When it comes to wisdom teeth, there's a lot of mystery surrounding them. People often wonder exactly when they come in and if (or how!) they can grow back.
If you have questions about wisdom teeth - their purpose, whether or not removal is necessary, and anything else related to this unique facet of the human dental system - then this blog post has your answers!
Read on for a comprehensive take on all things wisdom teeth.
Are Wisdom Teeth Molars?
Yes, wisdom teeth are molars.
Also known as third molars, they are the last set of adult teeth to grow in and are located in the very back of your mouth (1).
Wisdom teeth usually appear during your late teens or early twenties. They can cause problems if there isn't enough space to surface or if they come through in the wrong position.
Are Missing Wisdom Teeth Genetic?
Yes, wisdom teeth are genetic.
It is estimated that 53% of the population have at least one missing wisdom tooth, and some never develop wisdom teeth at all (1).
They are believed to be inherited from family members, and their development is impacted by genes linked to dental development.
While the exact gene responsible for wisdom tooth development is still unknown, research is being done to understand why some people may never develop wisdom teeth.
However, it's important to note that even if you have a strong family history of not growing third molars, it doesn't guarantee they will not grow in your mouth.
It's also possible to have extra wisdom teeth beyond the standard four and impacted or partially grown teeth.
Are Wisdom Teeth on the Top or Bottom?
Wisdom teeth typically form at the very back of your mouth, on either the top or bottom.
The exact position depends on various factors, such as your jaw structure and whether you have enough room in your mouth.
Wisdom teeth can affect how your other teeth line up as they come in, so it's important to monitor them carefully with regular dental checkups.
In some cases, wisdom teeth may not even come in fully or at all. This usually happens when there is not enough space for them to fit properly into the jawbone or if they are coming in at an awkward angle (1, 2).
In such cases, a dentist may recommend removal to avoid any complications that could arise from the impacted tooth.
Can Wisdom Teeth Grow Back?
In most cases, wisdom teeth cannot grow back after they have been removed.
Once these third molars are extracted from the jawbone, the gums usually heal and close up again, preventing new teeth from growing in that space.
However, some people may be able to regrow their wisdom teeth if part of the root is left behind during extraction.
This is an extremely rare occurrence but can occur due to various factors, such as trauma or infection at the site of the removal (4).
In any case, discussing your situation with a dentist is best if you think this could be happening.
Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Headaches?
Headaches can be a common symptom of wisdom teeth, especially when they are emerging or have complications such as tooth decay.
The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed that wisdom teeth can trigger headaches by putting pressure on the nerves in the jaw (5).
Wisdom teeth can also cause changes in the bite which might trigger headaches.
Growing wisdom teeth can also lead to tension and inflammation, which can cause headaches and migraines.
If you are between the ages of 17-24 and experiencing consistent headaches, it could be related to your wisdom teeth.
If this is the case, an extraction may be beneficial in relieving your headache symptoms. However, it is important to note that the growth of wisdom teeth does not directly correlate to the causation of migraines.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to come in when people reach adulthood.
Usually, these teeth appear between the ages of 17-24. After this point, it is generally too late for them to erupt due to a lack of space.
When Wisdom Teeth Come In, Does It Hurt?
The answer to this can vary from person to person. Generally speaking, when wisdom teeth come in, it is not particularly painful but can be uncomfortable.
The eruption of these teeth may cause some swelling, jaw pain, tenderness along the jawline, and some stiffness and difficulty opening the mouth occasionally.
If you have pain that persists after your wisdom teeth have erupted, it is best to consult a dental professional to ensure there are no underlying issues that need to be addressed.
Why Choose Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Wisdom teeth removal is a relatively common procedure among adolescents and young adults.
It may be necessary to remove wisdom teeth if they are positioned in an area of the mouth where they cannot properly emerge and cause crowding, infection, or damage to other teeth (7).
Wisdom tooth extraction is also beneficial for people who suffer from frequent pain or swelling due to impacted wisdom teeth, as these can be difficult to clean and keep healthy.
Extracting these teeth can help prevent future health complications down the road caused by cysts, tumors, or infections that could result from not removing them (8).
Finally, removing wisdom teeth makes it easier to keep your mouth clean and maintain good oral hygiene in the future.
We hope you found this blog helpful in answering some of the questions you may have had about wisdom teeth.
Though they may cause some issues, with proper care and treatment, you don't have to worry about them being negative.