Wisdom Teeth FAQs
What Is A Wisdom Tooth?
A wisdom tooth is a third molar that usually emerges between the ages of 17 and 21. The wisdom molars are located in the furthest position of the four quadrants of your gums behind your other two molars.
Why Are They Called Wisdom Teeth?
The third molar is called a wisdom tooth because it usually breaks through the gums at an older age when people are considered more mature.
Does Everyone Get Wisdom Teeth?
An estimated 35% of people are born without wisdom teeth. However, some people have wisdom teeth that never erupt. That means the wisdom teeth are still under the gum line. Dentists commonly call this an "impacted" wisdom tooth.
Does It Hurt When Your Wisdom Teeth Erupt?
Cutting teeth is a painful process, and wisdom teeth are no exception.
Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
In a healthy mouth with no overcrowding, there is no need to remove wisdom teeth. However, there are occasions when it is vital to remove them.
When Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Wisdom teeth removal is a topic that you should discuss with your dentist. However, the ADA recommends having your wisdom teeth pulled if changes develop in the mouth like pain, infection, cysts, tumors, damage to neighboring teeth, gum disease or tooth decay.
Wisdom teeth are also commonly removed as part of orthodontic care.
How Many People Have Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
According to the National Institute of Health, 5 million people per year in the United States have their wisdom teeth removed.
Does It Hurt to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth extraction can be painful. However, there are ways to reduce pain and swelling. You can discuss these methods with your dentist.