Do Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems? 

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Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last set of molars that usually emerge in the late teens or early twenties. Their arrival is often associated with dental issues, but do wisdom teeth cause problems? The answer varies from person to person, depending on several factors. Let’s delve into the potential issues and considerations regarding wisdom teeth.

Anatomy and Purpose of Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are vestigial third molars that our ancestors used to help grind down plant tissue. With changes in human diet and jaw size over millennia, these teeth have become somewhat redundant. In modern times, not everyone has room in their mouth for these latecomers, leading to a host of potential complications.

Wisdom teeth erupt typically in the late teens or early twenties, but the exact timing can vary from person to person.

Factors that affect growth time

  • Genetics: Genetics play a large role in the development and eruption of wisdom teeth. Some people may have no or fewer wisdom teeth, while others develop all four.
  • Jaw size: The space in the jaw determines whether wisdom teeth can grow easily or whether they remain impacted (trapped). A smaller jaw may be more likely to experience problems.
  • Gum and tooth health: Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits can affect the condition of wisdom teeth and the surrounding tissue. Infections or other dental problems can delay growth and eruption.

Signs and symptoms of eruption

  • Toothache: Pain in the back of the mouth as teeth break through the gums.
  • Swelling: Swelling of the gums around the area of the erupting wisdom tooth.
  • Sensitivity: Sensitivity when chewing or touching the affected area.
  • Inflammation: In some cases, inflammation and infection may occur, especially when the teeth are partially erupted, creating a pocket for bacterial growth.

Common Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth

When there isn’t enough room for wisdom teeth to emerge, they can become trapped (impacted) in the jaw. An impacted wisdom tooth stays in the tooth socket and can get infected. This can happen partially or completely, leading to pain and swelling.
Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and sometimes an infection.
Wisdom teeth can push other teeth out of alignment as they try to emerge. This can undo years of orthodontic work or natural alignment.
Changes in bite, misalignment of teeth, discomfort.
Partially erupted wisdom teeth can create pockets where bacteria thrive, leading to infections such as pericoronitis.
Red, swollen, and tender gums, bad breath, unpleasant taste in the mouth, and difficulty opening the mouth.
Cysts and Tumors
In rare cases, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to the development of cysts or tumors in the jawbone. Then the tooth is removed from the soft tissue for pain relieving.
Swelling, pain, and damage to the surrounding bone and teeth.
Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, making them difficult to clean. This can lead to cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Since wisdom teeth are prone to tooth decay, they can lead to other problems in the mouth and damage other teeth.
Tooth pain, sensitivity, visible holes or pits in the teeth, and discoloration.

Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Not all wisdom teeth cause problems. Some people have wisdom teeth that come in normally and function just like their other molars. However, due to the potential for serious complications, many dentists recommend preemptive removal, especially if:

  • X-rays show that wisdom teeth will likely become impacted.
  • There’s a history of dental issues related to wisdom teeth in your family.
  • The teeth are already showing signs of causing issues, even if they aren’t symptomatic yet.

What to Expect from Wisdom Teeth Removal

  1. Consultation: Your dentist or oral surgeon will assess your teeth with X-rays to determine the best course of action.
  2. Procedure: The extraction is typically done under local or general anesthesia. The surgeon will remove the teeth, often in sections to minimize the impact on surrounding tissues.
  3. Recovery: Post-surgery, expect swelling, minor bleeding, and discomfort for a few days. Following care instructions diligently can help avoid complications such as dry socket or infection while recovering from wisdom teeth.


Wisdom teeth can cause significant dental problems for some people, while others might never experience any issues. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays can help monitor the status of your wisdom teeth and catch potential problems early. If you’re experiencing pain, swelling, or other symptoms associated with wisdom teeth, consult your dentist to discuss whether removal is the best option for you.

By understanding the potential risks and staying proactive with dental care, you can ensure that your wisdom teeth are managed in the best way possible for your oral health.

If you have questions about wisdom teeth or want to get your dental treatment in Turkey at Cosmedica Dental, our team will give you all the answers. Contact us now!