensive, then having the scan is extremely expensive I’m sure, so if I have an issue where they must be removed, I will deal with it then. The top ones have roots that look like there at least an inch long and the bottom two show in the X-rays that they have basically curved and wrapped around my jaw bone. This concerns me as the only way I could think they could get these out now without nerve damage is to grind out the middle of the tooth and pinch the side together in the middle to keep from damaging my nerves. This fear has nothing to do with internet research, but actual people who have lost feelings in their face. I had Dental Insurance and I dropped it, it’s useless as it doesn’t cover the important things and I was actually saving less than my yearly coverage was costing me!

I visit the Dentist 3 times a year getting X-rays every other time or every 120 days on average. I’m not terrified by the Dentist, but I’m picky about how well the Hygenist does her job without unnecessary pain. It took me three tries to find a Hygenist who didn’t get in there and root around like she was digging for gold. After I finally found one I loved, she retired last year! I’ve had to find a new one and she’s a little rough, but I let her know she’s rough. She’s fresh out of School, but maybe my advice and her listening will make her a better Hygenist! If not, I’ll need to look for a new Dentist!
 
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Animalhouse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
127
I am 30 and still have my wisdom teeth after avoiding the dentist my whole life up until now. My dentist things I should have mine removed, even though they aren't really causing any problems currently and they aren't impacted. The way he described it is simply that they don't really "fit" well in the mouth for most people and they are hard to care for. If they gets cavities, it can be hard to repair and if you get an infection/abscess it can be dangerous because of its location. The internet has a whole lot of information that can make things seem way worse than they are. If your dentist thinks it isn't a risk, then maybe it isn't. Perhaps another opinion couldn't hurt?
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,233
I am 30 and still have my wisdom teeth after avoiding the dentist my whole life up until now. My dentist things I should have mine removed, even though they aren't really causing any problems currently and they aren't impacted. The way he described it is simply that they don't really "fit" well in the mouth for most people and they are hard to care for. If they gets cavities, it can be hard to repair and if you get an infection/abscess it can be dangerous because of its location. The internet has a whole lot of information that can make things seem way worse than they are. If your dentist thinks it isn't a risk, then maybe it isn't. Perhaps another opinion couldn't hurt?

Hi Animalhouse, if I were you I would seek a second opinion about this - from what you write there are a lot of 'ifs' in the explanation your dentist gave you and also the 'most people' sounds like it's about standards and not about your particular situation. I had a chat with one dentist about wisdom teeth some time ago and she explained that wisdom teeth can be kept as a backup if anything happens to the first or second molars one day - they could be ortodontically moved to take the place of the second molar or used as a pillar for a brinde etc. This just as an example of different dentists having different opinions - I would however generally seek a second opinion before committing to removing any teeth that aren't causing problems.
 
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Mentalray

Junior member
Joined
Jul 12, 2018
Messages
1
38 years old Canadian male here. I had 2 wisdom teeth extracted last week, on the left side. The teeth were slightly weirdly placed, and the dentist thought it would be a good idea to have them removed.

My age didn't phase him and he was extremely confident everything would go smoothly. He was right. He gave me local anesthesia, and waiting for the teeth to be numb was the longest part. He then popped the teeth and added some stitches, this took about 5 - 10 mins. I didn't feel a thing.

I had slight discomfort in the surgery area when the numbness disappeared, but nothing alarming. 24h later, I was mostly ok.

I was quite nervous before the surgery, having read the "extra complications" for older patients on the web. That was a mistake. If you take anything from this post, take this: don't read medical stuff on the web. :)

Hope this will make someone else feel more confident!
 
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RickH2

Junior member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
1
I am 59 and just had all 4 non-impacted wisdom teeth removed this morning. I was under general anesthesia, took less than an hour in the office. That was 6 hours ago and I feel great right now, just took the first of pain medication a few minutes ago, under directions to do so before all the numbness goes away. There is still numbness in my bottom lip and upper chin, but that is all. There has not been any pain (yet), and I just changed my gauze for the last of 4 times. The bleeding had almost stopped. I have had an Ice pack alternately on each side of the outside of my jaw since I got home, but just stopped doing that. I have been sipping water, 24 oz thus far, and just ate a whole bowl of mashed potatoes with gravy, to help combat any potential nausea from the pain medicine. So far, so good. My dentist for the last 30+ years (and all 5 of my family) is also the team dentist for both an NHL and NFL team. My OS also removed all 3 of my now grown and married kids wisdom teeth. We have been lucky with great folks serving our teeth. The reason I had them removed is that I developed a large cavity in one of them and was risking infection, due to the difficulty of cleaning way back there. The dentist is the one that recommended it, after back to back cleanings 6 months apart. They said it could spread and cause additional problems, and sure enough I started having severe pain in my jaw shortly thereafter. Just another perspective for those considering it. Hope to keep this updated every day or so until back to normal. Thanks!
 
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