Wisdom Teeth: Eruption and Crowding Myths

Wisdom teeth are something that most of us have to deal with. Usually, they will start coming through between the ages of 18 and 21 give or take a few years, and unfortunately most people don’t have enough room for them to fit comfortably into our mouths and become useful for chewing.

Statistically, one or two percent of people are lucky enough to be born without wisdom teeth, some people are lucky enough to have enough room for them, but for around 80% of us, our wisdom teeth become impacted or are difficult to clean and require removal.

One of the most common dental myths is that an impacted or erupting wisdom tooth can cause crowding or overlapping of our front teeth. Intuitively this seems to make sense — but research does not support this fact.

It’s been shown that wisdom teeth can’t really put enough pressure on the neighbouring teeth to cause crowding, and it’s more likely coincidental that crowding tends to develop at around the same time the wisdom teeth start to push through.

It’s normal for our teeth to drift and change position slowly over our lives, especially if our jaws and face are changing shape such as during the transition from adolescence into adulthood.

So while there are plenty of reasons to be annoyed at wisdom teeth, the consensus is that we can’t actually blame them for crowded front teeth. Nevertheless the issues that wisdom teeth can cause are still significant, and timely intervention can be very important to reduce the possibility of pain, infection, or damage to adjacent teeth.

To learn more about your wisdom teeth check out our articles ‘What to Expect from My Wisdom Teeth Surgery?‘, ‘Impacted Wisdom Teeth: What to do?’ and ‘Wisdom Teeth: Blessing or Burden?’. To book a consultation with Dr. Kate Amos or Dr. Sam Rosehill call 6652 3185 or book online.

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