A wisdom tooth is a tooth just behind the mouth. The most common age for wisdom teeth is between 17 and 19 years old. However, it is not uncommon for wisdom teeth to emerge at any time between the ages of 17 and 25. The average adult has four wisdom teeth in each corner of the mouth. However, some people may have less and some people are born without! (Source 2010: American Association of Oral Surgeons)
It is estimated that 20-25% of people worldwide have LESS than four wisdom teeth. So there is a four out of a chance that you will have less than the normal four wisdom teeth. (Carter and Worthington 2015) There is not always enough space for wisdom teeth. People often suffer from pain, discomfort or infection from wisdom teeth.
The normal person has four (or less) wisdom teeth. However, some people have additional wisdom teeth. These people have an extra tooth or set of teeth. These extra wisdom teeth are known as “surplus” teeth.
In my work with thousands of patients, I have personally seen some patients with DOUBLE wisdom teeth. That’s a total of eight wisdom teeth! There are some extreme cases where people have even more. However, these cases are rare and you would be quite unique if you fall into this category. In fact, about one or two people in a hundred have these extra wisdom teeth.
Most of the wisdom teeth I saw were twelve in one person. This was extraordinary and I am not sure if I will ever see him again at my dental office.
Certain populations are more or less likely to develop four wisdom teeth. Women are slightly more likely to lose one or more wisdom teeth (approximately 15%!) (Source: Carter and Worthington 2015)
Different places and origins around the world are more or less likely to have wisdom teeth. For example, people of African and European descent are more likely to have four wisdom teeth – while people of Asian descent are more likely to lose one or more wisdom teeth. (Source: John Hawks)
Patients or parents often ask me if wisdom teeth die at age 12. It is true that between the ages of 10 and 13, a new dentition grows on the back. We call these teeth “second molars” or sometimes “12 year old molars”. No baby teeth are lost when these new molars emerge from the back of the mouth around the age of 12. However, these are NOT wisdom teeth! These are normal molars.
Typically, a child gets a 12-year-old molar in each corner of the mouth (four in total). The new lower teeth usually erupt before the upper teeth.
Remember that not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted – nature does not always give us meaningless bodily features! However, there are many factors in modern life that lead to impaction, infection and pain. This means that many people need wisdom teeth removal. If you are wondering, it is best to make an appointment with the dentist and ask your dentist.
It is very common that wisdom teeth need to be extracted. In this case, it is common to extract all four at once – especially if the patient is being sacrificed for tooth extraction. It makes sense to classify everything at once. It helps to limit surgical risk and means that only one healing cycle is needed.
Another common approach for people who need to pull out wisdom teeth is to pull out two at a time. Knowing that, when removing wisdom teeth, you will be awake and sitting in the chair, this is a popular option. Many people have their upper and lower teeth removed at the same time. When a single tooth is causing problems or pain – some people choose to remove that problematic tooth and plan the rest for a later date – when they really need to be removed.
You probably know what wisdom teeth are and are probably familiar with removing wisdom teeth. But that is the amount of knowledge that most people have when it comes to wisdom teeth. Here are five facts about wisdom teeth that will teach you about the final teeth that many of us obtain as adults.
In the time of primitive man, the diet consisted of raw meat, roots, leaves and other foods. Strong teeth were needed to cut these chewable foods, as well as to pick, chop and consume them. These extra teeth were a great benefit, especially when a dentist was not around to keep your teeth healthy. Since then, people have evolved and now we have a more refined menu. That means we don’t need those extra teeth to separate chewy food and survive.
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, usually appear between 17 and 25 years. Although they vary from person to person, these teeth often cause problems when they arise. For most people, their jaws are very small, which can cause wisdom teeth to become compromised and fail to break the gums. Some people’s wisdom teeth only partially break the gums, which can result in a flap in the mouth that retains germs. This can cause infections and other problems. The affected teaching can cause infection, damage to other teeth or even cysts. Another problem with wisdom teeth is that they are so old that they are difficult to clean. This also increases the risk of caries and infection. By extracting wisdom teeth, you can avoid these and other problems.
Some people get a wisdom tooth, while others have two, three, four or none at all. Although rare, a person sometimes obtains more than four wisdom teeth. In that case, they call the extra teeth extra teeth. Genetics also plays an important role in the number of wisdom teeth you can develop. Studies show that at least 53% of people have at least one wisdom tooth. If you are one of those people who do not see wisdom teeth, it does not mean that they are not there. Sometimes wisdom teeth will never break and will never be visible. In this situation, an X-ray can confirm that you have wisdom teeth under your gums.
The roots are the part of the teeth that forms first. Then you push the visible part of the mouth, known as the button, through the gum. Most wisdom teeth have two to three roots, but they may have more. So, if wisdom teeth need to be removed, it is easier to do before the roots settle. However, surgeons want some roots in the teeth when removing them. A root gives them something to grab, as removing a small tooth bud can be very difficult.
In most cases, wisdom teeth begin to erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest person to grow a wisdom tooth was 94 years old. Although wisdom teeth can explode at any time, they exploded a long time ago. The first recorded case of affected wisdom teeth belongs to a 25 to 35-year-old woman who died 13,000 to 15,000 years ago.
After pulling out wisdom teeth, ask yourself, “Can my wisdom teeth grow back?” The simple answer: no. The most complicated answer: no, but additional wisdom teeth may already be waiting for you.
It appears that a small percentage of the population has extra or excess teeth in their mouth. The researchers attribute this condition mainly to genetic diseases. Let’s talk about wisdom teeth and what to expect if you have more than four of these molars.
Wisdom teeth, usually called third molars, appear in the mouth of young adults between the ages of 17 and 21. As this time coincides with adulthood, these molars became known as wisdom teeth. (Smart what?)
Although wisdom teeth don’t look smarter today, the Smithsonian Institution reports that wisdom teeth were probably the lifesaver in our evolutionary past. Primitive people ate food that was rare and difficult to chew (unlike us) and were prone to cavities and gum problems (just like us). Therefore, it is likely that they lost several molars due to caries or injury before reaching the end of adolescence. The arrival of wisdom teeth allowed our distant ancestors to continue chewing their food to ensure that humans would survive. (Yay!)
As people progressed, our food became much easier to chew, our jaws became smaller, but our wisdom teeth remained. And, like our tonsils and appendages, wisdom teeth can cause more problems than they are worth. This works twice for additional wisdom teeth.
Therefore, most people are stuck with four unnecessary wisdom teeth. However, some may have less or none – a happy mutation to pass on to their children. And there is a small chance that some people will have more than four.
The good news is that your dentists are likely to identify these excess teeth on digital radiographs. Detection can help you with:
Determine whether medical examinations are necessary, as teeth can be markers of genetic disease.
Alert you about oral health conditions that lead to pain, oral health conditions and orthodontic problems
Preparation for oral surgery required to deal with teeth, including extraction
Did you know? Extra teeth may appear in other parts of the mouth. It is possible to have additional incisors, canines and other double molars.
When your first four (and probably only) wisdom teeth arrive, there will not be enough space in the jaw to accommodate them. This lack of space can lead to wisdom teeth: Cannot move to position with other teeth in the way. Align horizontally in the jaw or otherwise directed to prevent them from coming out of the jaw
When wisdom teeth fail to enter the mouth, they can be compromised, leading to symptoms such as:
If you have an affected wisdom tooth, you know what to do: contact your dentist as soon as possible. Typically, you will be referred to an oral surgeon to remove the affected tooth. Other reasons for removal are that your wisdom teeth are:
After the oral surgeon removes the wisdom teeth, the recovery time should be 2 to 10 days, depending on the difficulty of the surgery and the amount of swelling and pain you experience afterwards. And if the dentist finds additional wisdom teeth, the oral surgeon can also remove them.
Although your permanent teeth cannot grow again if they are extracted – or if you lose them due to trauma – there is a rare chance that an extra dentition is waiting for you. While this may have been a good thing for our early ancestors, it can be a problem in the 21st century. When you take dental X-rays to alert you to the possibility of additional wisdom teeth and problematic wisdom teeth, you are in the best position to improve your oral and general health. Note that extracting four or more wisdom teeth requires confidence in an oral surgeon and adequate recovery time. You are very wise to learn everything you can.