Can Wisdom Teeth Still Grow In At Age 30?

Yes, your wisdom teeth can still grow in even at age 30. Although technically they started forming in your mouth when you were as young as 17 years old. By the time most people are 21, the third molars should be fully formed and developed. However, due to them being impacted a lot of times, they may erupt slower than intend such as waiting until age 30.



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Can wisdom teeth erupt at age 30?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), your wisdom teeth (third molars) typically erupt through the gums around 17-21 years of age. However, that is only true if the teeth are coming in straight because if they are impacted, they may not fully erupt or have a delayed eruption schedule.


Unable to erupt fully

Fully impacted wisdom teeth cannot fully erupt because they are typically prevented from doing so either by adjacent teeth or your jaw bones. The most common are the horizontally impacted third molars because their path of eruption are blocked by the molar in front of them. Thus, preventing them from being able to burst through the gums.


Lower fully horizontally impacted wisdom tooth
Lower fully horizontally impacted wisdom tooth

If your wisdom tooth is impacted like the x-ray above, you can be waiting until you are 80 years old and they would still never erupt. It is physically impossible for them to emerge out of the bone because the tooth in front of them is impeding their eruption.


Delayed eruption

If your wisdom tooth is only slightly impacted, it may still erupt albeit on a slower and more delayed schedule. The tooth has to work harder to be able to emerge through the gums because various structures may be impeding or trying to slow it down. It is during situations like these that you may see your wisdom tooth erupt at age 30 even though it was already fully developed by age 21.


Here is an example of one of our patient who is almost 30 years old that is STILL having their lower left wisdom tooth erupting! The photos are roughly 6 months apart.



In case you weren't convinced, here is another patient who is in their late 20s where their upper left wisdom tooth is still coming in. If we leave this alone, it will most likely be fully erupted by the time she is 30 years old.



In case you were interested, we do have a lot more photos of real wisdom teeth in our other article. They show normal third molars, impacted ones, and ones with cavities as well.



The typical age wisdom teeth erupt into the mouth

Regardless of when they erupt, the wisdom teeth should be fully formed and present in your mouth by age 21. They typically do erupt through the gums when you're about 17-21. Below is a chart showing the eruption schedule for all of your teeth.


permanent tooth eruption chart
Credit: ADA - Permanent tooth eruption chart

Your wisdom teeth are known as the third molars because they are the third set of molars to form in your mouth. The first and second molars have already erupted by 6-7 years and 11-13 years respectively. The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come into your mouth. Consequently they're also positioned at the farthest back point in your mouth.



The oldest age that you can still get wisdom teeth

There is no limited as to when the wisdom teeth can come into your mouth. For instance, if you had a horizontally fully impacted wisdom tooth that was stuck there for decades but if at some point the tooth that was blocking it from coming in was removed... the impacted wisdom tooth will finally be able to erupt out!


This means that you can have the wisdom teeth come through the gums even when you're 80 years old. That is well past retirement age! Thus, it really depends and there is no limit as to when they come in.


Last but not least, the contrary is also true, some people actually don't have any wisdom teeth at all. Statistics wise for the UK, roughly 8% of the population are without any third molars.




Wisdom teeth removal at age 30

Wisdom teeth can certainly removed at age 30 because there are no limitations as to when they can and should be taken out. In fact, it is not uncommon for senior citizens to be having the third molars removed! It is quite a feat that they've managed to keep it cavity free for so many decades.


Most people typically don't remove them unless they cause problems and become an issue. The most common reasons for having them removed are listed below:

  • Pain

  • Pericoronitis - inflammation around the gums of the wisdom tooth.

  • Cavities

  • Impacted


Therefore, if your wisdom teeth grow in straight and you keep them cavity free, you could very well keep them for the entirety of your life. However, if you don't maintain good oral hygiene, they can develop wisdom tooth decay and you may end up needing to have them extracted at say age 30!


This is the process to removing wisdom teeth:

  1. Administer local anesthetic to numb the tooth and mouth.

  2. Sever the periodontal ligament (PDL) with a sharp pointy instrument.

  3. Elevate the tooth with an elevator until it is loose.

  4. Deliver the tooth with forceps by grabbing it.

  5. Currette the socket to clean it out.

  6. Irrigate any debris in the socket.

  7. Place stitches as needed.

Just in case you were worried about the procedure, there is no need to "break the jaw" to extract the third molars. This procedure is usually done at a dental office in an outpatient setting so no hospitalization is required.



Takeaway

Certainly your wisdom teeth can come in when you are age 30. If that happens to you, it simply means that your third molars were not growing in straight. They were definitely slightly impacted, which impedes their eruption and delays the entire process. Typically the wisdom teeth are fully formed by age 21 and they should've come into the mouth.


Not to worry because even though they may have come in late, it is still considered normal. If they're not bothering you, you can leave them alone. However, if they do bother you, they may need to be removed. You should schedule a dental consultation so that you can have them examined and you'll be able to determine whether or not they need to be removed.


If they do need to be taken out, the process for doing so is the same as any other tooth in your mouth. There is nothing special that needs to be done about removing third molars that came in during your 30s. They won't magically bleed more or any of that! Entire process is identical.


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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!