Usually, people can expect wisdom teeth to appear somewhere between their late adolescence and early adulthood. However, you’ve probably heard stories of people with only one or two wisdom teeth or maybe even none! So, does everyone have wisdom teeth? Also, is it normal not to have them?
Let’s find out!
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are an additional set of teeth that develop behind your other two sets of molars. People are supposed to have four wisdom teeth in the far back of their jaws, one extra molar at the end of each row of teeth. They are the final pair of pearly whites to form and are also known as third molars.
The unusual name comes from the age they commonly develop. Wisdom teeth usually begin to appear anywhere between your 17th and 21st birthday. That’s when many people are in college and taking the first steps into adulthood, thus hopefully becoming wiser. However, they can emerge earlier or come out after you turn 21.
You might feel pain as third molars fight their way out of your gums. In some cases, there’s not enough space in jaws for wisdom teeth, so they become impacted below the gum line. Many people have to remove their wisdom teeth whether they appear or not.
Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?
Is It Normal Not to Have Wisdom Teeth?
If your third molars never developed, you might fear there’s something wrong with your dental health. But, in reality, not having wisdom teeth is totally normal and perhaps even better. It means you won’t have to go through a potentially painful removal procedure.
Researchers still don’t know why some people have a full set of third molars while others have none. However, it might be because of genetics. For instance, if one of your parents doesn’t have third molars, you probably won’t get them either. Other factors that may cause the lack of wisdom teeth include chewing function, food, and environment.
How Do I Know If I Have No Wisdom Teeth?
Just because your third molars never appeared doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They can become impacted or caught in the gums. As a result, they never completely emerge. An X-ray of your teeth should show whether you have wisdom teeth or not.
Does Everyone Have to Get Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
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Your mouth has enough space for 28 teeth. But if all your third molars emerge, you’ll have 32, and your jaws might become overcrowded. In most cases, wisdom teeth cause problems simply because they don’t fit. That is why wisdom teeth removal has become a common procedure.
Of course, that’s not to say you have to remove your chompers as soon as they show up — especially if you have enough space in your mouth. If they are healthy and don’t cause you any pain, there’s no reason to get rid of them.
That said, if third molars do exist but are stuck inside your jaw and gums, your dentist might recommend removing them to avoid future pain and gum infections.
In any case, getting your wisdom teeth removed while you are younger is better. Of course, you can do it later in life as well, but the bones around the gums are usually softer at a younger age. Moreover, the nerve roots in your mouth haven’t fully formed.
So, removing third molars is easier when you’re young. If you wait too long, removal might become more painful and challenging.
Featured image source: Pinterest.com