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Wisdom teeth – Myths and realities

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Should they be removed? When and why?

  • Wisdom teeth or third molars are the teeth furthest away in the dental arches and they are usually the last ones to erupt… if they ever come out!
  • For their eruption to occur normally, there must be sufficient growth at the back of the jaws to accommodate these teeth. For most people who have all their permanent teeth, this happens rarely and wisdom teeth fail to erupt.
  • Growth of the lower jaw occurs mostly at the back and this growth is essential to allow the eruption of the third molars (circle). If growth is inadequate, wisdom teeth will remain impacted.
  • It is very rare to see someone with the maximum possible of 32 teeth in the mouth (including wisdom teeth) that are optimally aligned and functional.
  • Teeth that have not completed their eruption within a reasonable time are called “impacted” if they are completely submerged under the gum and “semi-impacted” if they pierce through the gum only partially.
  • The dental community agrees to recommend the extraction of third molars that are symptomatic or cause problems (pain, infection, damage to other teeth, etc.).

 

We can have up to 32 teeth in the mouth including wisdom teeth (*), but it is very rare to see a dentition with all the teeth positioned in an esthetic and functional way, as in this case. (This dentition was treated orthodontically.)

Wisdom teeth are time bombs
But what about impacted teeth that are asymptomatic? Wisdom teeth have historically been blamed for many problems. They are accused, among other things, to cause tooth movement by exerting pressure on other teeth when trying to erupt. This would be responsible for the movement of other teeth and the increase in dental crowding and rotation of the anterior teeth with time. Is this “popular belief” justified?

  • Studies have shown that, although they may play a small role in these tooth movements in late adolescence and later, they are not the main cause and several other more important factors, such as residual growth must be considered.
  • Even when third molars are extracted, it is common to see anterior dental movements occur thereafter.
  • Therefore, several associations of dental professionals (orthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons) have concluded that it is inappropriate to extract third molars only to prevent unwanted dental movements.
  • Removing third molars will not prevent lower anterior dental crowding. But this doesn’t mean that there are not other reasons to extract third molars. There are many…
  • However, a semi-impacted tooth or a tooth presenting signs of pathologies represents a risk of serious problems. Such a tooth can be compared to a “time bomb” in the patient’s mouth; you don’t really know when it will “explode”!

 

Examples of impacted third molars that can only be seen with the help of radiographs.

There are, however, several other reasons to extract third molars.

  • For example, if they have symptoms, such as pain, infection, have caries, are difficult to clean, have a severe malposition, etc., it is best to remove them.
  • It is almost always indicated to extract a tooth that is “semi-impacted” because it presents a higher risk of infection and decay in the mid or long term.
  • In summary, it is frequently indicated to extract wisdom teeth that do not come out, but the reason is mainly to solve a problem already affecting these teeth or to prevent the development of pathologies (cysts, tumors, resorption (wear) of adjacent teeth).
  • Extraction is not intended to prevent the movements of other teeth over time.
Although both wisdom teeth came out, they are partially covered with gum tissue and difficult to clean. They have become decayed within only a few months

Although both lower third molars of this 24-year-old woman are partially erupted, they are partially covered with gum tissue (semi-impacted) and difficult to clean. They have become decayed within only a few months of their eruption (arrows and dark areas on X-rays show decay). It is preferable to extract these third molars before the problem worsens.

However, if you prefer to keep asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth, do not ignore them.

  • It is strongly recommended to have regular radiographic assessments made (every 3-4 years) to detect the onset of potential problems as described above.
  • Symptoms affecting third molars can occur long after the appearance of a problem and, at that time, significant damage is often already present and irreversible.
  • Several authors suggest that uninfected and symptom free wisdom teeth may remain indefinitely in the mouth in adults. (Zachrisson 2005)

Note that it is rarely necessary to extract third molars as part of an orthodontic treatment. However this may be necessary if, for example, those teeth would interfere with the normal eruption of another molar (second molar) or prevent the movement of teeth towards the back of the mouth. Another exception would be when a jaw surgery, such as a mandibular advancement, is planned (orthognathic surgery). In such a case, the oral surgeon will prefer to extract the lower wisdom teeth at least six months prior to the surgery in order to avoid a “bad split” of the mandible during the surgical intervention.

We like to use the “jack-in-the-box” analogy to try to describe certain unpredictable dentition problems and behaviors. Wisdom teeth are well suited for this comparison; it is hard to predict if they will come out and if so, how and when. They are full of surprises!

 

Examples of third molar eruption problems

Impacted upper and lower third molars leaning against the second molars in a 21-year-old male.

Impacted upper and lower third molars leaning against the second molars in a 21-year-old male. There are even 2 upper wisdom teeth on the right radiograph! These molars will not erupt and can damage other teeth.

Examples of impacted wisdom teeth (third molars) located under the second molars that started to resorb the roots to such an extent that second and third molars had to be extracted.

Impacted wisdom teeth (upper and lower third molars) located under the second molars that started to resorb the roots of the second molars to such an extent that both third AND second molars had to be extracted. (courtesy of Dr G. Noreau)

Upper third molar eruption problems. Only a radiograph can detect this anomaly (25-year-old woman).

Upper third molar eruption problems. Only a radiograph can detect this anomaly (25-year-old woman). These teeth will not erupt adequately and their extreme malposition justifies their extraction. The tooth on the picture on the right can damage the second molar if it stays in the mouth.

A routine radiograph in this 13-year-old patient reveals impacted lower wisdom teeth that are almost not formed but overlap the roots of the second molars, which could damage them in the long term. It would be indicated to extract them before the formation of their roots is too advanced. Note that such situation can be asymptomatic for the patient.

Predicting the eruption of wisdom teeth

  • Prediction eruption wisdom orthodents dontist LemayThe main way to assess the presence and position of third molars is to take a panoramic radiograph and evaluate certain factors, such as the size of the teeth, the formation of their roots, the direction of eruption, the available space, the jaw bone, etc.
  • In an attempt to predict the eruption of third molars, several methods have been developed. Some are very ingenious and original, but none has proven to be accurate every time. Some are very simple while others rely on fancy calculations of tooth position and evaluation of future growth.
  • But… despite the availability of several analytical methods, predicting which teeth will erupt adequately or not is sometimes just a lucky guess!

 

Look at the following examples of radiographs that show the behavior of wisdom teeth over many years.

Who could have predicted what happened?

Note: The letters represent the patient’s initials and the numbers are the patient’s age at the time the radiographs were taken.

Wisdom teeth orthodontist Lemay FC 971175

Wisdom teeth third molars orthodontist Lemay JH

Wisdom teeth orthodontist Lemay VL AC

Wisdom teeth third molars orthodontics Lemay SP

Eruption of a wisdom tooth that migrated forward.

(A) A wisdom tooth was visible on a radiograph, far behind the second premolar as early as 11 years of age. (B) 3 years later, this tooth seems farther away. (C) After a few years, the impacted molar migrated forward and seems to be on the right path to erupt. Who could have guessed? To be continued…

 

Change in the position of wisdom teeth from age 15 to 21

Evolution of the position of lower wisdom teeth during a 6-year period. As soon as the teeth will obviously not come out properly, it would be preferable to extract them to avoid a more complex intervention (extraction) later on (for the patient and the surgeon).

Evolution of the position of lower wisdom teeth during a 6-year period. As soon as the teeth will obviously not come out properly, it would be preferable to extract them to avoid a more complex intervention (extraction) later on (for the patient and the surgeon).

  • (A) At 15 years of age, the lower wisdom teeth are already tilted forward.
  • (B) 3 years later, the teeth tip more forward. There is not enough growth at the back of the mandible to allow the impacted molars to upright and erupt. It would be indicated to extract these molars at this time because it is impossible for these teeth to come out properly. The upper wisdom teeth continue growing, but the left one stays blocked behind the second molar.
  • (C) At 21 years of age, the lower wisdom teeth are positioned horizontally, which will make their extraction more complicated.
  • (D) Upper right third molar once extracted.
  • (E) Upper left third molar.
  • (F and G) The lower third molars had to be cut in several pieces to be extracted. The maxillofacial surgeons’ skills still allow the extraction of teeth in a very bad position, but these extractions are a lot more complex for both the patient and the surgeon. It is thus preferable to extract impacted wisdom teeth as soon as they are considered to have no chance whatsoever to erupt and before the impaction worsens and makes the intervention more difficult.

 

Other considerations in the decision to remove or retain third molars

Absence of opposing teeth

It is indicated to extract wisdom teeth that have no opposing tooth (*) in the lower arch, even if they erupt.

 

When a tooth is partially out, the gingiva covering it is an area where plaque and food debris can accumulate and cause infection, inflammation and tooth decay. It is then indicated to either uncover such a tooth by removing the excess gum tissue or to extract it if the tooth cannot be properly uncovered to help it complete its eruption.

A semi-impacted third molar is more difficult to clean which makes it more susceptible to dental caries. This tooth shows an incipient carious lesion in the surface groove.

Misleading images!

Sometimes, the clinical examination gives the impression that the eruption of wisdom teeth occurs well or normally, but the radiological examination reveals a whole different reality.
  • (A) The lower right wisdom tooth of this 24-year-old woman came through the gum tissue several months before, but its eruption does not seem to progress anymore.

Horizontal semi-impacted wisdom tooth

  • (B) Although this tooth appears to erupt normally, a radiograph reveals the severe horizontal malposition of this tooth.
  • The visible part in the mouth (circled) is in fact the back of the tooth that is tipped forward. This semi-impacted tooth will certainly be problematic one day (infection, cavities, etc.), so it is indicated to extract it.
  • As described previously, the reason to recommend the extraction is not the risk of seeing this tooth displace the other teeth in front of it, but rather the fact that it could get infected and cause problems in this area of the mouth.

Presence of damaged teeth

When a wisdom tooth has little chance of coming out and another tooth in front of it is severely damaged to the point where major restorations will be necessary later on, it could be logical to extract the damaged tooth and “recuperate” the wisdom tooth. In such a situation, it is beneficial to postpone the decision to extract a third molar if an orthodontic treatment is envisioned. Extracting the wisdom tooth would force the patient to restore the damaged tooth or replace it if it were to be extracted eventually.

Extraction of a molar and recuperation of the wisdom tooth in orthodontics

Not having extracted an impacted wisdom tooth very early made it possible to recuperate it and eliminate a severely damaged molar.

(A and C) 15-year-old teenager with a lower left molar (black * asterisk) that is severely compromised by a root canal treatment. Extracting this molar made it possible to recuperate the impacted and tipped wisdom tooth (red *) and close the space remaining following the extraction by moving the other molars forward (arrow).
(B and D) After the corrections, the space created by the extraction is completely closed, the wisdom tooth (third molar) came out, uprighted and is now functional. The green asterisk (*) indicates where the wisdom tooth was.
This patient thus avoided the necessity to have a crown which, since he was very young, would have required to be replaced several times throughout his life.


Do all third molars need to be extracted?

Sometimes, a single wisdom tooth seems problematic and must be extracted. What about the other third molars that stay in the mouth? Should they necessarily be extracted as well? To learn more about it, consult our Ortho-blog column “Do all third molars need to be extracted?” describing certain points to take into consideration to decide which wisdom teeth need to be extracted. Dental supra-eruption of a wisdom tooth
Temporomandibular joint disorders involve several factors

The behavior of wisdom teeth is hard to predict. It answers a very complex “equation” with several variables. Each of them can influence individually or together the symptoms and evolution of the eruption of teeth.

Lack of symptoms doesn’t mean lack of disease

  • Many studies have concluded that symptom free wisdom teeth do not always mean disease free teeth as there are many types of infections which can be developing over time around these teeth. Very often he decision to extract or not  it is a judgment call on the part of the practitioner but when you look at the pros and cons long term, it is probably safer to extract borderline problematic wisdom tooth instead of hanging on to them in the hope that nothing happens.
  • For further information, see this short scientific article: Evaluation and management of asymptomatic third molars: lack of symptoms does not equate to lack of pathology.1

The influence of wisdom teeth on stability of teeth

  • Wisdom teeth or third molars do not cause dental crowing and it is not justified to extract them for this reason.Dental crowding is a normal and unavoidable phenomenon throughout the years. The age at which it will occur, the severity of crowing and where it will occur may vary from one person to another and this will happen whether an orthodontic treatment was performed or not. The teeth that are most often affected are the lower anterior teeth (incisors and canines), but all the other teeth may move as well.
  • Wisdom teeth have often been blamed in order to try to find a cause to undesirable tooth movements or displacements that occur after the end of an orthodontic treatment. Numerous researches and studies were published on this subject, but the conclusion from the most serious sources is that the third molars that erupt at the back of the dental arches do not significantly cause these displacements.
  • Such displacements may occur and will likely occur whether an orthodontic treatment was performed or not. The question should then not be “IF” teeth will move but rather “WHEN” they will move. 🙁
  • To learn more on orthodontic retention and the influence of wisdom teeth on the stability of teeth.

References:

1- White RP, Proffit WR – Am J Orthod Dentofac Orthop 140:10-16, 2011.

 

  Dernière mise-à-jour : 2017-01-03 à 16:59:01 © Jules E. Lemay, OrthoLemay.com – Tous droits réservés / All rights reserved

Comments and/or questions (683)

  1. james spence says:

    May I use your material?

    Bonjour,

    I work in England and look after 2500 children in a preventive program

    I wish to use your article and photos in some communications within the profession

    May I use these with your permission and if so I promise to acknowledge you as copyright holders

    Merci

    James Spence

    • Dr Jules says:

      Glad that you could find something useful for your work on this site!

      Feel free to use anything you need from the site as long as it is not for commercial purposes ans that you keep some sort of reference to this website.
      In fact, if there is something that you need and can’t find on the site, get in touch with me, there is much more material that has not been published yet!

      Look at the French version of this page (wisdom teeth), there are more illustrations and photos. Unfortunately, I can’t keep up with translating all the pages in English!

      • David says:

        Hi, I’m 18 years old and all my 4 wisdom teeth are needing removal (op is fairly soon). One has already become impacted although I maintain good oral hygiene. What I’m wondering is how soon could dental crowding take place (if so), as im concerned it could affect my tooth arrangement before the operation takes place. I’ve never had to have braces and because my teeth are very straight I am concerned that any slight pressure could affect my teeth. Your advice will be greatly appreciated, thanks a lot 🙂

        • Dr Jules says:

          As described in the text above in this page, it is not indicated to extract wisdom teeth solely for the purpose of preventing dental crowding because they have been shown not to be a significant factor in the development of this late crowding (especially in the anterior area). Your teeth may show some crowding with time whether the wisdom teeth are extracted or not.

      • Beth says:

        Can a wisdom tooth replace an extracted second molar?
        Hello,
        I’m 17 and my lower left second molar is absessed and infected. I’m thinking about extracting it and letting my wisdom tooth grow out to replace it since it’s much cheaper and it’s a healthy tooth. One dentist told me it’s impossible because the gap is too larger and since it’s on the bottom, there is no force that will push the wisdom tooth into the gap left by tooth #18, the second molar I want to extract, but another said it could definitely replace my second molar. I saw an x-ray above where a patient had a similar situation and his wisdom tooth successfully replaced his lower second molar. Can my wisdom tooth replace my second molar if its on my lower jaw and if so, could you describe the process/amount of time? Thank you so much.

        • Dr Jules says:

          Although it is not “impossible” that molars drift forward to close a large extraction space, it is very unlikely, especially on the lower arch. This is because the molars are already naturally inclined forward so extracting a tooth in front of them just increases this tendency to tip down and forward.

          On the upper arch, the situation is different as the molars are usually inclined toward the back (not toward the front like the lower molars) and, as they move forward following an extraction, they tend to improve their inclination and self upright. This rarely happens on the lower.

          It could however be possible to close an extraction space orthodontically in certain cases. To see some examples..

          • Nicole says:

            Should problematic 6 year (first) molars be removed to help eruption of wisdom tooth later?

            My 6 year molar was removed because of decay and I was told my twelve year molar wouldn’t grow in its place and that there would be a large gap. My 12 year molar grew in it s place after all which then left enough space for an otherwise problematic wisdom tooth to come in healthy.

            It is the only wisdom tooth I haven’t had problems with. One lower wisdom tooth was removed due to partial impaction and my upper wisdom teeth are both completely impacted and cause some pretty severe pain at times. Like tonight!

            I had problems with all of my 6 year molars except for one and I am wondering if it would have been better to have extracted them all and allowed the twelve year molars to grow in their place! Is there any evidence that supports success with my theory? There must be a reason that humans were equipped with wisdom teeth which grow in so much later than the rest. Perhaps because 6 year molars decayed and were removed at some point in time when dental hygeine was not such a worry. What are your thoughts on why we have wisdom teeth?

            • Dr Jules says:

              Your reasoning is not bad at all but… this approach is not very predictable and a long shot at best. However, it car sometimes work.

              The only times I have seen second molars erupt in a decent position if the first molar was extracted was when this extraction was done at a fairly young age, that is much earlier than the normal eruption age of ± 12 years for second molars. In such cases (around 6-8 years of age), the molar bud has not completed its formation and will tend to migrate forward as it erupts in the jaw bone. The predictability of adequate or acceptable eruption is much better in the upper arch compared to the lower arch. In fact, when this done in the upper arch, it is frequent to see a excellent positioning of the second molar as it erupts. If the extractions are done later, when the second molars have started to erupt, they may migrate forward a bit but will also tip forward doing so (much more in the lower arch) so the the end result may not be acceptable functionally and there may remain important spaces. This may however be correctable with orthodontics.

              You can see examples of molar extractions and the effect it had on the second molars in the “molar extraction” section (text in French)

              Why do we have wisdom teeth?

              There is indeed a reason why we have wisdom teeth but is is an evolutionary one. Our prehistoric had a much coarser diet which caused a lot of attrition and wear on the teeth. This is called an attritional diet and it was wearing their teeth down much more and much faster than today’s modern man’s diet. As the teeth start wearing interproximally (between the teeth) they drift forward, and provide additional space in the back of the dental arches for the eruption of the wisdom teeth which then act as a kind of a “spare tooth” to provide additional tooth structure compensating for the worn teeth. With time, we stopped having a very coarse diet with the associated extra tooth wear. Teeth stopped drifting forward and there was then not enough space in the back of the mouth to allow the eruption of the third molars (wisdom teeth) which could not erupt anymore and became impacted. Voilà! This is the short story of the wisdom teeth!

              tag #wisdom teeth tag #wisdom tooth

            • Melanie says:

              i was 11 when my 12 year molars came in and yesterday when i was going to bed my mouth tasted of blood so i went to the bathroom and there is a tooth like thing growing under like my molar?
              i dont know how to explain this. when i took a toothpick and poked at it it felt and looks like a tooth. is it my wisdom tooth. its only on my right side?
              what is it and should i see a dentist?

              • Dr Jules says:

                I don’t know how you are now but if you are in your late teens, it may be a wisdom tooth trying to erupt.
                If you want to find out what is really going on, consult your dentist who will take a radiograph and confirm the presence of an erupting tooth or not.

              • zeeshan says:

                Wisdom teeth usually erupt at the age of 17 to 25 years. But if you saw a tooth behind your second molars or back side of your mouth. Then it may be your third molar or wisdom tooth. You should go to doctor or dentist as your gums are bleeding.

                • Dr Jules says:

                  Wisdom teeth do indeed erupt in the late teen years or early adulthood but… they can erupt at any age after that, even if that is not very common, it is possible. The blog on this website has many testimonials from persons who had wisdom teeth erupt in their 30s, 40s, etc. even in their 70s! Anything is possible with wisdom teeth!

                  • Ariel says:

                    I’m 56 and have the upper left wisdom tooth trying to come in….go figure. The remaining three came through and were removed in my late teens/early twenties. This remaining one never did come down – until now.

            • Melanie says:

              one of my 6 year molars fell out and i have a big bump in my gum and i think it is my tooth coming in wrong. it doesn’t hurt.

              • Dr Jules says:

                instrument-dentaire-dentiste-orthodontiste-Sherbrooke V2 Start by, consulting a general dentist who will assess and diagnose your condition, give you a prognosis, make appropriate recommendations if there are reasons to intervene (ideal treatment, alternatives and compromises, duration and cost of these treatments options, etc.) and direct you to other dental specialists if necessary.

            • Jason says:

              Third molar came in to replace an extracted second molar

              Nicole,
              This same phenomenon apparently is happening with my teeth… Almost exactly the same. At the time of a singular extracted molar (2nd) I had x-rays done and showed ALL my Wisdom teeth impacted severely. I’m 33 years old and its been roughly 6 years since and guess what – The 2nd Molar that was extracted now has a 3rd molar coming in seemingly perfected aligned – like it was meant to take its place.

              I must say I do believe that humans were equipped for this for a reason as nothing in nature is neither kept or discarded without a purpose.

              • Dr Jules says:

                Anything can happen with wisdom teeth!
                I seriously doubt that the third molar that erupted to replace the second molar that was extracted erupted in a “perfect” position as these teeth usually tip forward as they erupt but as long as it is functional, you can probably keep it.

          • lanie says:

            Wil removing the second molars help the wisdom teeth?

            hi dr jules.
            can i ask a question pls. i have this pain in my upper left jaw.. and pressure in my gum feels like teeth coming out. had n dental. x ray. showing i have my 3rd molar teeth angle in top of my second molar. but havent erupted as as its back further in my jaw . is removing second molar will help .so the 3rd molar can erupt. in pain right now.thank u

            • Dr Jules says:

              Although extracting second molars may help the third molars to erupt, it is very rare that these teeth will erupt normally and become functional, especially if they are improperly angled to start with. It is always a case by case situation. Consult a dentist or an orthodontist to have their opinion about your case.

          • Vola says:

            Roots wrapped around the dental nerve

            What a very informative article!
            May I please have your opinion on my situation? I am 36 and two years ago my 2 upper wisdom were removed – successfully, no pain whatsoever. Now, my dentist and the oral surgeon who removed my last wisdom teeth advised me to remove one of the lower wisdom tooth too.

            However, he (oral surgeon) said that he will leave the tip of the root inside my gum because it is entangled with my nerves. He will only remove it later if there is any issues. I was wondering if this is something I need to worry about in the future, should I ask him to remove the tip anyways (and accept the effect of losing sensation in my mouth?) Also, I am always being fully sedated and it is a very expensive procedure. How bad is it to only be partially sedated?
            Thank you.

            • Dr Jules says:

              Every dental or surgical intervention has inherent risks and the pros and cons of each option must be evaluated carefully.
              I would tend to recommend to follow the advice of the oral surgeon specialist that evaluated your case as he has the necessary training and experience to offer a realistic prognosis for the success of the extraction. We occasionally see molar roots that are wrapped around the dental nerve. Depending on the complexity of the extraction and the associated risks, I have seen surgeons splitting the tooth to remove it (see example in photo below; the blue circle represents the dental nerve) or, as was proposed to you, leave part of the roots inside the bone (but this is extremely rare).

              Double check with your oral surgeon but I think it is preferable to leave the tip than to lose the innervation to your lip and associated structures for the rest of your life.
              Partial or light sedation is often used for anxious patients needing complex dental treatment, discuss the options with your surgeon.

          • caohang says:

            I have a question. Can you explaint to me.
            My friend is 21 years old. but in her Panoramic x-ray, the mandibular third molar only had crown. she doesn’t have maxillary third molar.
            should she extract this tooth now or wait until the root is created.
            thank you.

            • Dr Jules says:

              Anything can happen with wisdom teeth!
              It is possible that the upper third molars are missing.
              If a wisdom tooth needs to be extracted, it is preferable and easier (for the patient and the dentist) to do so before the roots are completely formed.
              Tell your friend to ask a dentist for an opinion about the possibility of that third molar ever erupting and the indications for extracting it.

      • Jessica says:

        This was literally the BEST and most detailed and informative page i’ve read on the internet regarding wisdom teeth and the removal process if needed. Thanks so much for this!

      • cass says:

        I really hate to be a pain but at 39 yr old. i have teeth coming in at bottom left and right side.threw my life i have already had many wisdom teeth pulled out. is this normal to have another set growing in? im calling my dentist in the morning to try get in asap

      • Stef says:

        Merci Dr Jules, I am 25 years old. Recently I found my lower jaw area.. seemingly appear to have grown 2 teeth. (Area below my tongue) I am not sure if they are wisdom tooth. So far I have none extracted as the last X-ray was done about 3 years ago and I didn’t have any then. Any advice on this? Is it even possible for wisdom teeth at that area?

        • Dr Jules says:

          Wisdom teeth are unpredictable and sometimes full of surprises!
          Visit a dentist to have a panoramic radiograph taken and you should have the answers to all your questions concerning these extra teeth very rapidly.

    • Maria says:

      My 15.5 year-old daughter (we live in USA) has 4 wisdom teeth that have not erupted at all and are coming in sideways. She is not having any pain or problem with them at this time but I was told her jaw is too small to accommodate them. I was also told of the possibility of the complication of paresthesia because the roots are close to the nerve that runs the lower mandible. That if we wait, the roots will just go deeper and the likelihood of the roots affecting the nerve will increase.

      My other concern is general anesthesia in a non-hospital setting as well as hearing stories of patients aspirating gauze and dying. I would rather not take her wisdom teeth out unless they are causing her pain but then am I increasing the likelihood of complications if she needs them out later and the roots are deeper. This seems to be a prophylactic surgery which I am disinclined to do. Also, if we do absolutely have to take them out, is it best to do them all at once or space it out. Thank you for any information you can provide to help me.

      • Dr Jules says:

        Your description of your daughter’s case summarizes well the controversies and uncertainties surrounding wisdom teeth removal (or not)! This always ends up being a balance between evaluating the advantages vs the disadvantages of intervening or not. There are no clear cut “rules” when teeth are asymptomatic. She may be “lucky” and never have any problems if she keeps her impacted wisdom teeth or she may develop problems in a few or many years. One thing is certain and it is that it is easier to remove impacted teeth before they are fully formed. Don’t pay too much attention to “horror” stories about poeple dying during dental extraction procedures. You probably have as much chance of that happening as dying driving to the grocery store! If she keeps these wisdom teeth, make sure that they are monitored with a panoramic radiograph every few years.
        By the way, most wisdom teeth can be removed under local anesthesia by a competent dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon son that reduces the risk level of the intervention. There are inherent risks to any dental extraction but ask the surgeon to explain them to you so that you understand them better and not have to listen to everyone around you giving you all kinds of non professional opinions.

    • Alexander says:

      I can feel my teeth moving slightly and hear them after getting wisdom teeth extracted, it appears that teeth crowding and automatic realignment due to pressure release is a real thing, I keep reading the contrary, but my teeth are definitely moving, I can feel them slip, kinda like how plates shifting cause an earthquake.

      Very interesting, considering I have been reading the contrary.

      • Dr Jules says:

        The second molar just in front of a wisdom tooth may have some mobility following the removal of the wisdom tooth but not all the teeth in the jaw. IF you have many teeth that are mobile, it is caused by something else.

        Pressure release in the back of the dental arch from wisdom teeth extraction allowing realignment of the other teeth is a myth. There is absolutely nothing in the dental scientific literature to support this theory.

        • Cairylle says:

          Will a useless wisdom tooth degenerate with time?

          Hi dr. jules!
          I had my semi impacted tooth extracted awhile ago and after that my dentist explained to me that my 2nd molar had moved slightly like literally moved same as when the tooth is moving when it is time to be pulled, he said that it should be extracted because it may seem useless already since the one holding it was the semi impacted but now that it’s gone it is already moving. But he gave me options as to whether I should let it be extracted or give it a chance to degenerate. I chose to give it a chance. But do you think it will still degenerate? Thank you and God bless!

          • Dr Jules says:

            If by “degenerate” he refers to the tooth becoming carious and breaking down in pieces, etc… I would not recommend that as this may cause other problems such as infections and caries to the other teeth, pain, gum disease, etc. If your tooth is really not functional, the logical option would be to have it extracted even if this is not something that needs to be done immediately. If you leave it there, don’t let it “degenerate” and clean it properly. A tooth doesn’t normally “degenerate” if there is good oral hygiene. If that tooth over erupts and causes functional interferences or other problems, then you will not have much choice than to extract it.

    • Vallovell says:

      Tongue pain associated with wisdom tooth?

      Hi I am having trouble at present with pain in the far back of my tongue right side painful when swallowing and pain in ear. Nothing visible can be found however my dentist took x rays of my teeth and found I Have an impacted wisdom tooth I am a 64 year old woman with almost all of my teeth in good condition no decay I keep good oral hygene but this painat back of my tongue is driving me mad could the wisdom tooth be causing this awful pain . Dentist has refered me to maxifacial sugeon but the pain is unbearable .

      • Dr Jules says:

        The first areas affected by pain or other symptoms associated with wisdom teeth is not the tongue. There can be many causes for tongue pain.
        I think that you will have a better answer after consulting the oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

  2. Jenade Cirani says:

    Second molar dilemma; extract or repair?
    Hi
    my wisdom tooth is partially grown and on the xray it is clashing with the 2nd molar. The dentist has advised me the wisdom tooth is ok and not infected but the 2nd molar has a break causing pain, and has advised a filling or removal of the 2nd molar. However i would like to retain the tooth.

    Is the cause of this infection due to the wisdom tooth clashing with the second molar causing a break and subsequent infection, and will a filling resolve this? or shall i simply removed the wisdom tooth and get the filling. The dentist is indecisive and thinks i should decide but i am not the professional and need advice please

    Thanks
    merci
    Jenade

    • Dr Jules says:

      If your dentist suggested the possibility of a filling for that second molar, it is probably possible to save that molar. I don’t think he would have suggested to repair a tooth that cannot be saved! Only your dentist can determine if the planned filling can resolve your problem but I would think so since he suggested it. You can also ask a for second opinion from another dentist… (bring your X-Ray).

      There can be various causes for your infection. It may originate from your damaged second molar that allowed bacteria to seep in and affect the surrounding tissues, it can come from a break in the soft tissues (gingiva) around the third molar allowing infection to occur, etc. The wisdom tooth can also damage the second molar if it is right against it. You’ll see examples of that above on this page.

      Make sure you get all the necessary information before making your decision but only a dentist doing a clinical exam and evaluating your radiograph can give you that information.

      One thing to consider which may not have been explained to you; if that second molar is extracted, it would probably be necessary to extract the third molar as well as it would not erupt properly. It may be possible to upright it orthodontically? Also, the opposing molar (upper jaw) may not have a contact with a lower tooth once the lower molars are extracted and they may be lost too… All these things must be taken into consideration…

  3. Miya says:

    Are third molars an abnormality?
    Hello! I just want to ask, I have braces for about 1 year and a half now and my ortho told me that she need to extract my 2 upper 3rd molar so that she can move my teeth backwards a little more. She extracted 2 second premolar last year but the gaps are already closed and I still have overbite. She told me that 3rd molars are considered ”abnormality”in dentistry because few people have them that’s why she want to pull them out. I don’t know if I should believe her or what. And the lower part also has overcrowding problem. She told me that I also need to get my 2 lower second premolar so that she can move my lower teeth but I’m afraid it will cause trauma to the soon to be extraction wound because I have powerchains. Will powerchains affect the wound? Thank you very much in advance!

    • Dr Jules says:

      Third molars are common, most people have them. What may be considered an “abnormality” or unusual are 3rd molars or wisdom teeth that have erupted normally and are functional. It is extremely rare for someone to have 32 (including the 3rd molars) erupted, well aligned and functional teeth. Most 3rd molars remain unerupted (impacted) or erupt only partially.

      There are many reasons to extract 3rd molars but to extract them, just because they are there is not one of them! There may be an orthodontic indication to extract upper wisdom teeth such as wanting to move back the other posterior teeth.

      The presence of power chains will not affect the extraction sites. Just make sure you maintain a good oral hygiene.

  4. michelle says:

    Hi I have a 15 year old boy who is just about to start braces due to over crowding in his bottom teeth.On x-raying him it is evident that he has all of his wisdom teeth. The orthodontist wants to remove all of his 2nd molars top and bottom to accommodate space for his wisdom teeth later. I am very unsure and am hoping you can advise. We live in a rural area were there is only 1 orthodontist
    Regards Michelle

    • Dr Jules says:

      First of all, if he is a certified orthodontist that should, in theory at least, indicate that he knows what he is doing!

      However, removing second molars at 15 years of age in order to accommodate the third molars (wisdom teeth) which have no guarantee of erupting adequately is certainly an unusual treatment plan. Dental crowding usually happens in the anterior portion of the dental arches and when extractions are done to relieve crowding we usually try to choose teeth that are closer to the crowded area rather that at the back of the arches away from the crowding. That’s why the most commonly extracted teeth in orthodontics are premolars. But there can be exceptions as you can see by the examples on this page (sorry this section is not translated yet).

      In conclusion, there may be indications to remove second molars but the one you are describing is certainly an usual one. Make sure you understand exactly what the treatment plan and goals are because I have never heard of such a reason to extract all 4 second molars…

  5. may says:

    Hi, I have read this article..it is really useful and nice. I am 26 years old.. and till now I don’t have any wisdom teeth yet..can it cause any problem or.. if it is appear after 26 years old..would it b a problem..hope I can read some articles about that..

    • Dr Jules says:

      You should have a panoramic radiograph taken by your dentist to confirm that you have third molars (wisdom teeth) or not. Your wisdom teeth may be present but not erupted (impacted). If they stay impacted without symptoms, you may be able to keep them as long as you have them evaluated regularly with radiographs. Wisdom teeth can erupt at any age and they may cause problems or not. They are very unpredictable.

  6. Ani says:

    Hi,
    I recently had a panoramic xray of my teeth and both lower wisdom teeth are aligned with my other teeth which means they are the same height. Does that mean my wisdom teeth will stop to grow? If not, how do you know when they will stop to grow? My dentist suggested to remove them because they both lean against the mandibula: there won’t be enough space if they continue to grow.

    My dentist also mentionned the high risk of chronic infection because one is semi-impacted without gingiva covering it and the other is impacted. But I don’t have any symptoms, I take good care of my teeth and I would like to keep the third molars. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Dr Jules says:

      The verticla levelof the wisdom teeht is one aspect to consider in determining when their eruption is completed. If there is no opposign contact preventing these teeth for further eruption, they may continue to erupt past the level of the adjacent teeth.

      Semi-impacted teeth do indeed represent a higher risk of infection so we usually recommend to extract these teeth. Unless third molars (wisdom teeth) are fully erupted and have enough space, most practitionners will recommend to extract them to prevent problems (infection, resoprtion of the tooth adjacent to it, etc.).

      NOt having any symptoms doesn’t mean that a tooth is not problematic or that it may not cause future problems.

  7. Rafi says:

    This is so informative! Thank you so much!

  8. rajan says:

    hey.. i m 15 year old and having all 32 teeth. i think it came too soon,
    I want to know the lowest age of having 32 teeth. pls tell me.

    • Dr Jules says:

      There is no right or wrong time to have the wisdom teeth erupt but 15 years old is indeed unusual and early to have all 32 permanent teeth in!
      I don’t know what the record is (lowest age)!

      • All wisdom in at 15 says:

        I have a 15 year old daughter with all wisdom teeth in and cutting gum. Removing today.. Is this common? I never had the seeds and never had wisdom teeth.. Father of child had all..

        • Dr Jules says:

          Wisdom teeth are unpredictable and anything can happen. That’s genetics!
          SOme poeple have no wisdom teeth and other have extra ones….

  9. Michael says:

    Hello Dr. Jules,

    I had braces put on my teeth 3 months ago. My lower third molars are impacted. My orthodontist informs me that he may have to remove both the third and second molars. I do not want to do that. I have two questions.

    1. Can we alter braces treatment so that he does not have to remove the teeth?
    2. If he must remove the 2nd molars, is it necessary that I get implants? I cannot afford them.

    thank you,

    Michael

    • Dr Jules says:

      The indications to remove third molars and second molars are very different. It is even more unusual to have to remove both second and third molars. What is even more unusual, not to say illogical, is to remove all these molars to have teeth later replaced by dental implants!!! If second and third molars are removed in one dental arch (upper or lower), there are usually indications to remove the same teeth in the opposing arch. That would make a total of 8 molars… !!!

      I can’t comment specifically on your case as I don’t have enough information but unless you orthodontist can’t explain to your satisfaction the reasons for choosing this treatment plan, don not hesitate to get a second opinion.

  10. AHsan says:

    Keeping a decayed third molar?
    Hi. It is very useful article. Really appreciate your great work which is quite clear for a common man.

    My situation is worse. I have 3rd Molar on right side which erupted normally. It soon decayed. When I went to my dentist, he said that since its decayed, better leave it because it cant be extracted.

    I have severe pain this tooth since past three days (probably infection).

    My question is,
    Should i remove the remains of teeth?
    What risks are involved in removing decayed molar tooth?

    • Dr Jules says:

      I don’t understand how a qualified dentist could recommend to leave an hopelessly decayed tooth in the mouth instead of removing it! Any tooth can be extracted, even if some extractions are more difficult than others. In your case, it shouldn’t be that difficult, as compared to an unerupted impacted tooth, since the molar has erupted already.

      A decaying tooth is infected and can become a source of infection for your whole body. Such a tooth should be repaired if possible or if it is too damaged, it should be extracted.
      If your dentist insists on keeping it, get a second opinion. Furthermore, you have pain so this can only worsen and will not go away by keeping this third molar or with prayers!

  11. Vikki says:

    Decaying wisdom teeth following the removal of second molars.
    I am 37 years old and have all 4 wisdom teeth all partially erupted. I had problems with the two 2nd upper molars, constantly being filled and having pain. The dentist suggested removing the 2nd molars as the wisdom teeth would come through properly and replace them. I always had problems getting a tooth brush that far back in my mouth without gagging. The removal was completed approximately 2 months or so ago with no problems at all. However I have now noticed that the wisdom teeth have moved down but not forward (or at least not much) and I still cant get a tooth brush to the backs of them and they are decaying.

    My question is would the dentist remove them or fill them? I am worried that if they are removed I will have to have dentures for chewing?

    • Dr Jules says:

      IT may take a while (many months, a year?) for the wisdom teeth to come down and forward to replace the extracted second molars. Furthermore, for this to happen correctly, the position of the wisdom teeth must be ideal to allow them to upright properly as they come down and forward. Most upper third molars start off with angulated backwards adn will self-upright forward as they come down.

      It would probably be preferable for your dentist to repair (filling) the decaying molars because if you loose these also, there will probably be a mismatch with the number of teeth in both dental arches adn you may end up with unopposed lower molars which may later over erupt.
      Ask your dentist to show you how you could better access these molars to better clean them and avoid problems. Using an ultronic tooth brush such as a Sonicare mais help.

    • Ahsan Younas says:

      To reach farthest teeth, we have issue. I started using brush with small head made for kids. It reached my 3rd Molar easily.

      You can try that.

  12. Gama says:

    Using anterior space to help crowded wisdom teeth
    I have all my wisdom teeth in place. The top third molars are fully out and the bottom third molars are still coming out. I don’t want to have them removed. So I was wondering if it is possible for me to get brackets put on them when I get braces. Because I have a lot of spacing in my front teeth so there should be enough space for them to grow out and be used.

    • Dr Jules says:

      It “may” be possible but not worth it. The anterior space cannot necessarily be used to releive crowding at the back of the dental arch where the wisdom teeth are located. Consult a certified orthodontist to find out if this approach is realistic or not.

  13. Norielle says:

    Dear Dr. Jules,

    Good day!

    One of my upper second molar is giving me mild to moderate pain. I consulted a dentist to remove it but he declined and asked for an x-ray first. The x-ray showed that the tooth has a decay on the enamel part going to dentin but it did not reach the pulp yet. He recommended root canal. I asked for a second opinion and the second lady dentist said that she will remove the decay first (open the tooth) to see what could be done. After cleaning the tooth from decay, she said that the cavity almost reached the pulp. She also suggested root canal. It’s quite expense in our area and she said that I can have it extracted instead.

    I asked her if it’s possible to extract that second molar tooth and have braces so my partially erupted third molar will have enough space. Is this possible? I have very mild crowding of teeth in front (up to canines).

    My concern is that I prefer to have my third molar to have enough space since it’s healthy and remove the decayed 2nd molar tooth (though it can still be saved via root canal) rather than have root canal for my second molar but won’t have enough space for my third molar.

    Please help.

    Thank you.

    PS: currently, the second molar in question has a temporary filling. The dentist is waiting for my decision whether to extract it and have braces or just have root canal treatment for one tooth. Thank you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      What you described is, in theory, possible but it remains to be seen if it would be possible or indicated in your case. This would mainly depend on the quality and position of your wisdom tooth.

      You can see a few examples where a damaged (first) molar was extracted and the (second) molar behind it was used and the wisdom tooth or third molar was “recuperated” by following this link (page not translated yet) and in the photos below where an upper right first molar was extracted. The examples are for first molars but the same principles can be applied to a second molar.

      L'expansion permet de corriger une arcade dentaire trop étroite

      You may want to consult an orthodontist to see if what you are suggesting is possible. You may then avoid costly restaurations on your second molar and replace it with a sound tooth.

  14. nkradha says:

    Bonjour Dr Jules,

    I’m 33 yrs old male & I just have 31 teeth, third molar in right lower jaw still did not erupt, would this still be OK? can you comment if there is any maximum age for one to wait to get 3rd molar?

    Your reply would be much appreciated!

    Merci!

    • Dr Jules says:

      If your teeth are healthy and functional, that should be OK.

      Wisdom teeth are full of surprises. Even if most of them don’t erupt, they can decide to do so at any age. This page is an incomplete translation (so far) of its French sister which contains more information about third molars (wisdom teeth). In it, there are testimonials about poeple claiming to have their wisdom teeth erupt in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond! So, although it is more unlikely that a wisdom tooth would “decide” so erupt so late, it is not impossible. There is therefore no age limit for third molar eruption although most of them will erupt (if they erupt at all) before the mid 20s.

      I like to compare the behavior of wisdom teeth to that of a “Jack in the box”; you never know when, how and in which direction they will erupt!

      If you are in doubt about the status or health of your wisdom teeth, just ask your general dentist to take a panoramic radiograph.

      Come back and visit this page, we’ll complete the translation and add information about wisdom teeth as soon as possible.

  15. dmitry says:

    Hi Dr. Jules,

    Good day!

    I have a 3rd molar which is located at upper right portion. I’m 37 years old, and that molar is fully and properly erupted.

    I do normal visits to my dentist, cleaning the most part. But pain and swelling is always comes and go away.

    And here again from the last two weeks, I feel pain whenever I open my mouth which comes from the back of that 3rd molar.
    And when I touch it, the surrounding gum is indeed pain and it swell a little bit. As the weeks go by, no more pain and swelling.

    But right now, I can hear a ringing sound at my right ear that doesn’t go a way.

    Was the 3rd molar is candidate for extraction?

    thank you and warm regards,

    Dmitry

    • Dr Jules says:

      Your third molar may have an infection that is cyclic in nature; it comes and goes over time. Such a tooth may be a candidate for extraction but consult a dentist who will be able to evaluate your dental condition globally and make the appropriate recommendations concerning that third molar.

  16. dmitry says:

    Merci Dr. Jules!!

    +1 vote for you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Glad to have been helpful!

      Don’t neglect this condition before it degenerates too much and causes further problems…

  17. PA says:

    I removed a bottom wisdom tooth because it had decayed then the dentist recommended that the upper tooth should also be removed though its not giving me problems at the moment because it will eventually grow downwards.

    Is it really necessary

    • Dr Jules says:

      There probably isn’t any “emergency” in having the opposing wisdom tooth extracted but your dentist is right, eventually the opposing tooth may start to erupt downwards and cause problems as is illustrated in the following diagrams.

      Diagramme des forces occlusales d'occlusion.

      You can see clinical examples of this situation by following this link (page not translated yet).

  18. Reena says:

    Do wisdom teeth make my other teeth shift and move?
    Hello,
    I keep telling my husband that my teeth have shifted due to my wisdom teeth coming in. He doesn’t believe me. Is it in fact true teeth do shift when wisdom teeth come in? I try to explain that my teeth have “ached” during the eruption, but now that they have fully come out they don’t hurt, they just bother me as food always gets stuck between my regular teeth and wisdom teeth. Also, will my teeth shift back after getting teeth removed or just stay the same.
    Thank you in advance for any advice!

    • Dr Jules says:

      You may not like my answer but I think that your husband is right! Wisdom teeth have no or very little influence on the teeth in front of them. However, as described above in this same page, this doesn’t mean that there are not many other indications to have the third molars (wisdom teeth) removed, even if they are symptom free.

      It is very unlikely that your teeth will “shift back” or move towards the rear of the dental arch and close the space between the second and third molars where food gets trapped.

  19. Paige says:

    I had both my 1st molars taken out due to decay. My third have began to grow on both sides. I am feeling pressure on my jaw line and temple, and it is very uncomfortable to the point I feel nauseous! Is it normal for third molars to cause this kind of pressure, as I am hoping it is them at least I can have them removed.

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is very unlikely that these symptoms are caused by your third molars.
      Consult a dentist so that he/she can do a clinical evaluation and rule out this possibility and tries to find out the cause of your problem. It may be totally unrelated to your dentition.

  20. Nura says:

    Recurring jaw pain after wisdom teeth eruption
    Hi,
    A few weeks back my top left wisdom tooth erupted, unlike the other ones this tooth caused great pain, to the point where opening my jaw all the way was met with great difficulty. Assuming that it was an infection I went to my dentist who stated that while the tooth was not infected and had come in straight it had erupted a full 180 degrees the wrong way, the resulting “bruising” of both sets of wisdom teeth were the cause of the pain my dentist shaved the top left wisdom tooth and after a week or so the pain was gone and my jaw was fine. Flash forward to two days ago and a familiar pain in my jaw had been bothering me, and now I cant seem to open it fully without a gradually increasing pain, I have no idea what could be the problem now please help?

    Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      It would be difficult to diagnose your problem based solely or your description.
      It is possible that you bite your cheek by having it “squeezed” between your wisdom tooth and an opposing teeth when you bite down… but you probably would have realized that yourself by now. There may be a recurrent infection limiting your jaw opening.
      Consult your general dentist so that he does a clinical exam and evaluates the whole situation.

  21. Val says:

    Can an horizontally impacted wisdom tooth self upright?
    My lower wisdom teeth are impacted (completely horizontal under the gums, perpendicular to the molars). As far as I know, they haven’t caused any particular problems yet. However, many dentists have told me that I should have them removed at some point.

    One dentist recently suggested that I could have the last molar removed instead (because it is heavily filled, already has a dead root, and would otherwise need to have a root canal and crown). She said the wisdom tooth may come up into the place of the molar. But when I went for a second opinion, the second dentist told me that a wisdom tooth which is completely horizontal is simply never going to grow upright. Do you think this is correct?
    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Dr Jules says:

      I would agree with the second dentist. It is practically impossible that a severely horizontally impacted third molar self uprights, moves forward into the extraction space left by the second molar in front of it and becomes well positioned and functional. If you don’t have that wisdom teeth removed, make sure that a dentist takes regular radiographs to verify that it doesn’t cause any problems (resorption, bone loss, infection, cystic lesions, etc.).

      If you consider removing (extract) the heavily damaged/restored second molar, it may be possible (in certain cases) to position the third molar with orthodontic corrections. Discuss this option with your dentist and/or an orthodontist.

      • Val says:

        Hi again,

        Thank you for your input on my situation! It’s very helpful.

        I went back to the second dentist, and his recommendation is for me to have the wisdom tooth removed first. It is horizontally impacted and has one small corner above the gum (I had thought it was completely below, but it isn’t.) After removing the wisdom tooth, I need to have a root canal and crown on the second molar, which appears to have a dead root.

        Apparently it isn’t a good idea to do it the other way around, because if the 2nd molar has already been crowned and then the wisdom tooth starts to cause problems, it’s more problematic to take the 3rd molar out without damaging the 2nd molar even further. Would you agree with this?

        I do feel quite stressed and worried about extracting a tooth that hasn’t actually caused any problems before, especially since I’m 39 and therefore an “older” patient for wisdom tooth removal. I’m also very concerned about nerve damage, but the oral surgeon who looked at my x-ray said I am not high risk. To me the x-ray looks as though the ends of the sideways roots of the tooth are sitting right on top of the nerve, but maybe that can be misleading…?

        So far I have had one dental infection in the area, but it did not seem to involve the wisdom tooth; the pain felt as though it was mostly between the 1st and 2nd molars, and it also caused swelling under the jaw. It cleared up with antibiotics. The 2nd molar currently sometimes causes me pain when I bite down on it, and is also very sensitive to cold.

        Apparently if I were to choose to leave the wisdom tooth alone for now and just do the root canal/crown on the 2nd molar, the risk would be that if there is any further infection or decay below the gum line, I might end up eventually having to get both teeth extracted. Do you think there is a good possibility of this occurring?

        Many thanks again for your assistance, which is very much appreciated!!

        • Dr Jules says:

          I can’t evaluate the chances of these complications occurring only from your written narration of your case and I don’t think that anyone can do it precisely either, even after a clinical and radiographic examination. There are risks involved in removing the wisdom teeth and in leaving it in. It is not because you didn’t have any problems so far that you cannot have complications later. The decision to extract or not should be made after weighing the pros and cons of each option and it seems that your dentist and the oral surgeon have explained correctly the situation. If the surgeon considers that your case is not “high risk” you shouldn’t be too stressed about possible complications with the extraction. Don not hesitate to ask your dentist and surgeon additional questions so that you can make a well informed decision.

  22. James g says:

    I’m a 18 year old man and my wisdom teeth have come out part of the way I puked up a strange pink fluid with red line shaped things and the rest of my teeth on my bottom jaw seem to be looser than normal also when I shut my mouth my teeth feel off and when I open my mouth all the way two hard bumps appear in front of my ears one on each side of my head please help Idk what to do

    Also when I smile it almost looks off I’m having a hard time concentrating also if you want pictures I can do that. I’m just quite freaked out and been having trouble sleeping and eating and normally I eat a lot. I’m making a dentist appointment within the next few days but I would still like your opinion.

    • Dr Jules says:

      You seem to be describing a semi-impacted wisdom tooth (a tooth that is partially erupted). As described in this section, this has the potential to become infected as it offers a portal of entry for bacteria. I can’t recommend treatment based only on your description by by consulting your general dentist, you should have an answer to all your questions.

  23. rahul says:

    I am 26 year old and I have 28 sets of teeth BT still don’t have wisdom teeth …..does it has any problem if I don’t have wisdom teeth….

    • Dr Jules says:

      You wisdom teeth may not be in your mouth but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any. You would need to have a panoramic radiograph taken to confirm the presence or absence of third molars (wisdom teeth). If you really don’t have any, that is not a problem but if you have them and they are not erupted, they will need to be evaluated and either extracted or monitored regularly (every couple of years) with a radiograph.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Your wisdom teeth may not be in your mouth but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any!
      You would need to have a panoramic radiograph taken to confirm the presence or absence of third molars (wisdom teeth). If you really don’t have any, that is not a problem but if you have them and they are not erupted, they will need to be evaluated and either extracted or monitored regularly (every couple of years) with a radiograph.

  24. Kitty says:

    Hi,

    I have braces for almost 10 months now. And months ago, my 1st molar on the right (lower teeth) was taken out by my Ortho due to cavities. Now my dentist says it is very impossible to move 2nd and wisdom tooth forward? I feel like really really sad, I still have to discuss this to him. Is it justifiable to demand to have my molars move forward? I am not sure if what dentists do/think/know, but I am willing to pay the costs. It’s just sad he did not inform me at first. He’s braces cost, $600 for the whole 1 year term and is 50% cheaper than all of the dental clinics in our area.

    Thank you

    • Dr Jules says:

      It may not be “impossible” to move teeth to close a space the width of a molar but it may be difficult and unpredictable. You cans see examples in this section about miniscrews used for orthodontic anchorage.
      However, if he charged you 600$ for one year of orthodontic treatment, I don’t think that it is realistic that such a space be closed for a similar fee.

  25. Roberto says:

    I have a question my dentist wants me to pull four teeth out of my mouth my wisdom and the second molar

  26. Ralphie says:

    Pathology developing around my third molars
    Dear doctor, up until this autumn (I am 31 y.o.) I had perfectly healthy fully erupted and straight third molars. I even actually used them in chewing process as I had no problems whatsoever. However, this summer I had an inflamation of the gum around one of my lower third molars. When I told this to my dentist, he asked me to do a panoramic xray (I’ve never done that). Afterward, he has noticed that there is a small “aura”, a sickle shaped shade next to both of my lower 3rd molars, but on the jawbone. He told me that my third molars are perfectly developed, however the body is trying to get rid of them as they are quite big. He told me that the aura like shade was the bone (lower jawbone) being damaged by “dissolving”. Well basically he told me that my body began damaging the bone itself to get rid of those teeth. I agreed on removal of all four wisdom teeth as the doctor recommended to do that before I face any consequences (and eventually most of the people get problems with wisdom teeth). I don’t really care much about those teeth, I’m perfectly fine with 28 teeth, but do you think it was a right call to remove them?

    • Dr Jules says:

      From your description of events, yes it seems like your dentist made a good call in recommending to have these wisdom teeth removed. The dark area developing around the tooth was a pathology (cyst?) and there was no advantage in keeping these teeth, especially since you hopefully have many more decades to live with your dentition. The long term chances of problems associated with these teeth were probably much higher than the chances of not having any problems over the next 50 years. Your wisdom teeth were probably non functional to start with anyways!

  27. debbie says:

    my lower left 2nd molar was pulled out a few months ago and behold! my wisdom tooth is coming in. It seems to be taking forever. How long does it usually take. p.s. I am 57 years old.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Wisdom teeth are very unpredictable. I have not seen a radiograph of your teeth but chances are that your wisdom teeth will never come in completely and will more likely tip forward and stay semi-impacted (partially covered by gum tissue). Follow this up with your dentist.

  28. Abinash says:

    Hi
    I am 26 and I have just started my ortho and my dentist says I have to extract my 2nd molar each side that is 4 teeth due to overcrowding and my protruded teeth as well as open lips.
    she suggested that surgery is needed for perfect smile. since it is very expensive I can’t do that so if I extract those teeth my jaw resting will improve and produced teeth will improve to certain extend also lips will close more making my gums strong and she also plan to use certain screw to pull my teeth backward
    Is it ok to have 2nd molar extracted I m bit worried seems scary

    • Dr Jules says:

      If you are dealing with a certified orthodontist, she must know what she is doing and has a reason to extract those second molars. If that reason is not clear to you, do not hesitate to ask her son that you really understand what the treatment plan is and that you can make an informed decision about your treatment.

      • Melissa Nelson says:

        Hi doctor Jules I’m 26 and so far only have half a wisdom tooth it has been coming up and going down for about a year and a half. Do wisdom teeth usually take that long to come through?

        • Dr Jules says:

          You are describing a semi-impacted tooth. Such a tooth may stop erupting completely because of lack of space or a malposition. A simple panoramic radiograph will confirm if that tooht has further eruption potential or if it should be extracted.

  29. Angel says:

    Thank you in advanxe for your time!

    I have my two upper wisdom teeth for almost 4 years now (I am 35). I have sensitive teeth so they had early decay and we decided to fill them since they cause no trouble. Ocassionally, once a year I feel some pain, some trouble opening my jaw, it lasts for a few days and goes. On my last check up appointment a year ago dentist said all is well. The past week I feel an intense pressure on both upper wisdom teeth. The teeth themselves don’t ache (no problem opening jaw, eating, drinking cold, brushing) but I do feel like they are growing more (can’ t find another way to describe it) and have detected that upper part of gum is sore, on both cases. I do feel the same way on lower wisdom teeth which have not come through at all. It is an itchy feeling, feeling better with massage, that makes my ear ache a bit (mostly annoying than painful, making concenteation harder).
    I am under a bit of stress lately and I caught myself pressing my jaw and gridding teeth while I sleep. I also work out intensely and a dentist friend said it might have affected my wisdom teeth behavior. Can that be true? Does the luck of teeth ache, per se, explain it?

    Thank you and I hope I make sense! (Trying to avoid dentist cause the stress is making a dentist visit scarier…I know…I know) 🙂

    • Dr Jules says:

      I don’t think that working out, even intensely, can cause symptoms directly to your wisdom teeth.

      Even if your wisdom teeth were OK a year ago, it doesn’t mean that something is not happening to them now. To find out what is really going on, visit your dentist and have him evaluate this condition. A panoramic radiograph might be useful to diagnose the exact position of these teeth and the condition of its surroundings (bone, adjacent teeth).

  30. angela sharif says:

    Hi, I’m a 53 yr old female and have always had trouble wth my teeth. My dentist says i have an ‘inferior dentine’. My front four teeth are capped (abcess on all). So i worry when my caps eventually deteriorate, (20yrs old and still good) will my ‘stumps’ be strong enough to take another capping?.
    I also have 4 impacted (3 wisdom and 1 molar) which haven’t (fingers crossed),so far shown any sign of moving.
    What are the chances of them erupting?
    Thank for your time.

    • Dr Jules says:

      The only way to find out if your teeth and the supporting tissues (bone and gingiva) are adequate to support new dental restaurations (capping, crown, etc.) is to ask a dentist to evaluate your dentition and periodontium (bone and gingiva) globally. He will certainly prescribe some radiographs and may need to remove the “caps” you presently have to better evaluate what is underneath.

      Concerning your wisdom teeth, chances are that if they have never erupted by now, they never will. A panoramic radiograph will rapidly reveal their position and if it is possible that they ever erupt.

  31. Tyler says:

    Hello, I have a question. I am a 18 year old male and a couple weeks ago I noticed that my jaw would not open fully to eat a sub, after forcing my mouth open my jaw sort of popped but very slightly and there was no pain only discomfort. Now everyday this is a struggle for me, I would like to know if my wisdom teeth have anything to do with this. Do these teeth affect the jaw and surrounding muscles? Tyler

    • Dr Jules says:

      You are describing an internal derangement of your temporo-mandibular joint (jaw joint). The popping sound occurs when a displaced disk repositions itself over the mandibular condyle during function (opening). This has nothing to do with the wisdom teeth. You should consult a dentist familiar with the treatment of temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.

  32. Brandon says:

    Will removing wisdom teeth help anterior crowding?
    Hello!
    I just has all four of my wisdom teeth extracted. I had little to no room in my mouth for them to emerge so they were taken from beneath the gum line. Since I ha little space both of my eye teeth have not fully come down looking slightly crooked & was wondering if they may come down more after having my wisdom teeth removed?

    Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      Removing teeth so far back in the dental arch will not do anything to help releive the crowding in the anterior area where the cuspids are located.

  33. Keri says:

    Hi, I have a rather odd situation, I have read through the other comments but was unable to find any even similar to my situation. Unfortunately, I am one of those “if it can happen to anyone, it will happen to me” type people lol. I am a 38yr old female, that has never had wisdom teeth. I don’t mean, never erupted, I mean they were never there, period. My dentist took x-rays approximately 2-3 years ago, and told me that they are not present. Tonight I kept feeling a small hard bump on my gums(rear, upper left). When I went to check in the mirror, there is a small tip of a tooth coming in. There has been absolutely no pain, or indication that I had a tooth coming in, so it was a bit of a shock. How is this possible if they were never below the gums to begin with? I will be contacting my dentist in the morning, however I am a little bewildered atm and was hoping you could enlighten me.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If what is coming through your gum is really a tooth, the only explanation is that is was underneath the gum before and not identified. If the radiograph that was taken was not a high quality digital radiograph, it is possible that a small tooth might have been missed on a lower quality “film” radiograph which doesn’t have the same clarity, and resolution. Another possibility is that the mysterious new tooth might have been hidden behind a second molar and was “invisible” on the X-Ray. Once you know that the tooth is there, going back to your dentist and having him look again at that X-Ray may make him see it now!

  34. Kepi s says:

    Can wisdom teeth keep growing in adults?
    I’m a 28 year old, I had my top wisdom teeth pulled 2 Years ago because they were partially above the gum line and causing me issues, my dentist at the time checked the bottom ones and said they were fully grown in and unlikely to cause any problems in the future, but if they ever did we could pull them too….
    Is it possible for the bottom ones to continue to move/grow/etc.? I’m just noticing some slight twinges off and on in my lower jaw and wondering if it’s from those unpulled teeth or from other possible factors.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Anything is possible with wisdom teeth! They can come in at any age or never make it! Visit your dentist to find out what is happening with your wisdom teeth. A panoramic radiograph will rapidly confirm the status of these teeth.

  35. Angelica says:

    Is it normal that my wisdom tooth erupts without pain?
    Good day!

    Hi, my name is Angelica and i am 17 years old. Today, i noticed that my wisdom tooth is coming out… but there was no pain at all.. is this normal… i am also really scared of medical tools…. especially the dentists’… is there really no way to identify if my tooth is aligned by my own.. ? And if there is really no way, are there any options to remove a wisdom tooth painlessly and without using any of those dental tools??

    • Dr Jules says:

      Not all wisdom teeth cause pain and problems when they erupt. If they have enough space in the dental arches, but this doesn’t happen often, they may just erupt like any other tooth. The best way to verify the alignment of your erupting wisdom teeth is to ask you general dentist or an orthodontist to take a panoramic radiograph ans, obviously, you couldn’t do that on your own! If it is indicated to have a wisdom tooth removed, unfortunately, and despite the latest technological advancements, dentists still need certain tools to remove them. Modern anesthesia however, should make this intervention ± painless…

  36. dana says:

    I am supposed to have my four wisdom teeth extracted tomorrow. This was the recommendation of my orthodontist; however, I am having serious reservations if it is necessary. I don’t have any pain and they are not impacted. Is this usually required for orthodontic treatment?

    • Dr Jules says:

      We rarely “have to” extract wisdom teeth for orthodontic treatment purposes but there may be some exceptions and it would be too long to describe in a short answer. We sometimes extract upper wisdom teeth when the other molars in front have to be moved back (this is just one of many possible indications). Lower wisdom teeth may need to be extracted (uppers too occasionally) if they interfere with the eruption of the second molars (in a developing dentition in adolescents). Your orthodontist may have recommended to extract your third molars (wisdom teeth) as a general recommendation to avoid future problems and not for the purpose of the planned orthodontic treatment. It is very rare to recommend the extraction of all 4 wisdom teeth as part of an orthodontic treatment.

      Double check with him or her what is the real indication and purpose of having these molars removed.

  37. Tali says:

    Will my general dentist be able to remove a broken impacted root?
    Hi, my old dentis had an attempt to remove my lower right wisdom teeth due to a small cavity two years ago aprox….but he couldn’t and left it loose and also broke my second molar during the process…now I have my wisdom broken to the gum line and a huge hole in my gum for the second molar. The reason of this dentist to leave the wisdom loose instead of removing it was that he figured that one root has like a hook to my jaw…so my question is, I have decided to get them both out due to continuos infections…but, can the extractions be done during infection? And can a family dentist un-hook the root to get the extraction done?
    Thank you
    Ps. That dentist is not a dentist anymore, he decided to persue a different carrier.

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is not surprising that you had recurrent infections with a condition like that!!!
      Maybe that other dentist will be better at another career…

      When necessary, dentists do have to intervene and do surgery in the presence of infection. If the infection doesn’ t go away, you will not have a choice anyway!

      You general dentist may be able to remove the hooked impacted root but that will be for him/her to decide. If he/she doesn’t want to do the procedure you will probably be referred to an oral surgeon. Check with your dentist first.

  38. Yari says:

    What will happen if my upper first molar is extracted during orthodontic treatment? Can ortho treatment move my upper 2nd molar to close the gap?

  39. kanaga says:

    I have my both upper third molars grown.my lower ones are yet to erupt. I am now 21. In The midst my left side unerupted third molar got infected and I got treated. should I remove it or wait for them to erupt. if not removed will it cause any prob in future?

    • Dr Jules says:

      A panoramic radiograph will reveal if this tooth has any chance to erupt at all. If your third molar was infected, there are good chances that this will happen again eventually, even if it takes a long time. It usually recommended to extract a wisdom tooth (third molar) that is half erupted (semi-impacted) because of the potential for infection, damage to other teeth, pathologies developing around it, etc. that it may represent.
      Ask your dentist what he/she thinks about that third molar.

  40. Annika says:

    My dentist suggests a partial-odontectomy because extracting my wisdom tooth is tricky
    Hi Dr Jules!
    I have horizontally impacted wisdom tooth on my lower right jaw, but it is well-attached to my nerves. Although my wisdom tooth doesn’t cause any pain, but it actually keep pushing my other teeth away, which is annoying. My Dentist told me that extracting my wisdom tooth is tricky and that possible consequences could occur if I will prefer to extract my wisdom tooth, and I do not want any nerve damage and severe bone fracture. And so, she discussed to me a possible option in order to save my teeth and avoid any complicated surgery, and it is to undergo a partial-odontectomy. My concern is whether partial-odontectomy is safe and advisable to my case. Please help.

    Thank you!

    • Dr Jules says:

      First, look at the previous answers and the content of this page, it is a myth that wisdom teeth push on your other teeth (to the point of displacing them). It may be indeed difficult to extract an impacted third molar (wisdom tooth) but I have never heard of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who will prefer to do a partial odontectomy instead of extracting the whole tooth. There are alos risks associated with this procedure.

      There is more information on the French version of this page (it is not completely translated in English yet) where you can find an example of a complex extraction done fore lower wisdom teeth (and illustration below).

      Évolution de la position des dents de sagesse inférieures pendant une période de 6 ans. Dès qu'il est évident que les dents ne sortiront pas convenablement, il serait préférable de les extraire pour éviter que l'intervention (extraction) soit plus complexe plus tard (pour le patient et le chirurgien).

      Why don’t you get a second opinion from a certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon?

  41. Ankit Jain says:

    Hello.
    I have terrible pain (increasing) in my right neck going up to my ear and down till my shoulder and palm too..there is alot of burning sensation in my jaw/tooth. I had my first molar removed 4 odd years ago (space left open). My current dentist says it was removed perfectly and there is nothing that could cause this pain. But on taking a jaw xray he said that the wisdom tooth is not out and is trying to come out. Also there is movement of other teeth due to open space left of the first molar. But he says wisdom tooth cannot lead to such pain and hence is not suggesting extraction of the same.
    please help me as this is making my body horrible I cant work due to this.
    Thank you

    • Dr Jules says:

      I don’t really know how I could help you except by suggesting that you get another opinion, perhaps from an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who is more used to dealing with severe problems associated with wisdom teeth. The source of pain can have various origins which may be difficult to identify. Is is very unlikely that an impacted wisdom tooth could cause pain in your arm and hand… but this needs to be investigated further.

    • Jimmy-James Mugala says:

      I had a similar experience a few weeks ago. I had pain in my neck down to the shoulder. I was given pain killars at the clinic but never related this to the molar tooth that had the gum trimmed a few months ago. Your post has stimulated my thinking also bearing in mind that this happened on the same side. Need to see the dentist for some checks tomorrow.

  42. Cindy says:

    The effect of my wisdom teeth on the other teeth in the mouth
    Dr. Jules, I am impressed by your willingness to reply to all these questions!

    I just got my braces off about a month ago 🙂 At the beginning of my orthodontic treatment, I had to get all four of my bicuspids removed due to extreme crowding. Now my orthodontist recommends that I get my wisdom teeth extracted as soon as possible because she said they can mess up my bite (I had problems with my bite prior to the orthodontic treatment). The two right ones are already out, and the two left ones are still erupting, but they don’t seem to have enough room to come out all the way anyway. While I do agree that this is probably the best course of action, I was wondering: if I do remove all four wisdom teeth, is it possible that the rest of my teeth will tend to move backward and get spaced out eventually? That would really be too bad since I spent the last two years with braces!!

    • Dr Jules says:

      There are numerous reasons to extract wisdom teeth (third molars) impacted or not but to prevent crowding of the teeth is not a valid reason to do it and many studies have shown that. This is explained above in this same page. So wisdom teeth will not “mess up” your bite but they may still need to be extracted. However, don’t count on that to allow the other teeth in front to move toward the back of the dental arch in that extraction space because this is not a natural tendency for teeth that are naturally inclined forward (look at any panoramic radiograph to see the inclination of the teeth an d roots).

      Also, your lower anterior teeth may still crowd up (dental crowding) with time even if your wisdom teeth have been removed. This is normal aging of the dentition/occlusion 🙁
      To learn more about orthodontic retention and the stability of the dentition.

  43. Manan says:

    Hi Doctor,

    I am 34 year old and was getting pain in my lower Jaw. On Xray it showed a fully bony horizontal impacted tooth which is close to roots of 2nd molar. The dentist advised surgery to remove the wisdom tooth and referred to maxillofacial surgeon. The surgeon did another xray and showed the wisdom tooth has grown along the IAN Canal/main nerve and hence advised not to take the wisdom tooth out as it involved lot of cutting of bone and possible impact to the nerve.

    He said the pain would go away in 3-4 days and reoccur after 4-6 months for 3-4 days. It had been 5-6 days and there us still pain which happens off and on. What are the treatment options in this case- I am afraid of the nerve damage in case of extraction as it may be permanent as the tooth is along IAN. Would extracting 2nd molar an option as the pain is due to the impact… I am looking for treatment options where the risk of nerve damage is lowest and the pain goes away….. The pain subsides if i take painkillers however i am not sure how long this pain can be supressed by pain killers …would really appreciate your advise on treatment options

    • Dr Jules says:

      Even if there are risks in removing an impacted tooth, if you have severe symptoms, this should dictate the course of action. You don’t have much of a choice, if the symptoms are caused by the impacted tooth, unless this tooth is taken care of, the symptoms will probably persist or worsen with time. I don’t know how someone can predict that symptoms will go away and suddenly reappear in 6 months for a specific number for days. I doubt that removing the second molar would eliminate your pain if it comes from the third molar (wisdom tooth).

      I am not an oral surgeon an don’t know anything about your case except what you wrote in your description but maybe you should get a second opinion from another certified oral surgeon about the possibility and risks involved in removing your problematic tooth.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Even if there are risks in removing an impacted tooth, if you have severe symptoms, this should dictate the course of action. You don’t have much of a choice, if the symptoms are caused by the impacted tooth, unless this tooth is taken care of, the symptoms will probably persist or worsen with time. I don’t know how someone can predict that symptoms will go away and suddenly reappear in 6 months for a specific number for days! I doubt that removing the second molar would eliminate your pain if it comes from the third molar (wisdom tooth).

      I am not an oral surgeon and don’t know anything about your case except what you wrote in your description but maybe you should get a second opinion from another certified oral surgeon about the possibility and risks involved in removing your problematic tooth.

  44. Manan says:

    Thanks Doctor well the surgeon said that the pain is because of wisdom tooth impacting roots of second molar so i thought maybe removing the second molar will remove the obstruction for wisdom tooth and will save the nerve also

    • Dr Jules says:

      With all due respect to the surgeon, I have no idea how one can pretend to know the exact cause of pain in the situation that you described. If you remove the second molar, that doesn’t solve the problem of having an impacted third molar! Can he “guarantee” that once your second molar is extracted it will solve your pain problem? You don’t have to answer, I already know the answer; he cannot guarantee it!

  45. Manan says:

    Hi Doctor,

    I went to couple of more doctors for opinion with my X-Ray. both of them advised that given that the wisdom tooth is actually not touching the 2nd molar roots and the surgery being a typical one – given horizontal and right on the IAN nerve, they would rather wait and watch for the pain/infection to respond to antibiotics/saline water rinses. If the pain persists after that also then surgery is the only option.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If all the surgeons that you consulted agree on this course of action, it should be the one to follow…
      But at least you now know that it would be possible to have this problematic tooth removed it that was really necessary.

  46. Adeeba says:

    Thank you for posting all this information on your page, it was very helpful.

    I just wanted to ask, I do not have a lot of money and I’m not sure how much wisdom tooth extraction will cost me, but I don’t think I can put it off much longer.

    My bottom left wisdom tooth Has been growing on and off for the last 8 years. I’ve had two more partially come out, but this one is still stuck. I think it’s because my second molar is blocking it? My whole left jaw seems swollen and it’s never hurt as much as it is now (I can barely open my mouth or drink water). I think it’s trying to push my second molar out of the way. I think it has partially erupted, because my gum is like a flap over some of it, but the rest is just swollen and thick.
    Do you think it’s urgent for me to get an extraction done?

    • Dr Jules says:

      I would recommend that you see a dentist or an oral surgeon (or go to a medical emergency room if no dentist is available) asap as what you are describing may be the result of an infection and is not likely to go away without an intervention, antibiotics, etc.

      I have no idea what the cost of what you require would be.

  47. heena says:

    Hello doctor
    I just want to ask yu my lower jaw is excess than my upper jaw n my teeth r also not in proper shape n I ve gap between them too so is it necessary I ve to put bracel for 2 years Because I m nt comfortable with this bracel thing N my Age is also at 21.. I m not thinking to put ny bracel so please suggest me wat I can do?

    • Dr Jules says:

      A clinical exam is necessary to answer your questions…
      Consult a certified orthodontist and you should get the answers to all your questions.

  48. erica says:

    Hi, my question is this. I had my 2nd molar on top removed because it was broken and decaying. Can my wisdom tooth come into its place? What’s the chances of it coming in straight? I have been having pain in the hole for a couple of weeks now but nothing bad. Tonight I was feeling round ands I think I feel athank you tooth comiog into the hole there. Thank u, Erica

    • Dr Jules says:

      The third molar could come in if it is favorably positioned behind and over the second molar but it is difficult to “predict” if it will eventually come in or not. A panoramic radiograph would greatly help in making this prediction.

  49. Sarah says:

    One of my wisdom teeth is coming in on the right side of my mouth. On the left side of my mouth all of my teeth are straight but now on the right i noticed that they aren’t straight like the other side. Also one of my front tooth looks crooked which it wasn’t before. I believe its because my wisdom tooth. When my wisdom tooth comes out will they shift back and be straight again ?

    • Dr Jules says:

      If you read carefully the information above in this same page, you’ll understand that your wisdom teeth have nothing to do (or very little) with the anterior crowding that you observe in your mouth. Consequently, since they didn’t cause the crowding, extracting your wisdom teeth will not change anything to your crowded dentition.

  50. Megan says:

    Dr. Jules,

    I am 33 years old and have all 4 of my wisdom teeth, grown in. (yep- I have a big mouth!) The bottom right gum in the back has been feeling sore the past couple days, and from the way the gum looks/feels back there, it’s as if the tooth grew a bit more; is this possible? Of course I’m hesitant to go to the dentist just yet as I’d rather save the office visit $ and see if the pain goes away in a few days. Curious to know your thoughts.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Anything is possible with wisdom teeth! Your pain may go away but it dosen’t mean that the problem will! It may just be a recurrent issue in which pain and symptoms will flare up again occasionally. I would recommend that you visit your dentist, have a panoramic radiograph taken and this whole situation evaluated. Best case scenario, everything will be fine but this examination may uncover potential problems that may save you a lot of trouble if they are taken care of.

  51. Kris says:

    Hi Dr. Jules

    I am at a loss as to whether I should have my impacted wisdom tooth remove. It is as of the moment not causing any pain. But the xray shows that is is indeed impacted. It leans horizontally and is partially erupted. But it is clean and healthy. I am now 28 years old. They say I should have it remove only for prophylaxis reasons / to prevent the possibility of tooth decay in that area. But after reading articles, the findings are divided. Some say you should not unless there is pain or other problems. Some say to have it removed because once you get older recovery will be hard. And of course surgery has complications too right? It’s not like it’s a minor thing. So I am kind of afraid that I might make the wrong decision. But the information are just too confusing for me that I don’t know how to weigh the pros and cons. At my age, will this impacted tooth really cause me pain in the future? What shall I do?

    • Dr Jules says:

      A semi-impacted or partially impacted tooth has the potential to cause problems (infection, caries, resorption of adjacent teeth, etc.). I think that you were well informed about the different options and risks associated with each but nobody can predict with certainty what the future will be for these teeth. There is no right or wrong answer in such a case. You have to evaluate the pros and cons of having the third molars removed or not. If you keep them, make sure that they are followed radiographically every couple of years.

      • Kris says:

        Thanks for the response Dr. Jules. But if I were to ask you, what would you suggest? Remove the symptom free wisdom tooth to prevent supposed “future” problems, despite the risks associated with surgery. Or opt for the wait and see approach? (After multiple xrays I was advice to get a CT scan because those xrays show that the tooth may be lying on some nerves, but xrays are only two dimensional so they said I should get a CT scan for accuracy.) Now I don’t know how accurate are the CT scans, but in case the dentist say that removing the tooth has little risk of nerve damage, shall I still go ahead with the extraction? Or since it is pain and problem free, opt to keep it? I just would like to ask for your own personal opinion/advice were you in my place.

        • Dr Jules says:

          I can’t make that decision for you…
          Every such decision is an evaluation of the pros and cons of intervening or letting nature act.
          You may indeed get more information from a scan (Cone Beam Computer Tomography or CBCT) which may better illustrate the risks and help you decide what to do.
          You can see examples of such scan on this page (note translated yet) and below is a video of a scan showing an impacted second molar.

          • Kris says:

            Thanks a lot for the information Dr. Jules. I understand. I have been reading up and opinions are divided. There are those who regretted having theirs removed because it is causing them a lot of pain more than when the tooth was still in their mouths. So deciding is really kind of hard. I am wondering though, why my partially erupted / slanted wisdom tooth sometimes (sometimes does not) cause pain (not debilitating but a small amount) when poked, or brushed, but xrays reveal no cavity, pus, or any other problem, it is clean, they say.

            • Dr Jules says:

              Dental caries or cavities are only one of many potential sources of pain affecting the teeth. If your tooth is sound but you still feel pain, the pain probably originates from the outside environment of the tooth itself (periodontal ligament, gum tissue, alveolar bone). If there is some infection or inflammation, this may cause pain triggered by the nerve terminals outside the tooth (as opposed to those inside the tooth which would be affected more by a cavity). This phenomenon can be cyclic and may be triggered by pressure and other factors.
              You can learn more about dental anatomy on this page (which is unfortunately not translated yet).

              • Kris says:

                Hi Doctor Jules

                I finally had my wisdom tooth removed. It’s been 16 days, and going well. However I just ate a bread with many sesame seeds in them. I don’t know if I got some inside the hole. How will I know? They say sesame seeds don’t get digested/dissolved and I am very worried that it will cause infection. What shall I do?

                • Dr Jules says:

                  Debris in the extraction socket will eventually get out. If they don’t an infection may result and symptoms will appear. If you don’t have any symptoms, let it be, if not, consult your oral surgeon.

  52. brett says:

    Hi,

    I’m going in to get my wisdom teeth removed in a few hours. The dentist just called asking about sedation. I asked why are they asking again and was told he had decided not to take out the top teeth because i would lose my 2nd molars as well. They said they were touching the molars roots. They have not erupted so its not causing decay. Im confused as to why i would lose the other molars. If i dont get them out, am i also not at risk for future problems with them since they are already apparently causing an issue?

    • Dr Jules says:

      You don’t necessarily need sedation to have dental extractions unless your are extremely nervous, scared, etc. Local anesthesia is usually sufficient even for severely impacted teeth.

      I could not tell you why your dentists predicts that you would loose your second molars, even if they were touching the molar roots. There are numerous other reasons than decay to have wisdom teeth removed and yes, there is a potential of future problems by keeping impacted third molars. If you keep them, make sure to have a regular radiographic follow up with a dentist.

      You could ask for a second opinion from an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (they specialize in more complex extractions) to see what he/she thinks about the difficulty of extracting your third molars and the effect it may have on your second molars.

  53. shivani says:

    Dr. I am now 20 years and i recently had removal of my wisdom teeth removal at my right side down of my jaw ,am suffering from so much pain.My question is do rest three wisdom teeth are also going to get horizontal only ? please Dr suggest me ….:(.:'(

    • Dr Jules says:

      Wisdom teeth behave independently from one another. What affects one will not necessarily affect the others. However, chances are that if one of the third molars (wisdom tooth) is severely impacted (lack of space) the others may have the same problem. It doesn’t mean that they will all end up in a horizontal position. A simple panoramic radiograph will confirm the exact position of your impacted teeth.

  54. Sue says:

    Hello!
    I am 29yo female, I have had my lower wisdom teeth removed as a teenager and my right-upper wisdom tooth perfectly filled the place of a missing 2nd molar in teenage years without incident. I still have one wisdom tooth that has not erupted on my upper -left, shown to have no issues and have good alignment at the moment.

    My upper- left 2nd molar has had extensive work in the past, it has very little actual tooth remaining above the gumline. It is nearly 90% amalgam filling, only a partial cusp on the lingual side remains. This cusp has now cracked off. I am going to have this tooth extracted this week. The molar it contacts on the bottom during bite has contact with my 1st upper molar so I am not too worried about it raising to meet the loss of the 2nd molar above.

    I have been asked if I want to remove the remaining wisdom tooth that has no issues proactively during the 2nd molar’s extraction. Possibly thinking about a future implant.

    Seeing that I have had a 3rd upper molar “come down” and fill the spot of a 2nd molar before and that my remaining wisdom tooth is asymptomatic and in good alignment is it at all possible that this wisdom tooth could fill the space left by the extracted 2nd molar? I have heard that orthodontics could potentially be used if the alignment is off only a minor amount, correct? Lastly, if I choose to simply remove the 2nd molar do you see any immediate negatives in just waiting to see how the 3rd molar progresses (can the 3rd molar move and destroy my 1st molar in a matter of a month, etc?)

    Thank you so much for this informative site!

    • Dr Jules says:

      I have not seen a radiograph of your dentition but it is indeed possible for a third molar to come down and take the place of an extracted second molar. If it doesn’t end up in an ideal position, orthodontics may make it possible to align it correctly. You can see different examples of third molars moving forward after the extraction of another molar in our section about extractions and orthodontics (molar section). (This page isn’t translated yet). It may take a while (sometimes years) to see if the third molar will make it OK into the arch but the wait may be worth not having extracted immediately with your second molar. It will always be possible to extract that third molar if necessary!

      If the upper third molar can’t be salvaged, it may not be necessary to have the extracted second molar replaced by an implant if the two opposing molars (on the lower arch) have a good contact with the upper molar. Discuss these options with your general dentist and consult an orthodontist

  55. Anne says:

    Hello Dr. Jules,

    Tooth 28 (3rd Molar) has a abscess and tooth 27 has a cavity caused by food trapped between the 2 teeth. Tooth 28 can be removed and 27 restored, however I’m a 56 years old with a 30 year history of periodontal problems with some bone loss. My question/concern is how likely is it that my other teeth will start moving/slanting towards the hole left by tooth 28…or will tooth 27 hold/anchor things in place? If tooth 27 does not anchor the other teeth, could a night time retainer help to hold the other teeth in place?

    Any advice you can offer will be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      I don’t have all the necessary information to evaluate your case but it is very unlikely that a second molar will start to migrate toward the back of the dental arch after the removal of a wisdom tooth behind it. The posterior teeth are normally and naturally inclined forward in the jaw (look at the numerous panoramic radiographs on this website) and will tend to go forward and not backward when there is space allowing this to happen. There are however numerous factors which may affect this “theory” such as the occlusion (bite), the bone level, the musculature and its effect on the dental arches, etc. You shouldn’t need a night guard just to hold tooth #27 in place…

  56. Niana says:

    hello Dr Jules
    i did and extraction 2 years ago due to the compaction of teeth in my mouth. The reason for extraction which was done on the 2 molar is to make space in order for the wisdom teeth to erupt, however whiles removing the tooth it broke and half of the root was left in the gum and was very difficult to remove at the time for i was told if remove i can get a long term sinus for it was in sinus cavity. the gum had healed with the broken root inside for i was given no other alternative. Now I’m experiencing a terrible tooth ache for the wisdom tooth is now erupting and there’s still no space and it is growing outwards.however there’s still the space where the 2nd molar was removed.
    HELP PLEASE..!!

    • Dr Jules says:

      I’m afraid I can’t help you directly other that recommend that you consult a dentist or an oral surgeon who can evaluate the situation (probably with the help of a radiograph) and make the appropriate recommendations.

  57. Emjay says:

    Hi Dr Jules,

    Both of my lower wisdom tooth is impacted, one of which got painful recently and i saw a small portion of the tooth trying to erupt. All of my other teeth are healthy although not well aligned, upper wisdom tooth fully erupted. I’m 27 years old and I’m planning to get orthodontics. If I get my lower pre-molars removed to create space and have orthodontics, will my lower wisdom teeth fully erupt soon? I’m a little worried to give up 2 healthy tooth to give space for the wisdom tooth to errupt and i’m not sure if it will! I’m 27! Although the wisdom tooth will be a newer teeth than the tooth that will be removed. Do we have ways/surgeries to help them errupt after the space is created?

    Or do you think it is better to just remove the impacted wisdom tooth through surgery prior to orthodontics?

    Which is a better option for the long term?

    Thank you for your opinion 🙂

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is indeed possible that extracting premolars will provide extra space for the eruption of the wisdom teeth but… it can’t be guaranteed. If the third molar (wisdom teeth) are already significantly inclined forward, extracting teeth in front will only make them tip down further. It may however possible to upright and position them properly with orthodontic corrections. Evaluation of a panoramic radiograph may provide more information as to the possibility of your wisdom teeth erupting. Ask your orthodontist about this…

      • Emjay says:

        Thank you so much for your reply Dr Jules.

        I have a mild crowding of front teeth and I would like to undergo orthodontics. My left impacted 3rd molar is slightly erupting although there is not enough room for it to fully erupt, the gum above the tooth is quite painful and the orthodontist suggested operculectomy to expose the teeth. Is this safe and will it help the wisdom tooth to erupt? I’ll be having orthodontics and I’m torn between having both the lower impacted tooth removed by surgery, or giving up my lower premolars to have a space and wait for my wisdom tooth to erupt. Which do you think would be the best choice for a more beneficial long term effect? From my panoramic xray, in your opinion, is there a chance that the wisdom tooth will erupt soon?

        Thank you so much!

        • Dr Jules says:

          Removing premolars in the hope of having the wisdom teeth erupt is a very long shot at best! There is absolutely no guarantee that these molars will erupt even if space is provided for them at the front or sides of the dental arch. If they are slightly tipped, they will probably tip further more if they move forward. An operculectomy simply removes the soft tissues over the crown of a tooth. This may relieve pain associated with the gum tissue covering the tooth but will not do much (if anything) to help the eruption of a wisdom tooth hat doesn’t have enough space to erupt naturally, which it would have done already if that was possible!

      • Emjay says:

        It’s me again Dr Jules,

        Both of my lower wisdom tooth are impacted. If the premolars are pulled out, I just wanted to know if there is a possibility of the wisdom tooth to erupt.
        The panoramic radiograph of my teeth looks like this:

        The left wisdom tooth is beginning to erupt and only a small part of the cusp can be seen (3mm x 3mm), the rest of the tooth are below the gums. Do you think that this wisdom tooth will decay before it can fully erupt? I am just a little worried.
        What are the consequences of waiting for the wisdom tooth to erupt (by giving space) vs undergoing a surgery to remove the wisdom tooth. Which is a better option?

        Thanks so much.

        • Dr Jules says:

          It is very unlikely that 2 molars in front of the wisdom teeth will move forward to allow the third molar (wisdom tooth) to erupt after a premolar is extracted. It may be possible to move these teeth to close the extraction space with orthodontics however.

          A semi-impacted wisdom tooth as you describe (half erupted) has a good chance of becoming decayed with time and it may not fully erupt regardless of how long you wait. Consult a dentist to find out what your options are concerning these teeth.

  58. angelina says:

    Hi Dr Jules,
    my 4 wisdom teeth are all growing in. All the back of my jaw. I just notice yesterday I can barely open my jaw. Is this an emergency? I am 12 week pregnant too. What should I do?

    • Dr Jules says:

      I can’t tell you if it is an emergency or not but consult your general dentist asap so that he/she evaluates that condition and makes the appropriate recommendations.

  59. Ana Torres says:

    Can the eruption of my wisdom tooth make my teeth move forward to close an extraction space?
    Hi 🙂 im 26, never needed braces and i have a perfect bite. I have absolutelly no other probles other that the following: I extracted my upper left 2nd pre-molar (because of an accident) a few days ago. Behind it i have the 1st and 2nd molars (in perfect condition). My third molar has not come out yet but x-rays show it could erupt soon. is in an vertical position. I would like it to erupt and push the two molars forward in order to occupy the gap of the extracted 2nd pre-molar. Is this possible (even if with the help of braces)? And if so, will it ruin my bite (since a molar will be in place of a pre-molar)?

    Thank you so much in advance! Greetings from Portugal 🙂

    • Dr Jules says:

      This will not ruin your bite because it will never happen!
      The wisdom tooth cannot push the other teeth forward and close the gap. The space may close a little bit but will never close completely. You would need orthodontics to close that space without replacing the missing tooth.
      You can see examples of space closure in the “extraction” section (this section has not been translated yet).

  60. Jennifer says:

    Hey so when I was in junior high I got braces when I got them off my orthodontist told me to remove all 4 teeth due to over crowding so I have had all bit one wisdom tooth out my lower left and I’m having a hard time finding a doctor that will remove it. they said my roots are really deep and it is close to the main vein? Is this risky? Also my 2nd molar on my right side needs a root canal but I don’t have the money if I get it removed will my teeth shift? And will the opposing bottom tooth grow up? Thanks in advance!

    • Dr Jules says:

      Consult an Oral surgeon who is a dental specialist more familiar with complex extractions such as impacted third molars. He or she will tell you what the risks so that you can make an informed decision.

      If a second molar is removed, the opposing teeth can over erupt. You can see examples of that phenomenon on this page (which is not translated yet).

  61. Chrissy says:

    Hello, i’m 20, i’ve had 2 adult teeth removed (top, middle, both sides) My wisdom teeth are coming through, not hurting or anything but the left side, two back teeth next to the wisdom tooth seemed to have moved, it doesn’t hurt but my tongue won’t stop messing with it.
    Also the tooth next to one of the ones i’ve had taken out seems to have a gap between the tooth next to it, feels like I can fit my tongue inbetween two teeth, only noticed it recently, I have a dentist apointment in 2 weeks, does this sound serious? Should I book a closer date? or doesn’t it sound too bad?

    Thank you

    • Dr Jules says:

      Is is not impossible that some teeth have drifted or moved after other were extracted and that may have contributed to the appearance of spaces between the other teeth. Not much can happen in two weeks but consult your dentist and he should be able to evaluate what is going on in your mouth.

  62. Ernesto Andaya says:

    Hello Doctor,
    I got my bottom two wisdom teeth pulled last week (they were both impacted) and now my 2nd molars have started shifting out of place. Also when i bite down hard ,i have a slight pain in the area of those two teeth, depending on which side i put more pressure on. Is it normal for them to shift and is the pain temporary? Thank you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      In general, there may be some slight shifting of the teeth adjacent to an extraction site but this should stabilize itself eventually.
      In the case of a second molar, it is rare to see such a tooth drift backwards into a wisdom tooth extraction site. There is usually more forward movement than backward movement into an extraction site.

      The following example below illustrates this very well:
      This 13 year old had a lower left first molar severely decayed (red *) which was extracted. Only 7 months later, we can see the second molar behind it tipped forward and downward toward the site where the first molar was but there is no backward movement of the premolar in front of the molar extraction site.

      Extraction d'une molaire cariée et migration des autres dents. Tooth migratin after molar extraction. Orthodontiste Lemay Sherbrooke orthodontie orthosherbrooke orthoLemay.com orthodentie orthodentiste

  63. Shaun says:

    Hi I have a two part question, and I’m sorry if the article answered this I’m on my phone and the small text is hard to read. I have always had crowded front teeth and it never really bothered me, but I now need to have my top back molars removed and I was wondering will my front teeth on top shift apart? Also after they are removed will the holes in my guns close up completely or will I always have to worry about food getting in there? Thank you for this page and your reply. =)

    • Dr Jules says:

      Yes, the tooth sockets where the extracted were teeth should close progressively with time unless there is an infection or other problem.

      Extracting molars will not create space in the front by backward drifting of the teeth. However, depending on you occlusion (bite) ad which molars are extracted, this mqy affect your front bite, create more pressure on the anterior teeth and make them flare out, creating some anterior spacing in the upper teeth. This phenomenon is called “posterior bite collapse”. You can learn more about this by following this link but this page is not translated into English yet.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Yes, the tooth sockets where the extracted teeth were should close progressively with time unless there is an infection or other problem.

      Extracting molars will not create space in the front by backward drifting of the teeth. However, depending on you occlusion (bite) ad which molars are extracted, this mqy affect your front bite, create more pressure on the anterior teeth and make them flare out, creating some anterior spacing in the upper teeth. This phenomenon is called “posterior bite collapse”. You can learn more about this by following this link but this page is not translated into English yet.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Yes, the tooth sockets where the extracted teeth should close progressively with time unless there is an infection or other problem.

      Extracting molars will not create space in the front by backward drifting of the teeth. However, depending on you occlusion (bite) ad which molars are extracted, this mqy affect your front bite, create more pressure on the anterior teeth and make them flare out, creating some anterior spacing in the upper teeth. This phenomenon is called “posterior bite collapse”. You can learn more about this by following this link but this page is not translated into English yet.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Yes, the tooth sockets where the extracted teeth were should close progressively with time unless there is an infection or other problem.

      Extracting molars will not create space in the front by backward drifting of the teeth. However, depending on you occlusion (bite) and which molars are extracted, this may affect your front bite, create more pressure on the anterior teeth and make them flare out, creating some anterior spacing in the upper teeth. This phenomenon is called “posterior bite collapse“. You can learn more about this by following this link but this page is not translated into English yet.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Yes, the tooth sockets where the extracted teeth were should close progressively with time unless there is an infection or other problem.

      Extracting molars will not create space in the front by backward drifting of the teeth. However, depending on you occlusion (bite) and which molars are extracted, this may affect your front bite, create more pressure on the anterior teeth and make them flare out, creating some anterior spacing in the upper teeth. This phenomenon is called “posterior bite collapse“. You can learn more about this by following this link but this page is not translated into English yet.

  64. Kate says:

    Hi! I’m 29 years old and had my wisdom teeth removed over ten years ago. I had a couple extras, which was weird. However, about five months ago I notixed yet another wisdom tooth was poking through on the upper left side of my mouth. It’s popped out significantly and now I’m having head and sinus pressure… Also, the tooth itself doesn’t hurt but when I push my tongue against the molars it’s next too, I feel a little pain and a ton of pressure. Could all these issues be from the wisdom tooth? My husband just got a new job and we are without insurance for another three weeks, so I’m trying to find some answers to hold me over. Thank you so much!!

    • Dr Jules says:

      Anything is possible with wisdom teeth! you could visit a dentist to have a clinical examination made and a panoramic radiograph taken to diagnose the problem now and if it is not urgent to intervene, you could wait a few weeks for your insurance to start.

  65. charmaine says:

    Major changes in my mouth after wisdom teeth removal
    Hi Dr Jules
    (= About 6mths ago I started having pain from my wisdom tooth coming through on the top right side of my mouth, I left it and the pain would go away and come back until after a month my gums in between my teeth close to the wisdom were splitting and very saw as if there was pressure cramming the teeth together, my whole mouth ached and it got too painful to bear so I got the wisdom tooth removed.

    I noticed that my teeth on the top right side were pushed over, my smile was once symmetrical on both sides and now it looks as if the right side of my smile is pushed in more than the left side and I can feel it on the inside that the 3rd tooth from my wisdom has been pushed in. Even when I bite my teeth together I can feel that my teeth don’t clench together and match up the same as they used to which is a little annoying. I am wondering if there is any way to fix this? please say yes =D

    • Dr Jules says:

      I doubt very much that everything that you described has been caused by the extraction of your wisdom teeth alone. There might have bee some slight tooth movement of certain teeth, this may have changed your bite a bit but I doubt that your dental arches have become deformed, that your smile changed to the point of becoming asymmetrical, etc. I am not saying that you didn’t observe these changes but they may be totally unrelated to the dental extractions.

      Tere is probably a way to fix this… If it has to do with your bite and dental occlusion, consult a certified orthodontist who will be able to establish a diagnosis and propose a treatment plan.

  66. Trish says:

    Ah Ha!
    I am one of those poor people who has had an impacted wisdom teeth appear all at the tender age of 53!
    After many, many years they have decided it was time they left the comfort on my gums to cause much discomfort in my mouth.
    They hurt my jaw SO much!
    These are both on my bottom row of teeth as I had the top two removed in my early 20’s as they too were impacted.
    I hate to disagree but over the last 6 months as they have come up the teeth next to them have all shifted and are too tight together.
    The pain in my jaw wakes me up at night it’s so bad. Yet the pain can shift from one area of my jaw to the other.
    I guess I am going to have to get them out but wondered if these “growing” pains might stop on their own eventually?
    It’s been going on for months now :'(

    • Dr Jules says:

      Consult a dentist or an oral surgeon asap. You may be developing an infection which may spread and cause more problems.

      • Trish says:

        Dear Dr Jules,
        Firstly thank you for your reply! Secondly I attended my dentist yesterday and you are 100% correct.
        After x-rays on both wisdom teeth not only were the teeth hollowed out with infection but it had spread to my jaw.
        I have had the lower left removed and I could instantly feel the pressure being released.
        To be honest it was not a pleasant procedure although not painful it was hard work for my dentist. (at one stage she thought she was going to have to stop as the tooth had “hooked” into my jaw and refused to budge).
        Still the release was so good to feel when she managed to remove it as the pain I have been in for months was just awful.
        (I was caring for my terminally ill Mum at home so I just couldn’t get them seen to sooner. My last dental appointment was 6 months ago)
        I am now on Amoxicillin 500mgs and and antibacterial mouthwash.
        The right lower is coming out on Friday at midday. I think she was too concerned to try and remove it yesterday as it took over an hour to extract this one.
        It was so badly decayed the inside under the gum line was black & soft. I am VERY lucky it didn’t break while the dentist was taking it out.
        I hope the right hand lower is easier to extract but the x-ray looks much the same?
        Another thing I feel I must add is that the pain last night was really terrible.
        Co codamol wouldn’t ease it at all but as I have morphine based meds after spinal surgery I was able to utilize them which helped a lot.
        Over here they usually refer anyone with lower wisdom teeth extractions to hospital, yes we are 10 years behind !
        Roll on Friday in the hope that by Sunday I should be pain free for the first time in many months 😀
        So Thank you for such sound advice, all the way from Trish in Bangor, Northern Ireland! Aged 53teen!!!

        PS, please forgive the shortness of my post yesterday but I was not able to concentrate properly I was in such pain. It’s not like me to forget my manners!
        To anyone else with the same problem, please make sure you get a script for strong pain relief. When the numbness wears off it’s really awful.

        • Dr Jules says:

          It seems like it was indeed a good thing to have this problematic wisdom tooth removed!
          With such a complex extraction, it is normal to have some discomfort for a few days. It it doesn’t improve after that or worsens, do not hesitate to contact your dentist so that she evaluates everything. You want to avoid a secondary infection in the extraction area.

          Good luck with the other extraction 🙂

          • Trish says:

            Boy am I very sore?!! Oh yes. :'(
            Thank you, The second extraction took longer than the first. My female dentist gave up after 45 mins of tugging and rocking my wisdom tooth about.
            She called in enforcements…. a male dentist!
            Bless him as he spent another 20 mins fighting to get it out.
            I felt like running home after the first hour!

            So here I am and it’s Sunday. I resemble a hamster and no fibbing, this is not uncomfortable. It huts a lot!
            Trying to eat hurts, smiling is not an option and my glands are badly swollen under my jaw line.
            That said I am glad they are out. I only wished my dentist had removed them years ago when the healing time would have been much faster.

            I’m on a second course of antibiotics just in case as this last one was so badly decayed.
            Dear help anyone who hasn’t got the extra pain relief I have available to them?
            First tooth out Tuesday, second on Friday….. boy am I very sore?!! Oh yes. :'(

            • Dr Jules says:

              LOL, I don’t want to make you smile but you make me laugh!

              You are one tough cookie but imagine if your extractions had been done in the middle ages before the days of anesthesia and antibiotics!!! There were no dentists in those days and the tooth “extractors” were often the barbers and the blacksmiths of the villages… simply because they were the only ones who had access to some form on “tools”. 🙁

              SMILE, the worst is certainly over 🙂

              Extractions dentaier dans l'antiquité et le moyen âge sans anesthésie et antibiotiques. Dental extraction in the middle ages without anesthesia and antibiotics.

  67. Sarah says:

    Can I wait a few years to have my wisdom teeth removed?
    I just came across your site as I was looking up information to determine a course of action with my wisdom teeth. I’m 23 and recently moved states. My old dentist told me as of 6 months ago that I would not have to get my wisdom teeth removed as my top teeth have come in fine ( although they are the tiniest bit angled towards my cheek- but no pain or biting into my cheek). My bottom left is partially emerged but completely verticle. My bottom right has not emerged but is coming in fine according to my old and new dentist. I just saw the new dentist today for a cleaning and the first thing he told me was I should consider getting my teeth extracted because of the possible risk for periodontal disease in the future…. This was a shock to me and I’m now confused.

    He wants me to schedule extraction for three of them in a month even though he admitted my teeth are healthy but he suggested waiting for my bottom right to come in before extracting it. I really don’t want to do it but I’m so confused. I was thinking about getting a third opinion at my next cleaning in August from the other dentist there but in the mean time my question is – do you think its harmful to wait a few years before making this decision? As long as my teeth remain healthy of course. I heard its harder the older you are but Im curious if being 23 or 26 makes a huge difference risk wise? I also have to pay out of pocket for 90% of the cost so I don’t want to do this if at all possible.

    I really appreciate your time and willingness to help! Thank you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      You may get as many opinions as you want and, as long as you don’t have any problems, you’ll say that the dentists who recommend to keep your wisdom teeth were right but when you’ll have problems it will be another story.

      A “partially emerged” tooth as you describe it is a semi-impacted tooth and this behaves like a time bomb… You never know when it will blow up! It is not a matter of IF but WHEN it will happen. This may take years or even decades but it will very likely happen because a partially exposed tooth is a portal of entry for infection (periodontal disease, caries) and you can’t clean that area properly, no matter how hard you try. So… you may be buying time by postponing the extractions but consider the advice of the second dentist, at least for the partially erupted teeth because, hopefully, you have many more decades of use for your dentition. This may not be an emergency now and could wait a certain time (even a few years with some luck) if you have no symptoms but it is preferable not to wait to have serious symptoms to take action.

  68. Jennifer says:

    Dr, I spoke with you a week ago I got a wisdom tooth out it was very deep and the roots were twisted hitting the nerve. He thought it was going to break off and he was going to leave the piece because it was so close to the nerve but he got the whole thing out he actually kept the tooth to show his students because it was pretty bad I guess. Now my question is, tomorrow it will be 7 days post op and I am still in a lot of pain also I’m swollen and have what feels like a lump or a hard ball on my jawline and my cheek and neck are actually bruised. Is this normal? He’s only in the office on Fridays so I was unable to talk to him all week should I go in tomorrow and have him check it out? I can’t miss anymore work.
    Thanks for your time

    • Dr Jules says:

      Depending on how aggressive or complex was your surgery to extract the wisdom tooth it is possible that pain and discomfort last more than a few days. The best person to evaluate your condition is the surgeon who did the actual surgery. If you can’t reach him, try to see another oral surgeon or dentist.

  69. enrigay rodrigay says:

    banjo r

    I have wisdom tooth growing up into my molar pushing it up and dentist said molar needs root canal. Wisdom tooth is 1/2way out and pain radiates through my face and sharp pain into my ears. Teeth are crowded down there was wondering if removing wisdom tooth and molar would let my teeth uncrowd

  70. ruggy2007 says:

    My bottom left molar has partially erupted and has been like this for at least 2 years. I don’t get very much pain but notice that if I press on the gum nearby I get a little bit of pus out of what I can see is a le light gap in the gum. Does this mean i have infection or could it just be a little pocket? Like I say I have no pain and dentist told me that are in line and shuld be fine to come through.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If you have pus oozing out of your gum, there is some infection in that area. It may not cause pain if it is draining out of your gums but it should still be looked at by a dentist or oral surgeon to make sure that there is not a more serious underlying problem.

  71. Sassy says:

    Hi
    Am 30yrs old and having a problem with the bottom 3rd tooth. About a day or two I started to feel pain by inspecting it I realise it’s loose and causing pain. I can’t sleep at night and find my self shaken it to ease the pain. It pain so much I can’t bite my tooth together. Any advise pls

    • Dr Jules says:

      Consultation a general dentist or an oral surgeon as soon as possible to have this evaluated. In none are available, go to an emergency medical clinic.

  72. shelley says:

    Hi,
    I have been told by my dentist that i will need to get my wisdom teeth out in the next year or so. At the moment I have a painful jaw on one side which extends down my neck. Could my wisdom tooth be causing this?

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is indeed possible that infected and inflamed wisdom teeth cause such symptoms. Consult your dentist or an oral surgeon to have this looked at, especially if the symptoms worsen.

  73. Vinoth says:

    I have a decayed upper wisdom tooth and dentist said that it needs to be extracted. All I worry now is, will it be extracted normally or needed a surgery. My wisdom tooth is visible outside the gums but are still semi impacted. Also, he added that all my 4 wisdom tooth needs to be removed as they have their roots at some angles and the tooth has grown towards the second molar. All tooths are fully visible outside the gum, will that be extracted through a surgery?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Any dental extraction IS a form of surgery but I think that you are wondering if you will need a general anesthesia (sleeping) or simply a local anesthesia (injection of an anesthetic solution to numb the tooth).
      Most wisdom teeth, if not all, could be extracted under local anesthesia. You always want to avoid general anesthesia if possible. Discuss your options with your dentist or oral surgeon. They may prescribe some medication to be taken before the surgery to help you “relax”.

      If by “surgery” you referred to a complex extraction requiring to cut the tooth into pieces to remove it, etc. only the surgeon doing the procedure could tell you exactly which procedure you will need. Do not hesitate to ask him/her all these questions.

  74. Sara says:

    I recently had an upper wisdom tooth out with no issues. I’ve still been having pain, and my oral surgeon said that it’s pain radiating from the two bottom wisdom teeth. I’m almost 30 years old, and both of the bottom wisdom teeth are fully developed on that big nerve. He said that he does not want to remove them because of this. However, they are causing visible damage to the molars right next to them (breaking, etc). So how does this typically get solved? If they pull out the damaged molars right next to the wisdom teeth, will that stop the crowding and help with the pain??

    • Dr Jules says:

      Removing molars in the back of the mouth will not improve the dental crowding in the anterior portion of the dental arches.

      If an extraction procedure has increased risks, as it seems to be in your case, it may still be indicated to extract the problematic tooth. It always a matter of evaluating the advantages vs the disadvantages (benefits vs risks) of doing the procedure. If the dentists and oral surgeon that you consulted are certain that the source of your pain is that wisdom tooth (or teeth), they may need to be extracted despite the risks if you want to try to solve that pain problem. Discuss that with the surgeon. You could also ask a second opinion.

      If the teeth in front of the wisdom teeth are being damaged progressively, you will end up loosing them so something must be done to avoid that…

  75. Lucy says:

    Hi, a tooth on my lower gums has started to come out aged 21. I have been in constant ache pain and soreness around the tooth and gum for 3 days now. When would be the time that pain should wear off when should I see a dentist?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Depending on what causes the pain, it may never wear off, especially if you start having some swelling (may be a sign of infection). You should visit a dentist so that he/she can evaluate your dental condition and make the appropriate recommendations.

  76. Jay-Dee says:

    Will the wisdom tooth come in after the removal of a second molar?
    hi Dr Jules,
    i had an infection below my 2nd molar, therefor my dentist removed the molar to clear the infection. x-rays showed that my 3rd molar (wisdom tooth) could replace the 2nd molar. my dentist said that this will most likely happen since there is enough space for the tooth to develop. I can see a small part of the tooth at the moment and would really like to know if you can give me any indication of the time span it would take to replace my 2nd molar?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Extraction d'une molaire endommagée et éruption des autres molaires dans l’espace d'extraction.
      I am assuming that your are talking about an upper wisdom tooth. Unless you are a teenager and that you wisdom tooth is very high (as illustrated in this radiography), it is unlikely that the third molar (wisdom tooth) will come forward without tipping.

      If the situation you describe is on the lower jaw, it is even more unlikely (not to say impossible) that the wisdom tooth wil come in correctly because it usually starts off already inclined or tilted forward and will usually keep going that way instead of uprighting as it will come forward… if it does come forward. You can see such examples on this page (not translated yet). But, wisdom teeth are full of surprises and… miracles do happen! 🙂

  77. Dorothy says:

    Hello,

    I have 1 wisdom tooth coming in on my lower left side. It is about 1/4 underneath my second molar. However, I have an open space in front of my second molar where my first molar was. (it was taken out 4 years ago) will my second molar move into my first molar’s place, and my wisdom tooth take over where my second molar is? Is that likely?

    • Dr Jules says:

      I doubt very much that your second molar will migrate forward into the extraction space left by the loss of the first molar. It this was to happen, it would have happened already…
      More likely, the second molar will stay where it is or will probably tip forward and down (tipping) as illustrated in the 2 following cases.

      The first molar (*red) was extracted and the other molars behind came forward a bit but tipped too.

      Extraction d'une molaire cariée et migration des autres dents. Tooth migratin after molar extraction. Orthodontiste Lemay Sherbrooke orthodontie orthosherbrooke orthoLemay.com orthodentie orthodentiste

      Extraction des premières molaires inférieures et bascule des autres molaires. Les dents basculées peuvent être redressées en orthodontie.

  78. Vic says:

    Hi Dr. Jules,

    I got all 4 wisdom teeth extracted a few years back and since then think I have noticed slight facial changes. I have searched high and low for clarification on this and can find nothing but conflicting answers. I have read several scholarly articles that say the alveolar bone atrophies as well as the mandible/jaw as the stimulation from the teeth are now missing. I am now strongly leaning towards getting dental implants to reclaim my natural face. (And regenerate the jaw bone) Are these facial changes possible? Thanks so much.

    • Dr Jules says:

      There is probably no denying that you observed facial changes but even if they happened shortly after the removal of your wisdom tooth, there is no correlation between these 2 events.
      Please see this other answer.

  79. Vic says:

    Dental implants to replace wisdom tooth and revert negative facial changes?
    Hi Dr. Jules,

    I have a kind of unique question..I was wondering if you see any problem with getting 3rd molar implants? I know this is not usually done and dentists/periodontists don’t usually suggest it, this all stems from my own research and would really give me peace of mind. I’ve learned that with any tooth extraction (including wisdoms) you lose 2-4mm of facial height and width..if I had ever known this I would have never have gotten my asymptomatic 3rd molars extracted. Not surprisingly, I’ve noticed that my face has gotten narrower. I know that implants can regenerate bone and that’s what I’m really hoping will happen in my case.

    What are your thoughts? (My concerns are mostly aesthetic, as I want my natural face back) Thanks so much for your time and expertise.

    • Dr Jules says:

      There is no logical reason to replace third molars with dental implants except in very rare cases. If you do that, make sure you do it for the right reasons as you will certainly be disappointed by the fact that the facial changes that you described will not revert.
      Wisdom tooth are no necessary for the development of basal bone in the jaws.
      I don’t know what you read and where you read it but you don’t lose “facial height and with” from loosing a tooth, especially a third molar in the back of the mouth. You may and will loose some alveolar bone height in the area of the extraction and it is possible that the width of the dental ridge decreases a bit too but this will not affect the esthetics of your face. It is not like loosing many anterior teeth which support the lips or cheeks.

      Furthermore, dental implants don’t “generate” bone. It may help preserving alveolar bone in an edentulous area but it certainly doesn’t create additional bone.
      I think that you would benefit from consulting a prosthodontist and/or a periodontist to discuss these issues.

      Studies have shown that wisdom teeth are not necessary for basal bone development in the jaw which is the bone below the alveolar bone around the tooth. In this illustration, the alveolar bone is depicted in red whereas the basal bone is in yellow. The eruption of the teeth are necessary for alveolar bone development but not for basal bone.

      There is no evidence to suggest that a third molar is needed for the development of the basal skeletal components of the maxilla and mandible.
      Ref. L Removal of Third Molars. NIH Consens Statement 1979 Nov 28-30;2(11):65-68.

  80. Hope Valnan says:

    Third molar agony
    my lower right wisdom tooth has started to come through and it has cause terrible headaches and serious pain along my lower jaw. the pain has now spread to my upper right jaw and is localised in my first molar. please help this is absolute agony. i have been prescribes amoxicilin and Metronidazole but i am worried that (having been taking it for 48 hours) nothing has happened. the pain is unbearable

    • Dr Jules says:

      I can’t help you other than tell you to consult a dentist or an oral surgeon as soon as possible. If you can’t reach a dental professional go to a medical emergency room. You may be developing an infection despite taking antibiotics. It may be indicated to extract that problematic third molar but you have to be seen by a dentist.

      • Jessie says:

        I too have been experiencing massive and agonizing pain associated with a partially impacted wisdom tooth. I can go months with no issues and no visual appearance of tooth emerging but when I get a sinus infection, I always have problems. I’m presuming the pressure of the sinus cavity is what’s causing tooth to emerge. This began five years ago and the point of emerging was only as big as a pencil tip. Now when I get sick, I notice about an inch long open section where tooth is just barely poking through. This is a 5th wisdom tooth for me. The other four we’re taken out with just gas (no shot) and I returned to work immediately after so I can handle pain. When this tooth emerges, the pain is unbearable! I know I should have it taken out but was told I was have to see a maxofacial surgeon due to tooth disposition and I cannot afford to do it nor do I have ability to finance it. Is there any possible help? I’m extremely worried of infection and currently is so swollen and hurts so much that I haven’t eaten in three days. Please help.

        • Dr Jules says:

          Sinus pressure cannot cause tooth eruption. If the pressure was high enough to do that, you would have all kinds of major pain elsewhere in your face!

          Depending on where you live, there may be programs to help people with problems like yours but you would have to enquire locally (ask your dentist) as I am not aware of what exists everywhere. You may also inquire in dental schools where the public can receive dental care from dental students at a fraction of the normal cost.

  81. Aly says:

    I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth taken out 2 and a half weeks ago and the hole on my left side is healing perfectly fine and I no longer have pain whatsoever regarding the extraction sites. However, when I try to open my mouth all the way it hurts pretty bad because on the left side of my mouth there seems to be almost a sort of bone or tendon (on the inside, of course) preventing me from opening my mouth fully. I’m just wondering if this is normal or is this something I should be worried about. Wednesday April 1st will be the 3 week mark.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • Dr Jules says:

      This is probably caused by residual inflammation affecting the muscles in the extraction area and should improve with time, even if it takes longer in your case. . Contact the practitioner who did the extractions discuss this with hin/her. If the condition worsens or if swelling increases, Gin. Offset see him/her asap.

  82. Maggie says:

    Hello Dr. Jules!

    I have seen both my orthodontist (who is also a dentist, just not mine) and my dentist about my wisdom teeth, and both are certified. My orthodontist has told me that my wisdom teeth are coming in fine, and that he did not think they would need to be extracted. My dentist said that they did nee
    My questions are
    – who do I need to listen to about extraction? And
    – at what age do they stop coming in and going down (when will they permanently stay in one place)?

    • Dr Jules says:

      As discussed in this page, wisdom teeth are very unpredictable. If they take 3 years to come in, chances are that they are not coming in properly, they don’t have enough space and will probably remain semi-impacted which is not an ideal situation in the long run because of the risks associated with such a condition. Pain is only one of the many indications to consider removal of third molars. Most wisdom teeth don’t hurt but they cans still cause problems. I cannot comment specifically on your case without a clinical and radiographic examination.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If they have been growing for 3 years and are not in yet, they probably don’t have enough space and are not coming in correctly. The fact that a molar will partially erupt doesn’t mean that it will be OK. A panoramic radiograph will easily confirm if these teeth will make it or not. Wisdom teeth can come in at any age, there are reports in the French section of this site of poeple who said that their third molars erupted in their 40s, 50, and even 60s! These teeth are very unpredictable.

  83. Paul says:

    I was told that an impacted tooth can’t cause pain
    Hi,
    I’m having increasing aches in my upper jaw which seem to correspond to the position of my unerupted wisdom teeth. The lower ones were removed 16 years ago.
    These aches have been quite acute for the last six months but having visited two different dentists I’ve been told the wisdom teeth can’t be causing me any pain because they’re unerupted, and that the pain is caused by clenching my jaw due to stress. I’ve been told I need to try and relax and/or try a mouthguard for sleep.
    However, I don’t live a particularly stressful life and find this hard to accept; I don’t wake up with pain so I’m almost certain I’m not clenching anything during sleep that is causing this. I don’t know where to turn now two dentists have told me it can’t be by wisdom teeth. The pain is a throbbing ache that often spreads upwards into my head, prevents sleep and is generally making me miserable. Is it correct that unerupted wisdom teeth can’t possibly be causing me pain? Any advice would be most welcome.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Unerupted teeth, wisdom teeth included, CAN certainly cause pain and symptoms so I don’t know why a dentist would tell you that an unerupted third molar cannot cause pain. Ask any oral and maxillofacial surgeon who has been in practice many years and he/she will probably tell you that they have seen painful unerupted third molars hundreds if not thousands of time. They see that daily.

      Has anyone taken a panoramic radiograph of your mouth to evaluate the status of these impacted teeth? this would be the first thing to do. There may be pathologies, etc. affecting these teeth and responsible for your symptoms…

      Just look at the examples in the section “Examples of third molar eruption problems” above in this page. These unerupted third molars can certainly cause pain and a lot of them actually did.

      Have a panoramic radiograph taken and if necessary, get a third opinion…

  84. Andreea says:

    Hello Dr. Jules,

    I’m not sure if you already anwered a question like this but I thought I’d ask anyway.
    I’m 18 (female) and 2 of my wisdom teeth (down) started coming out a while ago (they are not fully out yet). The other day I noticed that the gum that’s covering part of my wisdom tooth (down, right) has swollen a little. It isn’t red and it doesn’t hurt but I still got worried. Is it normal for something like this to happen?
    I’m going to get an xray taken soon and I have an appointment at the dentist in about a month

    I also want to add that I am completely terrified of dentists (doctors in general) and my anxiety gets really bad every time I must get something done. I’ve never had any tooth pulled out yet (never had anesthesia either) so just the thought that I’m probably gonna have to get this done scares me really bad. Is there anything I can do about that?

    Thank you so much for your time and any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Dr Jules says:

      The swelling over the erupting wisdom teeth may be part of the normal eruption process and this is far for meaning that these teeth will need to be extracted. It is hard to say without a radiographic and clinical evaluation. Get over your fears, consult your dentist and see what he/she recommends.. If ever extractions are recommended, it probably will be much easier than having serious complications caused by keeping these problematic teeth. Smile and take one step at a time! 🙂

  85. Sania says:

    Dr. Jules I am 28 years old and my panaromic xray shows that I have all 4 third molars which are in perfect condition and alignment. The bottom left is fully erupted. The upper left has not erupted. The upper right just started to errupt. The bottom right has been partially errupted with gum tissue still covering it- which has been the case for 2 years now. I didn’t make a big deal about the partial erruption because the same thing happened when my bottom left errupted and it took about 5 years for that one to fully come in.

    A few days ago the right side of my face became swollen and I woke up with severe tooth pains. The 3 teeth infront of the upper errupting right 3rd molars we so sore and sensitive I couldn’t even bite down. The bottom 3 rd molar is growing and showing more tooth and it is cutting into my cheeks and the gum tissue around it is inflammed and it hurts to open my mouth wide. Again, I went through this same process a few years back with my bottom left third molar. The pain was menacing and it took years for the tooth to not cut into my cheeks and for the pain/swelling to go away.

    My dentist said that I do not need the tooth extracted and I do not have an infection and that I should just use anbesol on my inner gums and cheeks area. She also said that most people errupt their teeth between 17-21 years old and since mine have been in for 10 years (although not all in my mouth) she doesn’t think that they will grow out. What do you think about my dentists advice? Do you think I should just suck it up and leave the teeth alone or should I force her to remove it?

    • Dr Jules says:

      2 to 5 years for a wisdom tooth to erupt is a clear indication that this tooth doesn’t have enough space to complete its eruption normally and will remain pa potential “time bomb” in your mouth! Swelling is probably indicative of an infection spreading in the soft tissues. Even if you went through the same process on the opposite side of your mouth,it doesn’t mean that the wisdom tooth came in OK and is problem free in the mid or long run. Most poeple will not see their wisdom teeth erupt…

      My advice? Have a recent panoramic radiograph taken and obtain a second opinion. Nothing in what you described sounds too good concerning these semi-impacted third molars.

  86. Autumn says:

    I had a full extraction 13 years ago at the age of 23 at a local dental school. I had a history of brittle, cracking teeth. One Dr. suggested that I was born with no enamel and started flouride at a later age. I also had 5 wisdom teeth. My dentist started calling me the “weird girl” (joking of course). Here’s my question, is it possible that I could have another wisdom tooth trying to come in? I’ve had left jaw pain for awhile now off/on. And recently, while running my tongue over that space (just under my denture plate), the gum area has sharpened into an angle and a flat surface (like a tooth). I may be paranoid…. but I thought I should ask?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Anything is possible with wisdom teeth! A simple radiograph will confirm if you have an extra tooth or not. Consult your dentist to find out.

  87. rebecca says:

    I do not have insurance do you think it would be safe to pull my own 3rd molar?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Well… unless you have access to the proper “tools”, radiographs, anesthesia, suturing kit, antibiotics and have a thorough knowledge of dental anatomy and facial structures, (that would mean that you are probably a dentist!), or that you are stranded on a desert island like Tom Hanks in the movie Cast Away and have a skate blade (A), then NO, I would not recommend that you try to pull your own tooth!

      There are numerous examples of poeple showing how they extract their own tooth or teeth on the Net and videos on YouTube (photos in B and C are extracted from these examples!) but this is very dangerous and is not worth trying. Consultation a dentist, it will be much simpler, safer and less painful.

      Il n'est pas recommandé d'extraire ses propres dents comme le font certains sur YouTube ou Internet. Ceci est dangereux. Consultez plutôt un dentiste.

  88. Ana says:

    Dr. Jules, you are a good man to be helping so many. Great article and even better follow up Q&A.
    My son is 16 and half and has always been about two years ahead regarding physical development. He’s had ortho treatment at age 10-13, with great results. His last pano showed he only has the bottom wisdom teeth and to me they look straight and as they have enough room to erupt successfully. I know what the advice is regarding no opposit tooth, but they look as they will partially (half) be hitting the last top molars which would make them somewhat functional. He’s scheduled for removal in two months but I’ve been struggling with this and think that maybe the “wait and watch” approach would be a good one. I would love to send you a picture of his X-ray in hope that you would give me your advice. Also, if removal is the best decision for him, would the procedure be easier if the teeth have partially erupted or if they haven’t? My understanding is that in each scenario a different type of sedation is used, and that the erupted scenario is safer.
    Many thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is important for any posterior tooth to have an opposing contact not only for functionality but also to prevent it from over erupting if there is nothing to prevent that vertical movement in the opposing arch. For a wisdom tooth, the slightest contact with an opposing molar may be sufficient to prevent over eruption. It may not make this tooth very functional but that is not too critical and most poeple will not obtain a lot of functionality from the last teeth in the dental arches anyway. A panoramic radiograph is only part of the picture and will not reveal the whole clinical situation for wisdom teeth. A clinical examination would be essential in evaluating the position of an erupted wisdom tooth. However, from your description and if your son’s wisdom teeth are really erupted, not partially still in bone (the anterior portion of the mandibular branch), are not partially covered by gingiva, are not symptomatic they may very well stay in place and a “wait and see” approach could be justified.

      Usually, but there may be exceptions, the more a tooth is erupted, the easier will be its extraction but other factors must be taken into consideration in evaluating the difficulty of a dental extraction, especially concerning third molars. Also, as a general rule, is is preferable and less risky to do these procedures under local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia. Discuss these points with your oral surgeon.

      Finally, the main question to ask the practitioner who recommended extracting your son’s wisdom teeth is why. What reason(s) justified in his/her mind the necessity of extracting these teeth?

      • Ana says:

        How often should I take radiographs to monitor my developing wisdom teeth?
        Thank you Dr. Jules.
        The wisdom teeth have not erupted yet, that’s why the “wait and watch” approach is in my mind. I’m told the reason this surgery should be now is because:
        1) it is easier to get them out when they are smaller and the roots have not developed much.
        2) he will have an easier recovery now rather than getting them out when they have erupted.
        3) once the roots develop and get close to the nerve the complication and risk level increases.
        4) there is a chance they will not erupt fully and there will be gum flap over it, making cleaning difficult.

        All good points, but I still feel that this is a preventive approach and that is why I’m not 100% convinced that it is the right approach. If we decide to wait, how often do you recommend taking panoramics to keep an eye on the development?
        Thank you again

        • Dr Jules says:

          As you mentioned, all these points are excellent arguments for third molar removal. Depending on your age and the degree of root formation of the wisdom teeth, it is definitely easier (for you and the surgeon) to have these teeth removed earlier than later.

          Look at how difficult the extraction became for this patient (above in the page “Change in the position of wisdom teeth from age 15 to 21”) because he waited until he was 21 instead of having them removed at 16 or 17 years of age!

          On the other hand, it is almost impossible to predict with certainty exactly how wisdom teeth will behave over the years so if you prefer to “wait and see”, have your dentist take a radiograph every few years (3-5 years) or according to his/her recommendations.

  89. Adrian Sadeli says:

    Hi Dr. Jules,

    Im 22 years old and i have not been realizing the existence of my wisdom teeth. I just realized that i actually have one after reading this wonderful website! I have my 3rd molars visible when i look at them on the mirror, i can see the crown but not sure if they are fully erupted yet or just partially. My lower left one is kinda crooked though but i have not experienced any pain, fever, infection, swelling, etc. Do i still have to get it removed because it is crooked despite the fact that i do not experience any pain at all? If the main problem is the chance of having food stuck on the teeth, is it ok for me to just make extra effort cleaning my 3rd molars (with scaler and smaller toothbrush) so that i do not have to undergo any surgery? Thank you!

    Yours respectfully,

    Adrian Sadeli

    • Dr Jules says:

      At you age, if you see only part of a wisdom tooth, it is very likely semi-impacted. Even if you didn’t have nay symptoms related to these molars they represent a “time bomb” as described above in this page. At your age, you have many decades to live with these teeth and chances are that they will eventually cause problems. You don’t “have” to have them extracted but doing so will prevent future problems. You can minimize the chances of having problems by having an impeccable oral hygiene in the area of the wisdom teeth but that is no “warranty” against eventual problems. If you don’t have them removed, make sure to have a dentist take a radiograph every couple of years to verify that everything is OK in the areas that you can’t see.

  90. Adnan says:

    Today I removed one of my first molar
    And I’m 16 years old
    Will it grow back?

  91. tintin says:

    Extractions second molars to retract the front teeth and facial changes
    hi doctor,
    i had braces on for 9 months now. the problem of teeth was when i bite my front and lower teeth dont touch each other.also that my 2 upper front teeth moves slightly forward, my right upper canine and second upper molar are sticking out. my right lower second molar moves toward the tongue but it doesnt bother me a lot. my lips are also fuller. my dentist recommended prior to the treatment to extract my 2 upper second molar in order to have some space to move backward my front teeth.(not to mention i dont have left lower molar anymore because it was pulled out due to decay) so i went for the extractions of my 2 upper premolars. after i month i went back for adjustment he again suggested to extract my right lower wisdom tooth so that my second molar will raise or i dont know how it calls or rather straighten. so again all in all he pulled out 3 teeth.as of now im a bit worried because i think my face looks thin and sunken my profile changes, i also felt that my tongue moves backward and doesnt move freely because i really think my lower teeth moves too far backward. and when i smile i have creases that develop around my mouth and my cheekbones and chin become prominent. doc i really wanted to ask if this things are due to the teeth that had been extracted?especially my wisdom tooth. do face profile changes due too extraction of those teeth?
    i wish i did some research and get a second opinion prior to that treatment but it was already too late.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Extracting Upper second molars in the hope of retracting the “front teeth” is not the most commonly used approach in orthodontics! We usually tend to extract teeth as near as the problem area. For instance, premolars will be chosen to move back the incisors. Wisdom teeth are routinely extracted if they don’t erupt and cause problems. These extractions cannot explain the facial changes that you describe.
      Discuss these issues with your orthodontist ans he can explain exactly what is happening in your mouth and what he plans on doing, the facial changes that you can expect, etc. Do not hesitate to ask questions…

  92. Marc says:

    Can you remove all my wisdom teeth at once?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Great question!
      It is usually possible to remove all the wisdom teeth in one surgical session. This will depend mostly on the patient’s and oral surgeon’s preferences. Discuss it with the clinician who will extract your teeth.

      Note: It is not necessary to have general anesthesia for wisdom teeth removal but if you do, it is definitely logical and more practical to have all the planned extractions done at the same time.

  93. Christophe says:

    Is it possible to keep only the bottom wisdom teeth?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Yep, anything is “possible” but it may not be indicated! Consult your dentist to learn more about your case

  94. hamza says:

    My upper central incisors is the what chances of my incisors comeback my age is 15 year plz give me quickly

    • Dr Jules says:

      It will not grow back, once a tooth is lost it is lost forever but can be replaced by your dentist prosthodontically. Discuss your options with your general dentist.

  95. hamza says:

    My upper central incisors is broken what chamce they will be come back my age is 15plz give answer quickly

    • Dr Jules says:

      ZERO chances! Once a permanent tooth is broken, extracted or lost, it doesn’t have any natural replacement (as do the baby teeth) and sill never grow back. It could however be replaced prosthodontically (dental implant, bridge, partial denture, etc.). Discuss these options with your general dentist.

  96. Natasha says:

    Can taking a dental impression trigger wisdom tooth eruption?
    Hi Dr. Jules,

    What a wonderful website! I have had my top wisdom teeth in since college and now, at 32, my lower right wisdom tooth is cutting through.

    I have a child – sized mouth and adult sized teeth, 4 of which were pulled in adolescence to make room for the teeth I already had. I was told my lower wisdom teeth would not come in as there was no more room. Now that one is cutting, there would basically be a fingertip width between the top and bottom wisdom teeth.

    I am wondering about a couple things. First, how long does it take to completely cut a tooth? I have heard that partially impacted teeth are the most troublesome, but how long after starting to cut is a tooth considered partially impacted?

    Secondly, this incident has strange timing. I recently had impressions done for a whitening kit and the material stuck to my teeth. My mouth was open for a long time while the dental assistants were trying to remove it. For the next few days, I had severe pain in my lower right jaw, shooting down my throat and up to my ear. A week later, the wisdom on that side started to protrude. Could the impression incident have spurred the tooth to erupt?

    Thanks!
    Natasha

    • Dr Jules says:

      Wisdom tooth may not completely erupt regardless of how much time you give them. If they don’t have adequate space, they’ll stop erupting and will stay “semi-impacted” with all the possible problems associated with that. As soon as a tooth pierces the gum tissue, it is semi-impacted if it stops erupting.

      The sudden eruption of your wisdom teeth is very likely not related to impression taking incident but the pain in your jaw or temporo-mandibular joints may have been elicited by such a procedure (prolonged and wide opening of the mouth).

  97. Lea says:

    Hi I am 30 years old. Recently my upper right wisdom tooth has been causing problems with pain. My dentist recommends removing my second molar to leave space for the wisdom tooth to grow down. The wisdom tooth is interrupted and growing on an angle. There is no decay or need to extract the second molar. I am confused and don’t think this plan of action makes sense. I don’t understand why my dentist isn’t just removing the wisdom tooth. My second molar down the bottom has been extracted and he there fore deemed the second molar at the top useless. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Dr Jules says:

      I understand your concern. If the second molar is sound, erupted, functional and has no problem, extracting it in the hope that an unerupted third molar will replace it and be as functional and well placed as the tooth that was removed is a long shot at best! Such an approach may be indicated if there was a problem with a second molar (caries, fracture, root canal treatment, etc.) and there was a sound third molar (wisdom tooth) present behind it but otherwise, I don’t see what are the advantages of removing that second molar but there may be something that I am missing from the case…

      If the upper second molar is considered hopeless only because the opposing lower second molar has been extracted, you will end up with the same situation with the treatment plan that was presented to you; removing the second molar and having the third molar replace it will make that tooth (third molar) just as hopeless as the second molar since there will still no opposing tooth below!

      Obtain a second opinion if you are too much in doubt about that treatment plan.

  98. Wendy says:

    Hi Dr Jules,

    Thank you for this very informative piece! I have been researching this topic online, and this is the best I’ve come across so far!

    I am 31 years old this year, and used to wear braces (removed them almost 13 years ago). My wisdom teeth are impacted and some of them have half-erupted, so I’ve now been advised to remove 3 of them (two bottom, one top). I was wondering if it’s common after the removal of wisdom teeth, that the other teeth shift (e.g. spread out, because now there is “more space” in the gums)?

    I haven’t worn retainers since I took my braces off, and my teeth have shifted minimally, so I was wondering if it was really necessary to go get retainers made again just so I can put them on after the wisdom teeth removal surgery.

    Any advice you might be able to provide would be gratefully received.

    Thank you!

    • Dr Jules says:

      The removal of wisdom teeth will not make the other teeth shift so using retainers only to prevent such dental movements is not indicated.

  99. sam says:

    Sir i have got removed my right both upper and lower molar 3 . Because its impacted. My question is, do i need to remove my left too or can i leave both upper and lower of left molar 3 until that creates problem? Is there any possibility of imbalanced alignment changes in my front row because i removed only on right side? Is there any possibility of right molar 2 shift in right molar 3 place? If yes even a very minimal shift , what its impact on front incisor alignment ? will there be any chance for gaping in between front upper incisors? kindly answer my question sir.

    • Dr Jules says:

      You don’t absolutely need to have the wisdom teeth removed on one side simply because they were removed on the opposite side. However, have them evaluated by a dentist with a panoramic radiograph. Not all wisdom tooth cause symptoms before they cause problems so don’t wait to have an evaluation made.

      Your wisdom teeth will not cause an imbalance to your front teeth. A second molar usually doesn’t move back into a wisdom tooth extraction site.

  100. Chez says:

    Root canal treatment on a wisdom tooth?
    Hi Doc, how are you
    I had a cavity in my wisdom tooth. Doc said to fix would require a root canal . Since its not a tooth that is used She said its best to pull it and that is what we did. Was this the correct choice?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Well… it seems that that problematic wisdom tooth has already been extracted so even if that was not the right choice, there’s not much you can do about saving that tooth now! But… it probably was the right choice as it is rare to justify doing a root canal treatment on a third molar but there may be indications where it is indicated (if other teeth are missing ant the wisdom tooth replaces a second molar for instance). The overall occlusion, bite, function, etc. must be taken into consideration to decide if it is worth trying to save a problematic wisdom tooth.

      • Chez says:

        Thank you very much for your response
        The tooth also did not have a partner on the bottom
        Does that justify it more?

        • Dr Jules says:

          Yep!
          I don’t think that any honest dentist would have proposed to do a root canal treatment on a wisdom tooth that has no opponsing contact or tooth.

  101. nimfa says:

    Hello. I am fifteen years old and my 2 tooth was removed those that are used for chewing downward . I think its the molars, i thought . Then would like to ask if how will the wisdom teeth grow with that situation ? Is it good or their an effect . I’m not wearing false teeth tho.

    • Dr Jules says:

      The wisdom teeth may not automatically come in just because you had other molars removed.
      Consult a dentist or an orthodontist who will be able to better answer your question after a clinical examination and evaluating your panoramic radiograph.

  102. Matthew says:

    Hi,

    Im a 27 year old male. One of my third molars has fully erupted (upper right) and has seemingly formed perfectly. It’s perfectly aligned, angled and level with the second molar. I struggle to clean it properly…but it can be done with a little persistence. I have no idea when it came through…it’s been there as long as I remember and hasn’t noticeably changed. So it clearly wasn’t a painful (or even noticeable) eruption. Just out of interest, is there a lower age limit that a third molar will come through? And do they often come through completely unnoticed?

    Also, there is no sign of the rest of my third molars. So a few questions:

    Is it usual for only one to come through, all the way, with no sign of the others?

    Since I have one that has formed well, how likely is it that the others will also form well? I seem to have a space in my upper gum at the back where the tooth hasn’t formed yet and where the tooth could easily fit. Its like a tooth has been taken out…tooth then air. I assume it was the same on the other side and thats why the tooth fit in well. But on the bottom there is no space. There is gum up to the height of the tooth. So I’m thinking when they come through on the bottom there will be problems due to the lack of space. Does that all seem plausible?

    Also, I’ve never had a radiograph. No dentist has previously mentioned my erupted third molar (haven’t been in a few years but was a regular until age 22). So just wondering if, in your opinion, it would be worth scheduling and appointment with my local and discussing the matter, possibly getting a radiograph? Or would waiting until there is a problem be the way to go?

    Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      Anything is possible with third molars and they are very unpredictable.

      – they nay come in at any age, starting in the late teen years until adulthood (30s, 40s, 50s, etc.),
      – they may not erupt at all, or one or a few may erupt and not the others,
      – there may be only 1, 2, 3, 4 third molars and sometimes more forming (as seen on radiographs),
      – they may cause excruciating pain and other problems during the eruption process or cause no symptoms at all,
      – having one tooth forming, erupting or behaving “normally” is no indication that the other wisdom teeth may react the same way. They are all independent from one another!

      Think about any situation concerning wisdom teeth and it probably happened to someone.

      The first thing you should do is to consult a dentist and have a panoramic radiograph taken. This will greatly help in answering all your questions and concerns.

  103. Ankita says:

    I have my upper left third molar erupting, it’s half erupted and it’s buccal cusps are piercing on my mucosa. I can see indentations of cusps on my mucosa . It’s painful. Can you tell me what to do?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Consult a dentist so that he can have a look at this and, if necessary, take a panoramic radiograph to evaluate the position of that tooth. Until then, make sure that you have impeccable oral hygiene to minimize the chances of infection in that area.

  104. Adam says:

    Hello Dr. Jules,

    I am a 31 year old male with some wisdom teeth wisdom from you. When I was about 19 my both wisdom teeth started coming in and I remember them giving me a lot of grief. My left lower wisdom tooth was always getting infected and yet I never got it pulled. About a year ago I got my teeth checked out for the first time in “x” amount of years. The dentist noticed that I had cavities on my two lower wisdom teeth. I didn’t have the insurance nor the money to get them removed, of course that’s always the excuse. I’m have dentist phobias, they just freak me out. Three weeks ago I started developing a lot of pain when hard food would hit my left wisdom tooth, it progressively got to be unbearable and constant. Over memorial day weekend I had to call in a dentist, he prescribed me an antibiotic since he believed that I had an abscessed tooth. Finally got to a dentist this week and he noticed a hole in my wisdom tooth and he referred me to a Oral surgeon to take out all 4 of my wisdom teeth. To me I feel that I just need to get my bottom 2 taken out since I have never had any issue with my upper wisdom teeth. They have never broke through the skin, nor have they caused me any pain. My bottom teeth are highly crowded and seem to be the biggest issue.

    In your experience and wisdom, what would you recommend for my age?

    Thanks,

    -Adam

    • Dr Jules says:

      There are usually less problems with upper wisdom teeth than with the lower ones… but problems DO happen.
      – If the upper wisdom teeth eventually erupt, they may not have opposing contacts with the lower teeth and they will be useless and may cause problems. It would therefore probably be best to have them removed.
      – If they stay impacted and a panoramic radiograph shows that their position is not problematic (vs the second molars), and that you have no symptoms, one school of thought recommends to leave them alone. However, if you do this, make sure that they are monitored on a regular basis with a radiograph to make sure that there are no changes occurring inside the jaw and around these teeth, whether you have symptoms or not.

  105. et says:

    Hello Dr. Jules,

    I am a 26 years old female. When I was 21 my wisdom teeth started coming in with the lower ones coming first. Finally a year and a half ago, the right upper one also started coming in and i was noticing my teeth shifting to the left but i did not combine the two events. After a visit at the dentist and a radiograph, he mentioned that I may not have the left upper wisdom tooth and never get it which might be the reason of my teeth shifting since there is more space to the left making the middle teeth not being in the middle anymore. A year and a half later, I am not really confident about my teeth anymore. Usually it is not noticeable by others but I know that they are not straight. My dentist said that I shouldn’t do anything because I would cause more trouble to my teeth by putting braces. He also mentioned that they wont shift anymore since the wisdom tooth is fully grown but I would really appreciate your opinion. Obviously I do not feel comfortable putting braces at this age and I am not sure if it is worth the trouble and money since insurance covers it till the age of 18.

    Thank in advance for your time,
    E.

    • Dr Jules says:

      1- wisdom tooth have nothing to do with your front teeth shifting, read their information above in this page
      2- for orthodontic questions, why don’t you consult a certified orthodontist?

      To better understand the difference between a general dentist offering orthodontic services and a certified orthodontic specialist (orthodontist) limiting his or her practice to orthodontics only, follow this link.

      Pour connaître la différence entre un dentiste généraliste qui offre des services d’orthodontie et un spécialiste certifié en orthodontie (orthodontiste) qui ne pratique que l’orthodontie.

  106. Caitlin Middleton says:

    I’m 16 years of age and have my third wisdom tooth growing, it’s been 2 days and is quite painful when I chew on that side, is this normal? And how long will it take too fully grow?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Wisdom tooth eruption is very variable and unpredictable. Your wisdom tooth may never erupt more than it has so far….
      Consult a dentist and have a panoramic radiograph taken to find out more about your wisdom teeth.

      • Caitlin Middleton says:

        A blister is appearing on my lower lip when I eat
        To be honest, I’m scared of the dentist and hate going there. I also have a blister on my bottom lip around the same time my wisdom tooth started growing, is this natural? I’ve been eating a lot of chewy food lately and is sore when I eat on that side, what types of food should I eat?

        • Dr Jules says:

          I don’t think that your symptoms are related to the specific type of food that you are eating. The “blister” on your lip may be a small salivary gland that has been damaged by some form of trauma or has its duct blocked of. Salivary glands are stimulated to produce saliva when you are eating (any type of food) but if the saliva can’t exit the gland because of a blocked duct, it will accumulate in the gland and make it swell. The product of the gland can also accumulate in the surrounding tissues and cause a swelling. This is called a “ranula” or a “mucocele” and you can easily find pictures of these lesions on the Internet.
          This is usually not dangerous and a simple incision can usually solve that problem and is an easy procedure to do.

          Consult a dentist who will evaluate your condition clinically, give you a specific diagnosis, an offer treatment options.

  107. Bill W says:

    Hello there! I’m 23 (almost 24) y.o male and still have all of my wisdom teeth. I’ve had x-rays taken as recently as a year, maybe 2 ago. I was always told by my dentist to remove my wisdom teeth, but they cause me no pain and ive never had any problems with them. Just recently i discovered a small hole in my gum behind my left 2nd molar. The hole is about the size of of “0” (zero) on your keyboard. Its never been there before, and very well might go away. However, i’m not taking any chances. The wisdom tooth on that side (Lower jaw) has not erupted, nor have any of my other wisdom teeth. I know this small hole can get filled with food and bad bacteria, so im just wondering what i should do. I could send a picture of the area, if that would prove helpful.

    Thanks!

    • Dr Jules says:

      That little hole in the gum may be the wisdom tooth that is trying to pierce through the tissue. It may stay like that for weeks, months or maybe years but will always be a potential food, plaque and bacteria trap with the problems that come with that. It is usually is safer to extract such semi-impacted teeth but if you keep it, have regular X-Rays taken and make sure you keep the area as clean as possible. You can ask you dentist to evaluate if that tooth has progressed in its eruption process since the last radiograph was taken.

  108. Bella says:

    My wisdom tooth is erupting after the removal of another molar, can it be saved?
    Hi Dr Jules, I’m 22 years old with braces for 7 months now. My dentist recommended to have my partially erupted impacted wisdom tooth (lower left) to be removed. But last February, I just had my 1st molar (lower left) extracted due to cavity. I observed that the wisdom tooth is showing and going out and hoping for it not to be removed. Is it possible for my wisdom tooth to be out fully? I hope not to undergo surgery because there will be 1 molar (2nd molar) left for me. Teeth are important and odontectomy is pricey. I hope you’ll answer my question. Thank you very much!

    • Dr Jules says:

      Yes it is possible that your third molar or wisdom tooth erupts more but it is hard to say if it will erupt fully without seeing a panoramic radiograph but chances are that it sill tip froward and remain this way despite erupting. This doesn’t mean that is has to be extracted however. Depending on the relationship that this tooth has with the opposing teeth, it may by uprighted and positioned so that it becomes functional and replaces the molar that was extracted. I can’t say if this is applicable to your case but it may be worth looking into. You can find examples of cases in which molars were extracted and how extraction spaces can be closed orthodontically. Discuss this with your orthodontist.

      And here’s an example from the above links:

      Pré-traitement : Extractions de 4 molaires abimées (flèches) afin d'éviter plusieurs travaux dentaires à la patiente.

      • Bella says:

        Thank you very much for the immediate response! I can now discuss this with my dentist. I was just not confident to talk about it because I was really clueless and maybe I’ll just say yes to everything she’ll say. Now with your comment and explanation, it’s all clear now and might give her options. I hope that my tooth will be preserved. Thank you very much for your time! 🙂

        • Dr Jules says:

          You don’t necessarily have to “say yes to everything she’ll say” but be open minded and ask questions as to what the treatment plan is and what are the alternatives. Your dentist is the one who should be offering the options but she has to be open minded too and know what is possible to do in orthodontics.

  109. Rama ralte says:

    Hi, i’m 21 years old. My tooth of lower part comes forward than the upper and also not straight. It really cause problem in my chewing and speaking. Would you please tell me whether it can be correct or not by braces or surgery or anything? Should i go to orthologist or dentist?

  110. Supreet says:

    Hi. First of all thanks for a very useful post.

    My first molar has been damaged with a bad root canal and has to be extracted. My third molar (wisdom tooth) has cavity and is paining as well as its slant and not straight.
    Although in such cases mostly people get wisdom tooth extracted if it pains a lot, but in my case since my first molar is already gone and extracting my third molar (wisdom tooth) will leave me only with 1 molar – the second one.
    My dentist is suggesting root canal on wisdom tooth to saved my 2 remaining molars (2nd & 3rd). But root canal on wisdom tooth is not long lasting and had to be eventually taken out. Please suggest what is the best solution here.
    I am 29 years old and hence doctor does not suggest me be left with only support of 1 molar by removing my wisdom tooth.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Your question is very specific to your case and cannot be answered in a general way. I don’t understand why your dentist would say that a root canal treatment would not last as long on a certain tooth compared to another. If the root canal is feasible on your wisdom tooth and it is well done, it should be as good as on any other tooth (unless there is some information that I don’t know about your tooth). It may be worth trying to save your third molar if it is in a functional position with the opposing teeth and is therefore useful. It may also be possible to advance your second and third molars orthodontically and close the space left by the extraction of the first molar. You may want to discuss these options with your general dentist or an orthodontist. To see examples of such space closure, visit the page about mini-screws (French text) and examples of molar extraction and space closure.

  111. ColinW says:

    Over the last two years my wisdom teeth have erupted without problems. The last erupted 3 months ago. I am 59.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Well… that’s another proof that these teeth are unpredictable and can erupt at any age. If they are functional, don’t cause any problems and you can clean them properly, you can probably keep them. In doubt, check with your dentist.

  112. JenR says:

    My daughter had all four wisdom teeth extracted 2 years ago at the age of 18, now she has a large tooth-like eruption that appears to be coming in sideways and is causing a lot of pain and swelling. She has an appointment with the oral surgeon who took her teeth out in the first place. Their response on the phone was “this seems so late to be happening now”. What can they be talking about, and wouldn’t such a large tooth be visible on the original xrays years ago?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Wisdom teeth are full of surprises! You daughter may have an extra wisdom tooth. This may have been visible on an earlier radiograph or not, depending on the position of that extra tooth. A new radiograph will confirm the nature of that new “tooth” suddenly erupting in the area of the wisdom teeth.

  113. Leah says:

    Im 30 yrs old and had almost most my molars removed on each side for several yrs.. iv never had wisdom teeth nor r they n any xray.. I’m all of a sudden having a tooth growing .. could it b a wisdom tooth finally coming even tho they ain’t n xrays

  114. Laura says:

    Hi,
    When I was 15, I was told I had no wisdom teeth in my mouth, but when I was 21 I had all four removed. That was in January. But when I went in for an xray, the surgeon told me my top right tooth was infected. I had no problems healing and no pain afterwards. Now, for the past maybe four months, I’ve had on and off jaw pain on both sides of my mouth and it almost feels like there is now another tooth growing in. Shouldn’t my oral surgeon have seen that when he took the xray? Or could it be a piece of tooth that wasn’t completely removed. I’m terrified to go back to the dentist in case I need to get surgery done again. Please help.

    • Dr Jules says:

      6 years is a long period and many things can happen in the back of the mouth during that time. A new radiograph should confirm what is going on. Fear will not solve your problem. Go back to your dentist to have a panoramic radiograph taken.

  115. Mariana says:

    Hi there!
    First of all great work on answering all these questions.
    I’m 30 y.o and finally decided(and saved yay!) to get braces.
    My ortho told me he needs both my first upper molars to come out and suggested that its best to get my wisdom (all 4) to get extracted as well but told me that it’s not a must.
    i am totally terrified of getting all my wisdom taken out at once and even more so when i found out how much that would cost. Only one of my wisdom (bottom right) has erupted the rest still not erupted and never have cause me any trouble.
    The ortho told me that the wisdom would not compromise the treatment and perhaps i can take them out once treatment is completed. Thats why I’ve decided that i would leave them for later and perhaps take them out one at a time or something don’t know if this is the best course of action. Im worried tho that they might move my fixed teeth or something afterwards or cause me any sort of trouble after treatment is done.
    what are ur thoughts?
    Thanks in advance

    • Dr Jules says:

      As discussed in this section, wisdom teeth should not have an influence on the position of your other teeth but there are many other reasons to recommend their extraction. If you also have 2 upper molars removed, did you discuss with your orthodontist what influence that may have on the upper wisdom teeth? There must be a reason for choosing to extract molars instead of the more usual choice of premolars but this often allows the second and third molars (wisdom teeth) to move forward so this may help the eruption of the third molars in certain cases… but I don’t know if that would be your case.

      • Mariana says:

        My bad. It is in fact the premolars that he’s planning to extract i just got confused there.
        So do u think that it would be ok to leave the wisdom to be extracted after treatment is finished?
        He suggested taking them out before hand but told me that i can also do it after if i didn’t or couldn’t do that. So I’m unsure. In your experience what do u think its the best course of action?

        • Dr Jules says:

          If your wisdom teeth are asymptomatic, do not cause any problem presently and their removal is not necessary for your orthodontic treatment, I don’t see the urgency in having them removed. You orthodontist even mentioned himself that it could wait until after the end of treatment.

  116. Vic says:

    Hi,

    I don’t have a question but just wanted to comment on the above question! I know I’m not a doctor but going off of my own experience with teeth extractions, and those of many others, do NOT get your 1st upper molars removed. Your face will be affected negatively and there’s no reason you can’t get braces without extractions!

    • Dr Jules says:

      You are right, you are not a doctor, a dentist, orthodontist or oral surgeon and there is absolutely no basis in the scientific literature to support what you are saying. Although very few orthodontic cases require the extraction of teeth, there are still indications to extract teeth and sometimes molars although this is not common. To see examples of orthodontic cases treated with extractions (text is in French but the photos should be self-explanatory).

      • Mariana says:

        Oh believe me, i do not want to get any extraction!
        Out of the 3 orthodontist i’ve consulted 2 told me that i did need to get these extractions. That’s in my case and many others that i’ve heard about. I have an over bite and my ortho told me that would be imposible to take those teeth back without an extraction. Theres no room in my mouth to push them back. Why do u say that? What do u mean by being afected by that?

        • Dr Jules says:

          It is probably possible not to have teeth extracted if you accept to keep part of your overjet (upper teeth being forward) but if you want to bring them back and most of the orthodontists that you consulted say that it requires extractions to do so then you have a choice to make. If the third orthodontist didn’t require that you extract teeth and he says that he can achieve results that will satisfy you, choose him!

  117. matt says:

    Hi dr jules, i really concerned, and have a few questions. i’m 19 and planning on getting my wisdom teeth removed due to discomfort, and one of them being partially impacted and erupt. (3 are still growing).

    i’ll try to tidy this up.

    i heard when you remove teeth (wisdom teeth for instance) bone gets weak there and eventually reabsorbs/goes away, etc. and that this will start happening noticeably in about 18 months onward. So if i’m not mistaken, wouldn’t your face change? i was readings things about it making ur jaw narrower, shorter, cheeks to push in, and even affecting ur cheekbones due to the bone loss, and muscles lack of support. and apparently that it makes your face sag faster over time, etc due to losing all this support, and if you’re already in your 40s+ you can notice the sagging days later.

    2ndly, if you remove your top wisdom teeth, i assume you have to remove your bottom as well?

    3rdly, when you remove the teeth, does some bone grow back, or is it just pure gum?

    and lastly, when you remove your teeth, and when it heals up, does this allow easy inflammation, and discomfort/irritation when chewing things such as nuts, etc. due to their only being gum (if there is only gum growth)?

    if you can respond that would be great, and thanks a lot for your time.

    • Dr Jules says:

      I don’t know where you “heard” such a story but your face will not be affected by the removal of wisdom teeth! When a tooth is extracted, it obviously creates a hole in the bone (extraction socket) but this progressively fills up with bone. There may be a slight bone loss and a lower bone level but that doesn’t affect the “muscle support” and make your face sag!

      if you remove your top wisdom teeth, i assume you have to remove your bottom as well?

      Very often yes but not necessarily, it depends on your occlusion (bite)

      when you remove the teeth, does some bone grow back, or is it just pure gum?

      Bone grow in the socket to fill it and gum covers it.

      when you remove your teeth, and when it heals up, does this allow easy inflammation, and discomfort/irritation when chewing things such as nuts, etc. due to their only being gum (if there is only gum growth)?
      If you have no teeth left, you’ll have to chew on your gums unless you have some form of prosthesis (denture). It is certainly less comfortable to chew on the gum tissue than on natural or prosthetic teeth.

      The following examples show how extracted molar sites fill in with bone and this allows to move the other teeth into that space.

      L'extraction d'une dent laisse une cavité qui se remplira d'os progressivement.

      Fermeture d'un espace d'extraction de molaire en orthodontie

      • matt says:

        Can wisdom teeth cause a narrowing of the face?
        thank you for your comment,
        i really appreciate it. however, i just wanted to know your thoughts on this comment

        • Dr Jules says:

          This is the first time I read something that mentions the fact that a jaw could become narrower following wisdom teeth extraction (“My jaw seems narrower and seems to sit a little higher on my face).

          There is absolutely no scientific basis or study to support such a claim as far as I know and I have never heard of any professional association of oral and maxillofacial surgeons or orthodontists having a statement in their informed consent about the fact that extraction of wisdom teeth can narrow jaws or make them “higher in the face”!

          This doesn’t mean that facial changes cant, occur following third molar surgeries. If someone has thick cheeks, a round face, is “fat”, etc. and looses weight following such a surgery, this could certainly cause a change in appearance but is it directly due to the extraction or to the fact that that person could not eat as much, etc. and lost weight?

  118. Hayfa Ahmed says:

    hi doctor i removed two of my lower wisdom teeth both through surgery and i found it so painful and the doctor recomended i also remove both of my upper wisdom teeth though there healthy and fit but am so attached to my teeth i dont like going through extraction again also i went to visit my orthodologist today and he recomended i remove 2 upper premolars and 2 lower premolars for braces do you think its necessary please answer me soon before i go for another appoitment with him??

    • Dr Jules says:

      There are 2 different issues in your description:

      – the removal of premolars for orthodontic purposes; this is commonly done to obtain space to align the teeth during an orthodontic treatment. Too see examples of orthodontic cases treated with extractions (text in French).

      – the removal of the upper third molars (wisdom teeth); there are different reasons for extracting these teeth. It may be because they don’t have an opposing contact now that your lower wisdom teeth have been removed. Ask your dentist to explain why he recommends these extractions.

  119. aysha says:

    Hello, am a 19yr old girl, I have all my wisdom teeth out with the exception of upper right, it’s erupting normally with slight pain. But I noticed a small flesh beside the 2nd molar I.e between the 2nd molar and the erupting 3rd molar, so I want to ask if this flesh is normal or not. Am really disturbed if it might be a tumour or sort of it.

    • Dr Jules says:

      This may be normal. As a tooth erupts, if often has some gum partially covering it and it usually goes away eventually. Show it to your dentist if you want a confirmation of what it exactly is.

  120. Melissa says:

    Hi. I am a few weeks out from getting all 4 wisdom taken out. I am 29 and have put it off and now have very crowded teeth and have a lot of tension headaches because of it. Would the crowded teeth spread back out eventually after having them out?

    • Dr Jules says:

      The wisdom teeth didn’t cause your crowding (as you can read in this section) so removing them will not change anything concerning that crowding. There may still be other indications to have them removed however. It is also very unlikely that your tension headaches will disappear after such extractions… but if they do, come back and tell us!

    • Melissa says:

      I’m returning to let you know that I got all my wisdom taken out. Bottom two were under the bone. I was having daily tension headaches and since they have been out not a single headache and also my grinding and clinching my jaw at night has significantly stopped. Totally worth the recovery (even though it does kinda suck) should have done it sooner.

  121. Joe says:

    Is there a relationship between tinnitus and wisdom teeth?
    Hi
    I have been suffering from tinnitus for several years now and I believe this may be caused by my impacted upper wisdom teeth.

    Only other symptoms there are occasional dull pain (seems to come from second molars), and throbbing upper gums. Upper jaw also fees stressed compared to lower jaw.

    Is it possible for the roots of the molars to somehow impact nerves which may lead to hearing tinnitus noise ?
    My hearing is excellent for my age and recent ENT visit found no problems. TMJ also all good.

    Many thanks.

  122. Amber says:

    Hopeless second molar causing severe pain
    Hello, I am a 19 year old female and at the age of like 12/13 I had a cavity filling on my bottom second molar on my right side. When I was 16 that filling fell out. For many reasons, I did not return to the dentist to have it fixed. About 9 months ago my wisdom tooth next to that molar started to come out. That second molar has broken of flush with the gumline. Now I am in severe pain and I am crying everyday because of it. There are 2 spots on my gum where my wisdom tooth is that are bleeding.(only the size of if you were stabbed with a pin) My mouth is swollen and it hurts to talk, eat, and close my mouth! What do I do? Thank you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      From your description, it seems that your second molar is hopeless and will need to be extracted. You probably have an infection spreading in that area (that could explain the swelling) Go see a dentist asap to have this looked at. It may not be necessary to extract your wisdom tooth however and maybe this tooth could be brought forwards with orthodontics to close the extraction space of the second molar?
      To see examples of molar extraction cases.

  123. muni says:

    Hi,
    I’m 16 and from the UK and my wisdom tooth is just starting to poke out of my gum and it really hurts, I would like to know how long it would take for it to grow out completely up till when the pain would stop.
    Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      It may never grow completely, most wisdom teeth don’t. Pain associated with wisdom tooth eruption can be of short duration or last for a long time and can be cyclic in nature (comes and goes).

      Consult a dentist to have your wisdom tooth evaluated.

      • Nancy Jo says:

        Hi,
        I am a 62 year old female. When my dentist did my first panorex in 2009, I was discovered I have a wisdom tooth, fully impacted, growing sideways (towards the front of my mouth) over my top left back molar. Just did a second panorex on July 2, 2015. No movement of the wisdom tooth. I have had 12 root canals over the years. Every tooth on the upper left, except one beside my eye tooth, has had a root canal. Often wonder if so many root canals had something to do with the wisdom tooth. I wear a mouthguard. Just had a ct scan which shows no infection, cysts, arthritis in the bone. But since last Oct. experiencing some pain off & on in left upper jaw, especially in eye tooth. This was my last root canal done 10 years ago.

        Getting conflicting opinions about keeping or removing this wisdom tooth and also source of upper jaw pain. Not sure if this is a dental issue or a nerve issue now. Would sincerely appreciate your opinion. Thanks so much.
        NJ

        • Dr Jules says:

          I don’t think there is any relationship between your wisdom tooth and the root canal treatments. Your impacted tooth seems to be in a stable position according to the sequential panoramic radiographs that you refer to. There was something going on in the upper left area where you had so many root canal treatments (RCT) done and the same thing may be affecting the only remaining tooth without a RCT in that quadrant (canine – eye tooth) but I can’t tell you what it is…

          If you wear a mouth guard (night guard), it may be because you are clenching your teeth at night (bruxism) and that may affect your teeth and cause symptoms?
          I think it is unlikely that, from what you described, the issue lies with your impacted wisdom tooth. You can always have it remove but don’t get your hpoes to high as far as eliminating these symptoms is concerned.
          Your dentists should pursue other paths in trying to identify the cause of your symptoms.

  124. puja says:

    Sit m 24 yar old . I have taken ortho treatment in Sept 2014 it had been 11 mth and from 1 week I have severe pain in my jaw . when I consult other doc he said u have impacted tooth both side and it is semi impacted bent toward 2 and molar. What shall I do.

    • Dr Jules says:

      What did the doctor who examined you recommend? It is usually recommended to extract semi-impacted teeth as they present a potential for infection and other problems as described in this page. Have a panoramic radiograph taken and ask for a clinical opinion from a dentist.

  125. Damir says:

    To extract or not to extract wisdom teeth?
    Dear Dr Jules,
    I am truly amazed by the amount of help you provide in the comments – thank you first and foremost for that and the great article.

    I have a question about my situation.
    I am 27 years old.

    About 6 months ago I had a few days of pain with my bottom right 3rd molar.
    After doing a checkup and an x-ray, my dentist decided to take no action, but we have seen that one on the bottom left was “under an angle” towards the 2nd molar.

    Last week the pain came back.
    I hung out for a few days but then decided to take action as I realized it was too long to be just “typical 3rd molar growing out of the gum” pain. 🙂
    Good that I did.
    There was a slight infection going on behind the partially errupted bottom right 3rd molar – we did a new orthopantomography linked here – http://www.deviantpics.com/V77.

    The dentist took immediate action and did a small incision on the part of the gum covering the tooth, in order to clean behind it.
    I got some painkiller pills (of which I used only two, as there has not been much pain since, except for the feeling of the cut) and an antiseptic gel which I apply evenings and mornings.
    I was also told I will need to take all of my 4 3rd molars out because of various reasons (partial erruption, impaction, lack of space etc.).

    I plan to extract the bottom ones for sure as they seem more critical.

    But I wanted to ask for your professional opinion on the state of my dental image based on the x-ray above.
    Could you please advise me with some of your analysis?

    Also, do you think that after the 3rd molars are extracted it would be possible to apply some orthodontistry in order to “spread apart” both the top and the bottom teeth line (as they are a bit crowded)?
    Would this spreading also make the teeth lean “outwards”?
    I have no idea up to what age is it possible to move teeth around, nor how it is at all possible if they are part in the jaw bone. 🙂

    Any help is highly appreciated!

    Thank you very much in advance,
    Damir

    • Dr Jules says:

      Impacted wisdom teeth, indications for extraction.
      I don’t think that any of your wisdom teeth, indicated with black * on this radiograph, have a great future!
      The lower right one seems semi-impacted which offers a possibility for infection and the left one could eventually affect or damage the second molar. They should be removed, especially if you have symptoms. You can wait to have the upper third molars extracted (or they could be removed now also). They could erupt more and make the extraction a little easier. If you don’t have them removed, have a regular follow up with a radiograph.

      Orthodontics should be possible whether the wisdom teeth are extracted or not. Consult a certified specialist in orthodontics (orthodontist) to find out more about your case (diagnosis, malocclusion, etc.) and what are the possible treatment options (ideal treatment, alternatives, appliances, duration, cost, etc.).

  126. DR says:

    Hi, I’m a 25 year old male and my wisdom teeth are on their way through. I haven’t experienced much pain, although on one or two occasions my jaw did feel pressured but I just think this was the teeth coming through. My question is, it appears that the presence of my wisdom teeth seem to be moving the tooth in front of them, only slightly however and as mentioned pain free. In this case do the wisdom teeth still require removal if the teeth are still relatively aligned and pain is not an issue?

    • Dr Jules says:

      No diagnosis can be made only with your description but if your teeth are symptom free and functional and have no problems, they may be kept. Discuss it with your general dentist.

  127. Lovro says:

    Will my third molars erupt if my second molars are not fully in?
    Hello, I am 16 year old male. I have noticed recently that my front teeth on lower jaw are beginning to crowd. I did panoramic radiograph and consulted my orthodontist. She looked at my third molars and said that the 2 of them on upper jaw are doing just fine and have enough space as I even got both of my second premolars removed (because of orthodontic reasons). But she advised that I should get 2 other third molars on the lower jaw removed because they have no chance of eruption and could help me with the crowding problem.

    I personally don’t have any problems with those third molars, as I don’t even have my second molars on lower jaw fully erupted (I had this problems with eruption, my canine tooth erupted a year after baby tooth was pulled out). The orthodontist was concerned about this 2 second molars but I’m not as I see their development little by little and with my effort of tooth brushing this area and removing the gum. She wanted me to get this gum removed too when I’m removing third molars.

    Anyways, I could blame the genetics for crowding problem as my older brother and mother have this problem, but I’m not sure whether or not to remove third molars. I’m afraid of the risks of this surgery (read a lot of patient problems with nerve damages etc.). I sought for help of my general dentist, but he’s quite careless as he just looked a bit at my X-ray and said they should get removed.

    So should I wait and see in the future if my third molars would present serious problem or to just get them removed.
    I would like to send you my X-ray for your more precise opinion.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If your lower second molars are not even fully erupted, it is very unlikely, not to say impossible, that the third molars (wisdom teeth) behind them will ever erupt. Brushing as hard as you can will not change anything to that fact!

      Read again the information in this page and you will understand that removing your lower wisdom teeth will have no influence or effect whatsoever on your lower anterior crowding.
      You can take the gamble of waiting to have your wisdom teeth removed but make sure that you do a regular follow radiographically.

  128. Damir says:

    Why was my question removed? 🙁

    • Dr Jules says:

      It was not removed. It was never published yet because it is awaiting “moderation” which means that we have not had time to answer it yet. We will eventually…

  129. Neetu says:

    Dr.Jules,

    I am a 33 years old female from India. Recently my two wisdom tooth from the left side were removed 3 weeks back because they were impacted and creating infection. Though I have recovered well from the surgery but I am facing some issues that are beyond explanation or to the understanding of doctors.
    1. By the evening or towards the night, I start feeling pain in the entire dental structure. I mean the pain is not unbearable but it is there. I would call it more of a discomfort that I feel all the time. And by the evening the discomfort goes intense. I also feel that the alignment of my tooth is not the same as it was before the surgery (I also underwent deep cleaning 20 days before the extraction and this is since when the problem srarted). Can you suggest a potential cause?
    2. I have consulted 6 different doctors in India and all of them except one have recommended me extraction of right wisdom tooth also as they are also impacted and will be cause of problem in future. However, one doctor recommended that I can keep them if I can maintain oral hygiene and care. Now I am very much confused. I would go for the extraction only if it is absolutely essential. If I email you the latest xray of my tooth, would you be able to provide me an expert opinion.

    Thanks much in anticipation.

    Regards,

    Neetu Bhatia

    • Dr Jules says:

      A wisdom tooth extraction ca be a pretty significant intervention and there may be numerous side effects following the surghery that may last for many days or even weeks. You can see a list of possible complications following wisdom teeth extraction (in French, not translated yet)

      The recommendation to extract or not a wisdom tooth is rarely clear cut but if there are chances of future problems, it may be wiser to prevent them and have a potentially problematic tooth extracted. It would be very difficult to properly maintain an unerupted or partially erupted tooth over a lifetime!

  130. Eric Peterson says:

    Can extracting wisdom teeth affect my singning?
    Hi I’m 18 years old and and my bottom two wisdom teeth are impacted and my dentist recommended taking them out so my teeth don’t get crowded since I just got of braces. I now know this is false but I don’t want other complications to arise. I was set remove all four wisdom teeth in one sitting this week but I cancelled. I heard that a famous singer, Ariana Grande removed her 3 wisdom teeth one at time since I could affect her singing voice and because she needed to sing. I am a singer myself and I don’t want any complications in my singing. I really don’t know what to do at this point. Can you offer some advice?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Wisdom tooth are not “connected” to the vocal cords. The only way that I can see that dental extraction would affect speech or singing is because of the post-operative swelling that can occur after the extractions. When the swelling subsides, things should go back to normal. Has your famous signer eventually recuperated from that change in her voice? Personnally, I have not heard of a similar case. I have heard however that major orthognathic surgeries (jaw surgery) may affect the voice but not dental extractions. Ask these questions to your oral surgeon he has a better experience in that field than I do

      You also have to weigh the pros and cons; not having wisdom teeth extractions done to avoid modifying your voice is fine but suffering from severe and sometimes life threatening complications (such as a systemic infection) is not much better… 🙁

  131. Kyi Lwin says:

    Hi, I’m 24-25 year old.My gum it growth than my third molars teeth (Right lower teeth) occur sometimes or one month 2 or 3 times a little pain (left lower third molars teeth) also but not bad than right third molars teeth.Last week I go to dental clinic and dentist say need to remove it.But I don’t want to remove I am so afraid to remove. If removed the third molars teeth it could be many other case,problem or disease?
    BTW, I apologize for my english not good and I am wating for your reply. Thanks you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Well… if you have a problem possibly associated to a wisdom tooth, the best thing to do is to consult a dentist for an evaluation and diagnosis, which is what you have done. You may not want to have the wisdom tooth removed but if it is the source of your problem, the choices that you have is to keep your problem tooth and live with the associated consequences, or have that tooth removed and very likely solve your problem. You have to weigh the positive and negative effect of each option

      You could also ask for a second opinion to see if another dentist would agree with the diagnosis and recommended treatment plan.

  132. David G says:

    Hello,

    This is a very helpful website! I have had a partially erupted wisdom tooth for a few months now. It is not impacted and is coming out straight. However I was impatient and asked the doctor to remove the top flap of gum so the rest of the tooth can grow. He recommended that I extract it to avoid potential problems in the future. I refused and just told him to remove the gum. I looked in the mirror afterwards and now it will be even harder for me to brush the partially erupted tooth as there is still some gum in the way and I don’t think I can even fit the brush back there. Have you ever removed just the top flap of gum above the bottom wisdom tooth?

    • Dr Jules says:

      opercule dentaire recouvrant une dent de sagesse incluse et causant de l'inflammation et autres problèmes.

      That flap of gum is called an operculum (see illustration) and the procedure you had aimed at removing it is an operculectomy. This is done if a tooth is well positioned in the dental arch but still has gum tissue covering the distal portion. If the tooth is inclined or tipped, there is usually too much tissue tissue thickness and removing it sill leave a big margin difficult to clean as you have discovered. It mays be preferable to extract the wisdom tooth in such a situation but I can’t tell you if that applies to your case. You can try to clean that problem area with an ultrasonic toothbrush such as a Sonicare but it mays still be hard no matter what you try. The problem is really the partial eruption of the tooth and, as long s it stays it that position, it will probably remain a problem and an oral hygiene challenge.

      Note; as an orthodontist, I don’t do that type of surgery anymore but I recommend it frequently when it is indicated.

      • David says:

        Can wisdom teeth cause pressure in the ears?

        Thank you for the information, Dr.Jules. I ended up getting the tooth removed. I was hoping it would grow since it was partially erupted. I started to notice pressure in my ear along with my jaw. Can wisdom teeth cause pressure in the ears?
        This was very scary to me so I went ahead with the removal.

        • Dr Jules says:

          Wisdom teeth cannot cause direct pressure in the ears but infection, inflammation and pressure arising from that may be causing referred pain in the ear area. Anything is possible with wisdom teeth!

  133. H Davis says:

    How can I relieve the excruciating pain associated with my wisdom teeth?
    Hi,
    My wisdom teeth are attempting to erupt, while doing so they have cracked two of my second molars. (Top & Bottom) on right side. I experience excruciating, unbearable pain, along with minor swelling. A piece of top right second molar has broken off because of this. Will second molars and wisdom teeth both need to be extracted? (Wisdoms are semi-impacted and not coming in correctly) I called to find a dentist and everyone keeps telling me I need an oral surgeon, not a dentist. Which none are local to me that take my insurance. I have to travel three towns over. Just wondering your opinion on my situation? And any advice on pain relief until I can get to an oral surgeon? Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc do not** work.

    I’m tired of being doubled over in excruciating, unbearable pain daily. Mainly during the night and morning

    • Dr Jules says:

      I can’t really comment on your situation from your description only but if every dentist you consulted recommended that you see an oral surgeon, it certainly indicates that the dental work you require is more complex than the average wisdom tooth extraction and you should see such a specialist.

      Concerning pain relief, a dentist should be able to prescribe an strong enough analgesic or pain killer. If none is available, consult a physician or a medical emergency room.

  134. Lidhiya says:


    Posterior extraction vs anterior dental displacement

    Hello, first of all thanks for the article, the article was very informative.
    I am 28 years old, I have been having pain and swelling in the gums around the lower left half erupted wisdom tooth for about a week, so I went to hospital and they took my radiograph of the left side and they said my upper left wisdom teeth was supra erupted and that was pressing on my lower left gum area and causing the discomfort. So they told me to extract this supra erupted upper tooth. I asked the student who was doing my case if this extraction would cause my anterior teeth which already had midline space (this happened 3 years back due to orthodontic treatment for crowding, where a dentist extracted 2 premolars from both sides now resulting in midline disastema,I didn’t go for further correction) to widen more. She said if you want the pain to go, you need to get the upper supra erupted teeth out and was unsure if my midline disastema would increase as a result of it.

    So my question is to you doctor will the extraction of this supra erupted upper tooth cause the upper anterior teeth to move distally towards the extracted space and cause increase in the Midline disastema?
    Another doubt is if I get the lower left semi impacted wisdom tooth out instead of upper left supra erupted wisdom tooth… Will this supra erupted teeth still be able to press on the lower gum and cause the same discomfort. I am really Confused and waiting for an answer
    Thank you
    Lidhiya

    • Dr Jules says:

      You can extract all the posterior teeth you want, this will never affect a midline diastema or cause your incisors to move back.

      As long as an upper toot bites and impinges on the opposing lower gum tissue, it remains a potential source of discomfort.

      Here is an example where:
      (A) an upper second molar (red arrow) over erupts and impinges on the opposing gingival tissue (traced in yellow).
      (B) There is a visible impingement mark on the lower gingiva indicated by the blue arrow

      Molar over eruption and gingival impingment. Supra éruption d'une molaire et pression sur la gencive opposée.

  135. S Slater says:

    Hi, im 19 years old. After a visit to my dentist she recommended one of my wisdom teeth come out. Its partially out and not causing any pain in the xray it appears to be coming up straight and nearly inline with my other teeth. I was shocked to hear it should come out as just a few weeks ago my other wisdom tooth looked just like it (partially covered with gum) and is now fully out. Its only appeared the past few weeks, is it semi impacted or still cutting through, does no pain mean its not cutting?
    It feels lower than my other teeth and i feel its a bit premature to just take it out? Is there a general length of time it takes for wisdom teeth to come out?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Eruption time is very unpredictable for wisdom teeth.
      A third molar may be straight on a panoramic radiograph but still not have enough room to erupt if the anterior border of the ramus of the mandible doesn’t provide enough room for the eruption. You can give this tooth some time (if you don’t have any symptoms) to see how it will behave and reevaluate everything with your dentist later.

  136. sarah says:


    Will closing a front gap help wisdom teeth in the back?

    My son is 18. He was recently told by his dentist that he needs his wisdom teeth out, and to get it done soon so the roots won’t grow too deep. Unfortunately, he had to return to school and did not have time before he left. While we are searching for a surgeon near him, we began talking about whether he wanted to get the gaps between his teeth closed for cosmetic reasons.

    My question is, could closing the gaps make room for his wisdom teeth? !and if the gaps are only on top, would the top wisdom teeth have to be pulled anyway because the bottom teeth would still have to go?

    • Dr Jules says:

      NO. Closing a gap between the front teeth will not change anything to the available space in the back of the mouth and not affect the eruption of wisdom teeth.
      If the lower wisdom teeth are removed, it is often indicated to remove also the upper ones which would become unopposed (no contact) with the lower teeth.

      Diagramme des forces occlusales d'occlusion.

      You can see clinical examples of this situation by following this link (page not translated yet).

  137. Tammy Kiel says:

    Full or partial bony impaction?
    If a tip of a wisdom tooth can be felt in the inside of the mouth in the gum area, is it considered soft tissue impaction or partial bony impaction or how is that determined? Also could wisdom teeth move from one stage (full bony impaction) in exrays done in July 2015 to partial bony impaction or soft tissue impaction in four months time (when the surgery will be performed) later in November 2015? My son’s dentist did exrays in early July. My son saw an oral surgeon yesterday (Sept. 30, 2015) and used the original exrays the dentist did in July — although he did look in his mouth. My son’s surgery is scheduled for November 2015. They are coding my son’s teeth for insurance billing right now as full bony impactions (which will of course cost us more), but I am wondering if that diagnosis could change by the time he has the surgery and also if the at least one wisdom tooth is coded wrong since a portion of it can be felt in the gum?

    • Dr Jules says:

      A bump under the gum can be caused by the impacted tooth itself or the by bone over a severely displaced impacted tooth. The only way to verify if a tooth is covered with bone is to take a Cone Beam Computer Tomography (CBCT) (3D scan) or during the surgery. Simple palpation over the tooth or root is not a reliable diagnostic procedure to evaluate the amount of bone over a tooht. Sometimes the layer of bone can be very thin.

      Wisdom teeth are unpredictable and can move at different rates at any age and erupt. This movement can sometimes be very fast (months) or very slow (years).

  138. Shoizzaib says:

    Hi Doc.

    I highly appreciate this very useful site and wonder how you manage to answer so many questions. Great article.

    My question is about my 10 years old daughter, she developed a cavity in her right upper 1st molar (or probably the 2nd molar). The dentist offered the only treatment option to have it extracted as the cavity is deep, and not only this one, but also the same upper molar on the other side as that is also decaying, as he said. I couldn’t find any similar case in the questions posted by others here, could only find another topic for children but that is in french. My worries are, is this normal at this age to extract 2 teeth while the procedure might need general anaesthesia? Is it common in this age? and if these are milk-teeth, would they be easier to extract out than adult ones? and also (as they would probably fall in a year or 2), wouldn’t there be any solutions like filling or route canal filling until then? Would these extractions effect the adult teeth to erupt improperly, or early/ and/or effecting any face-shape?
    Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      At 10 years of age, your daughter very likely has only one permanent molar (the last toth in the back) and 1 or 2 temporary or deciduous molars per quadrant (corner). If the tooth to be extracted is a deciduous (temporary) tooth, it will be very likely indicated to use a space maintener to prevent the back permanent molar from drifting forward and closing the space necessary for the eruption of the premolars.

      There are exemples of these situations on this website but unfortunately, not all the sections have been translated into English yet.
      To see example of space loss

      If the tooth to be extracted is a permanent molar, this is completely different and has other serious imlications.
      It would be long and a bit technical to describe all the possible options for what you described and I would recommend that you consult a certified orthodontist and ask his or her opinion about your daughter’s condition.

  139. Josie says:

    Hello Dr Jules,

    Thanks for a great article. I’ve had a lot of trouble since December last year with a lower impacted wisdom tooth. I’m no expert, but on the radiographs it looks to me that if my teeth were pulled forward just slightly, it is at an angle where it would have room to come through without any issues. I am finally in a financial position that I can pursue orthodontic treatment needed on both my top and bottom teeth, so do you think this would be possible – that if I got braces there is a chance I could keep my impacted tooth and it would eventually fully appear?

    If so, should the top wisdom tooth (which has already come through fine but is possibly contributing to my recurrent periocoronitis) that my dentist seems very keen to extract remain in place if I can get braces sorted soon? I understand the reasoning behind wanting to pull it, but I feel that it’s unlikely to solve the problem long term and it seems crazy to extract a very healthy tooth?

    I should also mention – I’ve been told by a Specialist that they’d be very reluctant to touch my lower wisdom tooth (even a partial extraction) due to the roots being so linked with the surrounding nerves, hence why I’m very keen on trying to accommodate it. Also, I’m from the UK, so I’ve been passed between dental hospital and NHS dentist (along with a hideous private dentist that I’d rather forget) for all of this and the lack of shared knowledge and communication between the two is sometimes shocking, that’s why I’m trying to make myself as informed as possible.

    I’d really appreciate any advice you have to offer.

    Thanks,
    Josie

    • Dr Jules says:

      I can’t comment on the specifics of your case since I don’t have a radiograph or detailed clinical information but, as a rule of thumb, one of the goals of doing orthodontic corrections is not to help wisdom teeth to erupt if they are in a tight spot! Sometimes an orthodontic treatment may help wisdom teeth but this is a side effect and not a treatment objective.

      If you were told by an oral and maxillo facial surgeon that is is too risky to extract your wisdom tooth, you don’t have much of a choice but to keep it but make sure you have it monitored regularly with an X-Ray (every few years).

      The main indication to extract an erupted upper wisdom tooth would be that it doesn’t have an opposing contact with another tooth (besides other problems such as pain, infection cries, etc.). Removing it simply because it is affected by pericoronitis indicates that there is a flap of tissue (gingiva) still covering the tooth. I imagine that your dentist evaluated the possibility of removing this excess tissue rather than simply removing the whole tooth?

      In conclusion, there are no clear cut rules in the management of wisdom teeth and if you feel that you didn’t get the necessary information from your dentist, do not hesitate to get a second opinion.

  140. B.j. says:

    Can we have extra wisdom teeth?
    I believe that I read this thoroughly enough, but haven’t seen anything regarding the issue I believe I am having. In my top left jaw, I’ve already got my wisdom tooth in, but yesterday I started experiencing some pain. My last visit with a radiological exam was about a year ago, when this wisdom tooth started to show itself. The result was great, and tooth actually appeared to be coming in normally with ample room.

    Because of the pain and pressure I’ve been feeling, I felt back there, and it feels as if another tooth is coming in behind my wisdom tooth! Would this be a rare occurrence, to have two of them on the same side of the jaw, if at all possible?

    Thank you!

    • Dr Jules says:

      Even if everything looked OK a year ago, things might have changed and evolved (not necessarily for the better!) since then. Everything is possible with wisdom teeth! There can occasionally be extra wisdom teeth but it would have been visible on a radiograph taken just 12 months ago as it takes years for a tooth to form.

  141. Richard says:

    Hi
    I’m 43. I have my wisdom teeth through but my upper left is not all through on one side. I’ve suffered bad nose allergies this year and have swellings in my nostrils. I think the nerves from my maxillary sinus are pressing against my upper gums as the pain is all round my upper gums only(not tooth) but this last month I’ve had a small white swelling by my wisdom tooth. There’s no redness or bleeding but it does hurt. Could it be problems with my wisdom tooth ?
    Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      I doubt that these symptoms can be attributed to your wisdom teeth.
      Consult a dentist so that he can do a clinical/radiological examination and tries to evaluat if the wisdom teeth are involved.

  142. Chantal says:

    Hello I am 28 years old and have had several issues with my teeth growing up.. My lower third molar is currently trying to break through causing severe pain in my lower jaw… I also have a tooth that it partially broken on the lower jaw as well.. So all of the pressure is causing even more pain! Should I just wait until it’s done shifting before making a decision to remove it? My upper 3rd molar came in perfectly because I had my 2nd molar removed and it had enough room. Any advice you have would be excellent thank you!

    • Dr Jules says:

      You can never be sure if or when the teeth will stop shifting or try to erupt so I would recommend that you consult a general dentist to have your condition evaluated. Your teeth may not need to be removed but if you let it decay, you won’t have a choice…

  143. Heidi says:

    I have my first molar removed from upper teeths few years back due to some problem. During my recent visit doctor suggested to remove my wisdom tooths as they are bothering others and creating cavity. first doctor suggested not to remove wisdom tooth where first molar was removed becuase second molar may lose support. where as he is ok with other three wisdom tooths removal. I consulted other surgeon, he is disagree with first doctor and suggested to remove all wisdom tooths to avoid further damage or cavity. I am confused now. I hope you can give some suggestion that may help to overcome this problem.

    • Dr Jules says:

      I can’t tell you what to do about your wisdom teeth because I don’t have enough information and it is not the purpose of this blog but if they are affected by dental caries, it may seem logical to extract them. Keep asking questions to the surgeons and dentists until you understand well the reasons to extract these teeth or not.

  144. Bob says:

    My kid just got her braces on and the ortho. now wants her 2 bottom wisdom teeth pulled within 6 months? I got a second opinion from my dentist and he is on the fence about the removal. She just had her top 2nd morals removed before the braces. Does this sound koser? Would it be a big deal to leave the bottom wisdom teeth in until after braces ate off? Thanks.

    • Dr Jules says:

      The real question should be WHY is it necessary to extract these lower third molars?

      For instance, if it is indicated to remove them to allow an orthodontic correction of malpositioned second molarsbecause the third molars are in the way or block the second molars, you don’t have much choice that to have them remove.

      If it was recommended simply as a prophylactic procedure to avoid future problems, well in such a case the extractions are more “optional” and there are different schools of thought concerning the ideal period to remove asymptomatic impacted third molars. You may get a second opinion in that case

      If the wisdom tooth is symptomatic or affected by a pathology, extraction would probably be the best choice.

      SO, ask your orthodontist and make sure that you know WHY these extractions were recommended…

  145. Bob says:

    Dr. Jules, correction from my previous post. My kid had her two top premolars extracted NOT 2nd morals. Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      Ah… that makes more sense.
      Still, the decision or indication to remove wisdom teeth is a totally different issue that you will have to question your orthodontist about.

  146. Sharon L says:

    I have had many problems due to my wisdom teeth.
    My last one I have is on my right upper jaw and dentists have told me they don’t know how they can access it.
    A fortnight ago I was in pain… though that has gone…. but my tooth is falling apart.
    Stupid tooth!
    Why can’t teeth regrow??!!

    • Dr Jules says:

      If your dentist can’t access the tooth, consult an oral surgeon who certainly will be able do remove this tooth if it is indicated.

  147. Cheryl says:

    Can a wisdom tooth erupt in a child?

    My daughter is 10 and I’m convinced her lower left wisdom tooth is coming through. Is this possible?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Well if this is really happening, she has an extremely early dental development! So I don’T think that it is possible…

      It is more likely that the molar erupting at around 10 years of age is her second permanent molar and not her third molar (wisdom tooth) which would erupt normally in the late teen years, during adulthood or, as in most poeple, NEVER because of lack of space in the back of the dental arches.

      Even at 10,she is precocious if the second molar is erupting since this tooth normally erupts at around age 12!

      A simple consultation with your general dentist (and perhaps taking a panoramic radiograph) would clear this issue and answer your question instantly.

  148. Marie says:

    I am anxious about having a semi impacted tooth extracted.
    So I am 23 and my dentist has never said anything about my wisdom teeth. I have never had any issues with them. My mouth was never overcrowded and my teeth all grew in straight so I never needed braces.

    This year I noticed a little piece of a tooth poking through on my bottom left. One day it was just there. I started getting nervous that it was stuck under my gums. My dentist again said nothing. I haven’t noticed any other teeth coming through on the top or right bottom, just the bottom left.

    Throughout this year the tooth is slowly but surely coming out more and more. Its very slow though. I sometimes feel it. Like when a little baby is teething. It feels like pain and some pressure. I take ibuprofen to dull the pain. And then it goes away and I will not have it for weeks to months, and then it seems to move again and I feel it. I have a very high pain tolerance so it doesn’t bother me. I can open my mouth and eat fine. Just sore around it coming through the gums.

    The tooth isn’t fully out yet and it is worrying me. Its still partially under the gum and it isn’t moving up quite yet., its still low.

    From what I see in the mirror with a flashlight, it looks like it might be coming in straight like my teeth did as a kid. It doesn’t look all crooked or in the wrong direction.

    I worry about infection or having enough space in my mouth. When I look back there it seems like I have enough space. I can brush and floss back there. I try to keep it clean as much as I can, but like I said some of it is still covered by gum.

    Does it seem like the tooth is probably just taking its time growing up and out? My father, who I have similar teeth too, had to have his out when he was 40. It was a horrible experience for him.

    I suffer from extreme anxiety of medical procedures. I get really sick and anxious at the doctors, and the dentist, I cannot stand needles, so surgery is just not something I want to have to endure. Its too much for me. I cannot take it. I cannot stand even getting a simple influenza shot. I have panic attacks. I cry. I get anxious even going for a dental cleaning, but I still make myself go every 6 months.

    I also have a rare nervous system condition called CRPS or RSD. The disease started with an injury I sustained in my ankle. The symptoms have since spread to my other leg, my arms, hands, and torso. It is very risky for me to have something invasive to my mouth because I could end up in with symptoms and pain in my mouth and face for the rest of my life. I am so scared my dentist is finally going to say something about my tooth. That I should have it out. I am so scared it has cavities because its been covered by my gums and is taking so long coming through.

    I am scared because of my nervous system condition and tooth extraction being risky with the nerves in your gums.
    I need some advice.

    • Dr Jules says:

      You are describing a semi-impacted tooth hich can cause problems eventually. Have this thoroughly investigated with a panoramic radiograph. If your dentist recommends that this tooth be extracted, ignoring it il not make the problem go away. It it needs to be extracted maybe the dentist can give you some medication to “calm” you down. Discuss that with your dentist or an oral surgeon.

      • Marie says:

        My wisdom tooth “might” cause problems

        Like I mentioned a year ago I started having pressure and pain off and on from one of my wisdom teeth (bottom left) coming out. Eventually I realized since it was half exposed that food was getting stuck under my gum and irritating my mouth. After thorough brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouth wash and warm salt water for many weeks, the problem was solved. Now I brush very thoroughly and floss to try and get any food away from the tooth and not stuck and I no longer have the issue. A year later the tooth is still stuck half under my gum. It looks like its growing in straight.

        I brush it and floss around it to try and keep it clean. Once in a while I will feel pressure like it is trying to come through, like a baby’s tooth. It will come through a little, but then my gum covers half of it again.

        Surprisingly not one thing has been said about it at my dentists office, and its been visible for to years now. When I went recently, they checked it and said it looked okay, but they advised I get it out just in case, since “it might” cause problems. I have severe anxiety over medical things so for me “might” is not good enough for me to do it. It needs to be causing me life altering issues for me to have it out.

        When I reminded my dentist that I have complex regional pain syndrome, and surgery is risky especially near nerves where I could end up living in a life of pure pain, her whole answer changed.

        Then she says “well many people live their whole lives with it like without any problems so you don’t need to have it out unless it causes problems because of your medical condition, and there are alternate ways we could do things like using a special washing tool to specially wash under the gums and the tooth at my cleanings and if needed cutting some of the gum away to open up the tooth. ”

        This made me angry. To me, the less invasive options are what should be first. Makes me question how many people go have it out that don’t have to. I’m praying that I can keep this tooth clean and I can keep it. Terrified that the surgery would throw me into a bad time with my disease. Any advice, opinions?

        • Dr Jules says:

          I can’t comment specifically on your wisdom tooth which I have not seen but you are right, dentist should present simple treatment options if possible. If your tooth is relatively well positioned but is covered partially by gum tissue (opercule) which is occasionally getting inflamed, infected, sore, etc. than the first step should be to excise it (a procedure called an operculectomy). Chances are that you will have cyclic problems with that tooth if nothing is done. Does it need to be extracted? I don’t know but if you start with the operculectomy and that doesn’t help, it will always be possible to extract that molar at a later date.

  149. Jade says:

    Partial gingival coverage of a wisdom tooth
    Hello, thanks for the informative article! I was looking this up because both my lower wisdom teeth are coming in at the same time, and they’ve been causing me on-and-off pain for over a year now. They’re normally positioned, I’m sure as they’re partially out and I can see they’re straight – however, there’s a flap of gum that covers half of it and it’s extremely slow in erupting – and immensely painful. I try to clean them as often as possible, aside from normal brushing – yet still they really hurt. Do you think it’s reccommended to remove them, or should I just keep waiting?

    • Dr Jules says:

      opercule dentaire recouvrant une dent de sagesse incluse et causant de l'inflammation et autres problèmes.It may not be necessary to remove your wisdom teeth but it is certainly worth looking into the possibility of having this gum flap, called an operculum) removed fro the tooth surface. Food debris and bacteria can accumulate under this gingival tissue and cause severe pain, and inflammation (operculitis). AN operculectomy is the procedure done to cut this flap of tissue off.

  150. Priscilla says:

    Hi, am 19 yrs old, my wisdom teeth is errupting and the pain is really bad it just started three days ago, please what can i do to stop the pain?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Start by consulting your general dentist and he can evaluate your condition and refer you to a specialist if necessary.

    • Dr Jules says:

      You can take some “pain medicine” (analgesics) but if the symptoms persist, consult your dentist asap.

  151. Priscilla says:

    Hi, am 19 yrs old, my wisdom teeth is errupting and the pain is really bad it just started three days ago, please what can i do to stop the pain? Cos the right side of my jaw is really painful

  152. Priscilla says:

    Commentaire.. Hi am 19 yrs old, my wisdom teeth is errupting and have been in serious pain just in three days that it started errupting, pls what can i do the pain is excruciating and its the lower tooth, the erruption is hitting the lower gum. Thank you

    • Dr Jules says:

      YOu can take some pain killers but consult a dentist to have a clinical evaluation as this problme may lead to an infection.

  153. Meaghan says:

    Weighing the pros and cons of extracting wisdom teeth
    Hi Dr Jules,
    Thanks in advance for your reply and my apologies if you have answered a similar question…
    I am a 23 year old female with 3 impacted wisdom teeth (the 4th never formed). One on the top right is partially erupted and I intend to have that removed.
    My two lower wisdom teeth are problematic as (surprise, surprise) they are incredibly close to – with one touching – the sensory nerve. In addition, one root from each of these lower wisdom teeth has split into two roots which have curved in to little hooks. I have had an appointment with an oral maxillofacial surgeon who told me that damage to the nerve was likely.

    My questions are these:
    1. What does permanent damage to the nerve mean exactly? Will this impair functioning or quality of life?

    2. My upper wisdom tooth has only began to erupt in the past month or two which suggests to me that they are still capable of movement. Is removal of the 2nd molar to make way for the wisdom ever an option? Even if it is not just to allow the tooth to erupt but to encourage it to move away from the nerve?

    3. Would a partial-odentectomy be a solution to prevent damage to my 2nd molar because of wisdom tooth (impacted tooth is almost touching 2nd molar roots and looks likely to cause damage to tooth under the gum).

    Weighing th
    4. From the possible issues that can arise from keeping asymptomatic wisdom teeth – are any of these un-fixable? I am trying to weigh up whether preventing these issues is worth almost guaranteed permanent nerve damage. If I keep getting radiographs on these teeth like you suggest in your article then I could deal with issues like infection and avoid removal?

    Thanks for your response. It may seem trivial but this situation is incredibly upsetting for me. Permanent nerve damage I feel would have a great impact on my life (biting lip, drooling, impaired speech). I have a second opinion with another surgeon but that is not for a month and would appreciate your insight. 🙂

    • Dr Jules says:

      An oral surgeon will give you moer details and more complete answers but here is some basic information:

      1. What does permanent damage to the nerve mean exactly? Will this impair functioning or quality of life?
      If the dental nerve is affected, there may be paresthesia which is a temporary or sometimes but rarely permanent loss of sensation in the tissues innervated by that nerve: lips, parts of the cheeks, tongue, etc.

      2. Is removal of the 2nd molar to make way for the wisdom ever an option?
      In theory, this may be an option but in practice, the third molar (wisdom tooth) will rarely erupt and come down in an ideal position without an orthodontic intervention.You can see examples of molar extraction and orthodontic space closure on this page (page not translated yet, the text is in French.)

      3. Would a partial-odentectomy be a solution to prevent damage to my 2nd molar because of wisdom tooth.

      Again, this may be a theoretical solution bur your oral surgeon will better answer this question in your specific case.

      4. From the possible issues that can arise from keeping asymptomatic wisdom teeth – are any of these un-fixable?
      You definitely minimize the risks if your have a regular radiographic follow up every couple of years but nothing can “guarantee” that there will not be any problems. Most problems occur slowly and can be intercepted as they progress but… bad things can happen!

  154. Viviana says:

    Mouth doesn’t open wide after third molar surgery
    On the 4th of this month (Friday) I was eating a hard fruit, and felt a piece get stuck near my wisdom tooth…after taking it out I felt something pocking the inside of my cheek. At first I thought I had missed a piece of fruit but after going to the dentist (Dec. the 6th, Monday… because the pain was unbearable) and them not seeing any food particle but my wisdom tooth poking the inside of my cheek, maybe the fruit made my wisdom tooth erupt? (Is that possible)

    Anyways, at the dentist (Dec. the 6th, Monday) the dentist told me that my top wisdom tooth was poking the inside of my cheek. She couldn’t take it out because I couldn’t open my mouth all the way. It hurts when I try to open wide because of swelling. I was given antibiotics for infection which should remove swelling and pain medication and have my next appointment of Monday the 21st.

    It’s Wednesday the 12th, so only 2 days have passed since my dentist visit…is there anything I can do to help speed the process of me opening my mouth wide. If I can’t open wide because of swelling is there another way to remove wisdom tooth?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Healing takes a certain time and it varies from case to case. Your dentist should have recommendations that you can follow to minimize the swelling, inflammation, etc. (hot-cold compresses, anti-inflammatory drug, etc.).
      The dentist will need to have access to the tooth to extract it so it is essential that you can open wide enough before she can proceed.
      Maybe she can prescribe some muscle relaxant that will allow easier and wider opening of the mouth by helping “relaxing” the jaw muscles.
      The only other alternative would be to extract under general anesthesia but it is probably not worth doing that…

  155. Maria Velasco says:

    I have two root canals on my first bottom molars. I have always wondered if it is possible to extract those molars that have the root canal and some how use the wisdom teeth and remaining molars to fill in the gap. All of my wisdom teeth are out but the bottom molars are in horizontally.

    • Dr Jules says:

      In certain cases, it may possible to extract a molar and close the extraction space by moving the other teeth orthodontically and you can see examples of such treatments on this page (French text).

      However, you will need to consult a certified specialist in orthodontics (orthodontist) to know if it is possible in your specific case.

  156. Khan says:

    Hi there
    Your article is awesome.
    just wanted to take your advise. I am having my last wisdom tooth which is poping out. But the dentist had suggested it needs extracting.At the moment my second molars got swollen and got infected. I can see a tip of it on the gums and it seems like its not aligned. Please advise me what needs to be done

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is not because a tooth is erupting or “popping out” that it will continue erupting properly, especially if it is a wisdom tooth. A partially erupted tooth is a semi-impacted tooth and, as described above in this page, this can lead to infection and various serious problems. Most of then need to be extracted but you have to follow the advice of your dentist who examined you clinically and probably looked at a radiograph of your tooth and can have a better overall evaluation of your situation.

      • Khan says:

        Hi Dr Jules

        Thanks alot for your advise and yes it semi-impacted and having infection. I am on anti biotics till Thursday will get it extracted then.

        • Dr Jules says:

          That should solve your problem! 🙂

          • Khan says:

            HI Dr Jules

            Got Xray done today and it shows that the wisdom tooth is growing straight, it just needs to come out of the gums. The dentist, said its better to get rid off it since there are no rooms for the wisdom tooth to grow.
            I assume it was semi-impacted but to my relief its not.

            Should I get the wisdom tooth remove or just let be as it is.

            Thanks

            • Dr Jules says:

              It is impossible to answer this question theoretically as every case is different. You have rely on your dentist’s opinion but if in doubt, have another dentist look at your panoramic radiograph for a second opinion. It is very likely that, unless there is enough space for your semi-impacted molar to fully erupt, it is indicated to extract it.

  157. Wendy says:

    Halo Dr, does one have to experience pain when 3rd molar poping out? I am 24 years old and I am experiencing this pain, sometimes I don’t feel any pain. I also want to know if it is possible to remove them because I don’t know what causes pain

    Please explain it to me.

    Kind Regards
    Wendy

    • Dr Jules says:

      Third molars (wisdom tooth) or any tooth can erupt without any significant symptoms or with severe symptoms. Pain is not “manditory” with dental eruption and symptoms can be cyclic, especially with third molars.

  158. ravinder birdi says:

    i have severe pain around my wisdom teeth area. I am 52. Is that the wisdom teeth causing issues

    • Dr Jules says:

      It can be caused by your wisdom tooth but it may be something else too. Consult your general dentist so that he can do a clinical and radiographic examination and this should better answer your question.

  159. Bronwen says:

    Hi Dr Jules I recently had all my wisdom teeth pulled at the same time. Its been about 3 weeks and three of them have healed almost completely but my lower right one had got infected so my dentist prescribed me antibiotics. Well after taking them I felt better and felt like it healed but tonight I just felt like checking it and there seems to be a red looking stump in its place. It doesn’t hurt or anything more of just an annoyance. I was just wondering if this is normal? This is the only one they had to cut out because hadn’t popped out of my gum.
    Any advice would be great I am completely in the dark as to what to do

    Thank you

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is very likely that since the extraction was more difficult for that tooth the tissues may take more time to heal in that area and may have more swelling. If your symptoms progressively improve, it should not be a concern. On the other hand, if things “deteriorate” (more pain, increased swelling, fever, etc.) contact your surgeon asap.

  160. Angie says:

    Hi Dr Jules,

    I just went for 4 wisdom tooth extraction under general anaesthesia 10 days ago, I had my stitches removed exactly 1 week after that. However, I’m experiencing slight pain coming from my upper right gum where the third molar was, when I try to close my mouth yesterday. I had a feel with my fingers and it seems like my third molar wasn’t fully extracted. The feeling felt exactly when my third molar was coming out of the gum. Should I consult to surgeon again? Otherwise, the gums at the other 3 third molar area seems to be healing fine with no pain.

    I’m very worried as I could feel as though there’s teeth jaggering out of the gum. Please help

    • Dr Jules says:

      Don’t worry, It is very unlikely that the dentist or surgeon didn’t remove completely the third molar. If that was the case, he would have certainly told you. You probably have more inflammation and swelling in that area compared to the other extraction sites. If things don’t improve, don’t hesitate to communicate with your surgeon to have this evaluated clinically.

  161. Cassandra says:

    Extra wisdom tooth?
    Hello, I just had my bottom left wisdom tooth removed, about two and a half weeks ago and now it seems like there is another tooth growing in its place? Is this common?

    • Dr Jules says:

      This is not common but we see that occcasionnally. A simple panoramic radiograph will confirm what is going on and if there is an extra tooth in that area.

  162. Roberto says:

    What causes the pain affecting my wisdom tooth?

    Hello,

    I am 24. My x-rays look very very similar to this (third picture on the link, or the one that says JH 16+), although I believe my bottom left wisdom is already touching the molar next to it. I’ve had mild pain in my gums around that area for the last five days. It is swollen too, just enough to bother my bite, and if i put pressure on my gum, it hurts. I really do not want to remove my wisdom, but the dentist recommended me to do it and referred me to an oral maxillofacial dentist. He made me buy a medical rinse and an antibiotic which I will start taking today.

    I completely forgot to ask, but is the pain most likely being caused by the infection itself? Meaning that if I take what was prescribed, and the infection heals, the pain will go away? And then would it possible for my wisdoms to straighten out just like the fourth picture in this link? I just would hate seeing my wisdoms go without the need for it.

    Thanks for the advice! Happy new year!

    • Dr Jules says:

      The pain affecting a wisdom tooth or any other tooth can come from many sources;
      – the soft tissues around the tooth (infection, inflammation, swelling…)
      – from inside the tooth itself (dental nerve) or
      – form the proprioceptors and nerve endings in the periodontal ligament around the tooth (see this section for a diagram)
      – or a combination of these factors.

      If your tooth is anything like the ones in the illustrations you refer to, such wisdom teeth will never erupt and can only cause you problems (you already have significant symptoms) so, although you would prefer not to have these teeth removed, it is certainly the best solution and will prevent more serious problems in the future. Oral surgeons are very skilled at removing such teeth and you will see that it is not that terrible!

      The antibiotics are aimed at eliminating or reducing the infection. This may be contributing to the pain but is very likely that it was prescribed so that the extraction will not be done in an infected environment and this would minimize the chances of further infection and complications. Even if the infection is eliminated, the tooth remains problematic and will certainly cause problems in the future.

      Happy new year to you too and hopefully pain free!

  163. Stew says:

    All kinds of symptoms with partially erupted wisdom teeth
    Hi Dr.
    I’m 19, and one of my wisdom teeth are growing at like a 45 degree angle to the side (towards my gum?) and i constantly bite my gum, the area every now and then hurts and gives me a weird feeling, my 2nd upper wisdom teeth is impacted at like a 45 degree angle, my 3rd wisdom teeth is normal, and my 4th wisdom teeth is partially erupted (Gum covering it) been like that for awhile now. i’ve been getting jaw discomfort for a year now, would you recommend removal? I feel like my bite or jaw position keeps changing, and ends up causing me jaw pain sometimes, and a weird feeling around eye area, not the eye it’self but generally below it, somewhat like a strain. (Feels like its coming from jaw though) not sure if it’s possible to affect the area around one of my eye’s. i noticed when my jaw gets re positioned back into a certain way the strain or whatever is going on around the eye goes away, so yeah. i never had this problem till my wisdom teeth grew in. I was just wondering what your thoughts would be, thanks for your time.

    • Dr Jules says:

      You seem to be describing semi-impacted tipped molars (wisdom teeth). At your age, you have a long way to go with these teeth and it is very unlikely that these third molars won’t cause some problems down the road…
      The problems associated with such semi-impacted teeth (pain, discomfort, infection, swelling, limitation of jaw opening, etc.) are often cyclic; they come and go, weeks, months or even years apart but they usually end up causing problems. I can’t give you a specific recommendation for your case but it would probably be wise to consider having these potentially problematic teeth removed sooner than later. Ask the opinion of a dentist who can evaluate your teeth with a panoramic radiograph.

  164. Patty says:

    I am not sure what’s happening to my teeth but here is a breakdown as far. I was 25 when I got something like lock jaw and was 8 months pregnant. Had to eat nothing but soup but they gave me meds to heal it. Now I am 46 and am threw menopause. But now 1 less wisdom tooth from it. It became very loose and I was able to just barely pull it out with my fingers. No roots on the wisdom tooth when it came out. Recently went to dentist because my jaw bone started a pain I had never felt before and hurt so bad. The pain went from the bend in my left side in the jaw bend down my cheek to the front right below my nose and stopped. Then my 3 red molar on top near the wisdom tooth area where that wisdom tooth came out began to hurt so bad. Went to dentist and was given antibiotics to get the infection out. Well that helped but now I have a 3 rd molar on right bottom that hurts to bite down on while eating. I have even lost some weight from this all. What can it be? The one that was infected on top left side was fractured as my dentist said. She wants to remove that one soon as I can afford it. But now not being able to eat without pain makes me eat on the side where the fractured tooth is. Can the molar on my right side be fractured or something?

    Also this new dentist I went to she didn’t help much with why my jaw had this shooting pain going down my jaw to the front teeth. What could that be from? Nerves? It started out feeling like when you smile too much and then the shooting pain down the bone to the front. Anything would be helpful. Thanks.

    • Dr Jules says:

      The pain you feel is transmitted throug nerves but the cause of the pain must be identified to be treated.
      It would certainly be indicated to have a panoramic radiograph taken to have a good overall valuation of your teeth and bone. You may indeed hate some tooth or root fractures, some infection(s) or other problems that could be diagnosed by a general dentist so do not hesitate to consult one again and have a radiograph taken.

    • Dr Jules says:

      The pain you feel is transmitted through nerves but the cause of the pain must be identified to be treated.
      It would certainly be indicated to have a panoramic radiograph taken to have a good overall valuation of your teeth and bone. You may indeed hate some tooth or root fractures, some infection(s) or other problems that could be diagnosed by a general dentist so do not hesitate to consult one again and have a radiograph taken.

  165. Karl says:

    Hello Dr ,
    I’m due for removal of a lower left partial impacted horizontal wisdom , I’m 46 yrs old , I’m seeing a oral surgeon , I’ve been told abut nerve damage risk , how likely is this , and as tooth is decayed and has had 2 flare ups , due I have any other option , many thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      There are always certain risks associated with extractions and particularly impacted teeth but the specific risks depend on each case. The surgeon who will perform your extraction is certainly the best person to answer you concerning the specific risks associated with your dental condition.

  166. Anton says:

    Hi Dr. Jules.
    First of all, sorry for my english as it is not my native language. I hope you’ll understand rightly what I want to ask. Could you please answer some questions about my wisdom tooth?
    I’m male, almost 32 years with the third lower right molar semi-impacted. I’ve never experienced any problems with this tooth, no pain, no imflammation, etc. Seems that it semi-impacted a year or two ago, but I’m not quite sure. Visually the situation with my tooth looks like of that on the JH16+ X-ray posted in this article, with the difference of a thiner gap between my second and third molars and a bit longer roots of the wisdom tooth in my case. It’s top side is coverd by gum, but not that much, I’d say only about 20-25%.

    So, the questions are:
    1. Is there a chance that my third molar will “rotate” similar to that showed on the JH16+ and JH18+ X-rays posted in this article and eventually impact normally? Could I do something to help this process? Is there a time period after running out of which I can be 100% sure that my wisdom tooth won’t impact fully and normally?
    2. Can the farthest side, or edge so to speak (which is almost on the same horizontal level as other teeth), of the wisdom tooth make a support for the upper right third molar if it will impact someday?
    3. If my second molar will someday needs to be extracted, can my wisdom tooth shift towards it’s place? Or can the third molar be moved by some tool assistance to that place or extracted and implanted there?
    4. Can the third molar in my case cause some damage to the second molar someday in future? By fracturing, by caries or else somehow. What can I do to minimize the risks if I’ll choose to retain the tooth?
    5. If I’ll choose to retain the tooth should I do operculectomy if the third molar won’t impact fully?

    Thank you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      So, the questions are:
      1. Is there a chance that my third molar will “rotate” similar to that showed on the JH16+ and JH18+ X-rays posted in this article and eventually impact normally? Could I do something to help this process? Is there a time period after running out of which I can be 100% sure that my wisdom tooth won’t impact fully and normally?

      Although I have not seen your radiograph, it is very unlikely that this will ever happen.

      2. Can the farthest side, or edge so to speak (which is almost on the same horizontal level as other teeth), of the wisdom tooth make a support for the upper right third molar if it will impact someday?

      If there is a contact between these 2 teeth, it will provide some support but still not give you too much additional function.


      3. If my second molar will someday needs to be extracted, can my wisdom tooth shift towards it’s place? Or can the third molar be moved by some tool assistance to that place or extracted and implanted there?

      The wisdom tooth will not drift forward in a normal position but it may possible to bring it forward orthodontically.

      4. Can the third molar in my case cause some damage to the second molar someday in future? By fracturing, by caries or else somehow.

      That is always a possibility.

      What can I do to minimize the risks if I’ll choose to retain the tooth?

      THere is not much you can do other than maintaining an impeccable oral hygiene and even that may not be sufficient as semi-impacted wisdom tooth are little “time bombs” that may cause problems in the long run and you have decades to go with your teeth hopefully!

      5. If I’ll choose to retain the tooth should I do operculectomy if the third molar won’t impact fully?

      It would probably be wise depending on the amount of tissue, tooth position, etc.

      • Anton says:

        Dental extraction without anesthesia?

        Hi again, Dr. Jules and thanks for your answers.

        I’m considering extracion now. Could you please answer just a several more questions about it?

        1. Am I right that if you were in my place then you’d go for an extraction?

        2. I want to go boxing, where I can be hit in a jaw. Could you give and advise about how much time should I wait after extraction of the third molar before I can start sparring?

        3. The oral surgeon, whom I asked about extraction procedure told me that gum will be cut, the thooth will be saw in two and maybe a jaw bone will also be saw a bit. Is it possible to do such kind of extraction without anesthesia? What is the worst thing that could happen in this case? By saying “possible” I mean: without strong irreversable or hard to heal side-effect caused by extreme pain during the process. I have no allergic reaction to anesthesia nor some kind of intolerance to it as far as I know, I just prefer to do it this way. Please, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a madman, nor a masochist, but I have my reasons.
        I can stand the pain of nerve removal without anesthesia (the last two teeth were denervated this way by my request), so I hope that I can also stand the pain of an extraction like that without anesthesia as well.

        Thanks once more.

        • Dr Jules says:

          Answers :

          1- I am not in your situation co I really can’t decide for you…
          2- It all depends on the depth of the intervention, which area (top, bottom), the density, strength of your bone, etc. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon is the best person to answer that.
          3- I would definitely not recommend extracting a severely impacted wisdom tooth that has to be cut to be removed without good local anesthesia.

          If you are a boxer, you know and are probably used to pain but believe me, deep dental pain is very different. Furthermore, this will be very stressful for the surgeon…
          Discuss it with your surgeon, maybe he can give you some pre-medication which would help?
          Also, years ago, I saw a video of a local dentist who extracted a wisdom tooth under hynosis without any anesthesia. That was very impressive. Maybe that could be something else to look into?

  167. Jenyfer Andrew Luis says:

    Hello Dr. Jules,
    Dr, is it normal for me to have not all 4 wisdom teeth? Will it cause any problem? I’m 22 years old this year. Hope you can reply me. Thanks, Dr. Jules.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Most poeple have 4 wisdom teeth but they rarely all erupt in the mouth. You may think that you don’t have your wisdom teeth because they are not visible in the mouth when in fact they are present but not erupted. Have a panoramic radiograph taken by a dentist and you will rapidly find out which teeth you have and don’t have.

      Now, if you are really missing a wisdom tooth (you have 3 instead of 4) not visible on a radiograph, that is rarely a problem as there is rarely enough space in the back of the mouth for these teeth to erupt. It is rare to find someone with 32 teeth that are erupted and functional (that includes all 4 wisdom teeth). As simple consultation with a dentist should better answer all your questions.

  168. Linh says:

    Hello, Dr. Jules,

    My dentist suggests that I have fillings done by first remove my silver and replace with white fillings. I need to remove my wisdom teeth as well. Is it a good idea to have both the fillings and wisdom teeth pull out done at the same time?

    From the panoramic film, 2 of my upper wisdom teeth grows horizontally and is still impacted, the dentist said those two will never grows out. Is this true?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If you are an adult and your wisdom teeth are truly impacted horizontally, it is very unlikely, not to say impossible, that they will eventually erupt.

      If your dentist considers that it is possible to do all that dental work and the extractions during the same session, it is certainly because it is possible and not too risky or difficult for the patient.

  169. malcolm says:

    i have a weird tooth thing growing in next to my wisdom tooth on the left side of my upper jaw. it hurts to open my mouth just to eat anything and it stabs/pokes the inside of my
    mouth and when i go to sleep at night it still stabs/pokes the inside of my mouth. ive tried to take it out by hand but it just wont budge what should i do and whats wrong with it?

  170. Linh says:

    what is the risk of taking silver filling out and replace with white fillings? will it lead to root canal later on? Thank you for your response.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Not necessarily. Ask your dentist for specifics about your case because there may be a lot of variables involved.

  171. Rita says:

    Can a tooth without a nerve (root canal) still move?

    Hi. Thanks for the informative website! Rarely find an ad-free descriptive one such as this, nowadays.

    My endodontist performed root canal on left, bottom first molar. He did the wrong tooth by accident, I’m sure. Anyway I have wisdom tooth growing in as well, not erupted from gum yet. One of your last example was of a 15 year old who also had this procedure and decided to extract the root-cannaled tooth. The remaining molars shifted into place/grew. But if I kept that root-cannalled molar, can it move into place accordingly if wisdom tooth pushes in correctly?
    My question is concerning the lack of nerve because of root canal. As I see in the above pictures with good results, some teeth/roots continued to shift slightly until wisdom tooth completely emerged.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If a second molar is extracted, the wisdom tooth may erupt but it will not necessarily migrate into an adequate position on its own. Chances are it would require some orthodontique correction. The fact that a tooth has a root canal treatment will not prevent it from migrating or from being moved orthodontically because the important structures for tooth movement are around the tooth in the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone and not inside the root itself.

  172. Lacey says:

    Why are my wisdom teeth hurting?

    Hi
    Im 25 and have 2 of my wisdom teeth removed those were the ones that were against another molar and causing problems about 5 years ago. We kept the other two wisdom teeth because I was missing a molar In front of them so it was less likely to be a problem. We’ll now they are so uncomfortable and starting to thrawb. What happened? I have adequate space for them still and they aren’t covered in skin they seem to look fine. Why do they hurt?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Dental pain can have many causes…
      Have a panoramic radiograph taken by a dentist and that may help in answering your questions.

  173. Aaron says:

    Hi so im 18 years old i have i really sore inflamed gum above my wisdom tooth and i was wondering is this normal for it to hurt this much? Or should i go to the doctor?

    • Dr Jules says:

      You may be suffering from a pericoronitis. Consult a dentist asap so that he can evaluate you condition and make the appropriate recommendations.

  174. Emily says:

    Hello Dr Jules,
    I have an impacted wisdom tooth on my lower left. It is a dead tooth now and has turned black because I was too afraid to extract it. I think it’s there for more than 7 years.
    Last year, there was a big hole on my second molar next to the impacted wisdom tooth. I got it filled immediately the next day.
    No problem till last month, i discovered the gum in between of the two teeth becomes reddish and when it is inflamed, the gum becomes painful. Sometimes i can feel the gum is itchy inside.
    I went to the dentist and did an xray. The dentist told me there was no infection or whatsoever but he told me it was the second molar that is giving me problem now. The first time, he used a tester to test my second molar, i had no response. He tried to save my tooth by removing my filling and put in antibiotic/antiseptic. The second time, he tested my tooth twice with the tester, my tooth could feel the pain. He concluded that my second molar is half dead and required a RCT.
    My question is
    1)Could it be my wisdom tooth that is giving me problem as sometimes it is really itchy surrounding the wisdom tooth?
    2)Is the bacteria from my wisdom tooth spread to my second molar now?
    3)Is it fine to remove my second molar without a tooth replaced? Is there any implications? I am 34 this year.
    Thank you for your response.

    • Dr Jules says:

      – The pain could come from anywhere in that area; the wisdom tooth, the second molar, both of these teeth…

      – Bacteria can certainly spread from one tooth to the next through bone around the roots of the teeth

      -If you have your second molar extracted, it would certainly be indicated to extract your impacted third molar (wisdom tooth) at the same time. Then, depending on your occlusion (bite) and the teeth that you have on the opposing upper arch, the tooth over the extraction site may start to over erupt (move down) and cause problems as is illustrated in the following diagrams.

      Diagramme des forces occlusales d'occlusion.

      You can see clinical examples of this situation by following this link (page not translated yet).

  175. Oona Edwards says:

    Can I have my problematic molars removed without surgery?
    Dear Dr Jules,
    I am 31 yrs old and have not had my lower wisdom teeth yet… on and off they have tried coming up and then there gone back down. Recently they have started to come up again and I have swelling on the left side and can bearly my mouth. Will need to see a dentist soon for xrays.
    I also have a 1 molar that the dentist refered me to an oral surgeon to remove.
    She said the roots are very dense. Is there a way that it can be removed without surgery?

    (Great job in answering all these questions.)
    THANKS MUCH.

    • Dr Jules says:

      It seems that you already know what the solution to your problem is!
      You are describing a semi-impacted tooth which can become an infectious site. This is often a cyclic problem as you have noticed.
      It is usually indicated to extract such a tooth but unfortunately, any extraction IS a form of surgery. Some extractions are easy and simple whereas others are more complex and difficult. The dentist or surgeon that you will consult should be better able to explain what kind of extraction you will need.

  176. Shab says:

    Can a third molar replace my extracted second molar?

    Dr. Jules,
    Are you from heaven? Thank you for your responses!

    I’m 33 yrs old and just had tooth #2 pulled. My wisdom tooth is behind it. It hasn’t erupted yet (none of my wisdom tooth have come out). Is there anyway that my wisdom tooth can replace my lost second molar? Any surgery or ortho procedure that can push my wisdom tooth forward? I’ll pay anything to have a tooth there again.

    Thank you for your time and support.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Depending on the height and angulation of your third molar in the bone, it may migrate downward and forward to some degree but it is very unlikely that it will move enough to properly replace the extracted molar. Not impossible but very unlikely…
      However, it may be possible and more realistic to move this wisdom tooth orthodontically and close the space, especially in the upper arch.
      You can see such examples in the molar extraction section (text in French). This may prevent you from having a prosthetic tooth (dental implant, bridge, partial denture)
      Consult a certified specialist in orthodontics (orthodontist) to see if that would be possible in your case.

  177. Richard Jennings says:

    Hi Dr Jules

    I have a horizontal impacted wisdom tooth which is also erupted. Its been like this for a few months. Every now and then it flares up and causes pain.

    My dentist doesnt want to remove it as she fears it will damage my nerve in my jaw. She has suggested monitoring it every two years and making sure I keep the area clean.

    Do you think its possible to keep going like this? Could it be an option to remove the tooth infront to prevent pain and over crowding?

    Im not seeing my dentist for two weeks so am looking for some peace of mind.

    Thanks in advance

    Richard

    • Dr Jules says:

      Although I have not seen a radiograph of your mouth, I sincerely doubt that problems will not eventually develop with the condition that you described. It is almost impossible to properly clean a semi impacted horizontally positioned tooth. Removing the second molar is probably not a good idea because it doesn’t improve the position of your wisdom tooth.

      Your dentist may not be able to extract such a tooth but consult an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to have his/her opinion. They are the experts in that field.

  178. Tara says:

    Hi,
    I have all 4 of my wisdom teeth erupting at the same time, which is uncomfortable obviously, ha ha.
    The thing is I’m 29 now and they have been slowing moving/erupting for about 8 years. Every 6 months or so they all take a turn at causing pain and swelling, and I can’t close my teeth until the swelling goes down. My dentist hasn’t even mentioned it. Usually during my check ups I haven’t had pain for months and I forget to mention it. They all seem to be a bit side ways but the tops of all of them can be seen when the gum isn’t inflamed. I guess they are semi impacted. I have a lot of trouble cleaning the top ones as I can’t really open my mouth wide enough and I end up choking. My bottom right is inflamed at the moment, I do have an appointment with my dentist on the in a few days but I’ve caught a cold so I’m not sure if I should reschedule. So my question is I leave them to (incredibly) slowly erupt, or do I ask my dentist to do something?

    Thank you
    Tara

    • Dr Jules says:

      The fact that the teeth are erupting is far from being a guarantee that they will erupt completely and properly. Also, taking years to erupt (or trying to erupt) is typical of a semi-impacted tooth, as you have correctly guessed. Chances are that you will continu to have problems with these teeth in a cyclic way. It may be wiser to consider to have these teeth extracted sooner than later… but consult a dentist and have a panoramic radiograph taken to obtain a better opinion.

  179. Daniella says:

    Hello Dr jules

    I have a swelling in my gingiva at place of my left mandibular 3 rd molar… There’s no pain but I m not being able to close my whole mouth.. And experiencing some pressure .. I actually had a 3rd molar eruption in my 2nd and 4th quadrant recently but it didn’t showed any swelling before its eruption .. But don’t know what is this happening

    • Dr Jules says:

      It may be your third molar trying to erupt and the overlying gingiva is getting irritated from biting. Consult your dentist so that he/she can have a look and tell you more precisely what is happening.

  180. Anne says:

    Hi! I’m 22 years old, and I still got my 4 wisdom teeth. At my last dentist appointment, my dentist suggested to remove them because they were partially impacted, the one that’s almost completely out still has a flap on gum over it and it’s been like that for 2 years. 2 other tooth started coming out this year, but they are far from being completely out yet. Still no sign of that last one. When I was a teenager, my teeth were not straight with big cracks between the front teeth and as the wisdom teeth were developping and coming out they became quickly completely straight because of the pressure of the wisdom teeth, but now it has become a bit problematic since my lower incisives started twisting to go over the other teeth (since I’ve got no space for those wisdom teeth!) and it’s very uncomfortable and painful.

    My question is:
    if I remove all four of my wisdom teeth, will my teeth go back to their previous position since the pressure they put will not be there anymore? Right now my teeth are looking really great, super straight (especially the upper jaw), and I really want them to stay that way so I’m afraid that they go back to their old not straight position with all those cracks between the front teeth… Is that a possibility or will they stay straight?

    Thanks a lot!!

    • Dr Jules says:

      Even if your teeth seem to have straightened up as your wisdom were erupting, it is not caused from the pressure exerted from the wisdom teeth so if your have your third molars extracted, teeth will not move back on the dental arch. There are a lot of things that can affect the stability of the teeth and at your age, you have to expect some changes in your dentition (dental movement), over the next decade whether your wisdom teeth are extracted or not.

  181. Wisdomless in London says:

    Can antibiotics replace a wisdom tooth extraction?

    Hi Dr Jules,
    I am in my mid 30s, with three fully erupted wisdom teeth which I am due to have extracted soon under sedation. They are healthy but I have have inflammation and pocketing (around 7mm) around them and an ongoing dull ache around the bottom wisdom tooth (suggesting infection?). X-rays also show some bone loss. I really do not want them extracted, but is it wisest to follow my dentist’s advice and have them taken out? I also have some bone loss around my back lower molar on the other side, where I have an impacted unerupted wisdom tooth, and I wondered if the impaction can explain the bone loss around the adjacent molar?

    Can antibiotics clear the infection without the need of extractions?
    Thank you and best wishes!

    • Dr Jules says:

      Although I have not seen you clinically or have not looked at your panoramic radiograph, I would be tempted to agree with your dentist.
      Antibiotics may get rid of an infection but with the situation that you described (7 mm pockets in the back of the mouth, bone loss, etc.) problems are bound to recur eventually. It is probably safer to have these wisdom teeth extracted and avoid other periodontal and infection problems during the remaining decades that your dentition should last!

  182. Emily says:

    Pain in the front teeth 3 weeks after wisdom tooth extracted
    Hello Dr Jules,

    I just had my lower right impacted wisdom tooth removed via surgery 3 weeks ago. Yesterday, the sutures have dissolved and I experienced pain from the surgery site and my jaw. Is this normal? There was no pain when the sutures were there. My bottom front teeth are now painful too.

    Thank you!

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is hard to know what is normal and not but after three weeks the healing process should be well established. Do not hesitate to consult the surgeon who removed the teeth if these symptoms persist.

  183. Thomas says:

    Fully erupted wisdom tooth at age 13?

    Hello Dr Jules,
    I am 13 years old and a boy (I am not sure if that makes a difference or not). Two years ago I had braces fitted because of very wonky teeth. I had 4 teeth (one each side, top and bottom) taken out, I don’t know the name of them but if you imagine a fully grown mouth with all 32 teeth they were the ones just before the three sets of molars. My teeth straightened very quickly after a year (even my dentist was surprised at how fast) so I had the braces taken off.

    Now I am 13 and, after a lot of toothache, all three sets of molars have and are fully grown. My dentist has confirmed this so you can be sure I am right and have not mistaken them for my second set of molars.
    My top set of wisdom teeth (3rd molars) aren’t really a big problem but can still be painful if I eat something really hard it hurts my gums around them. The left wisdom tooth on the bottom is impacted as part of it is still under the gum and it really hurts and I think the bottom right wisdom tooth is slightly impacted but it doesn’t hurt often.
    I have read that wisdom teeth usually grow at the earliest at the age of 17, can you tell me just how unusual it is to have fully gown wisdom teeth at 13?

    Also, I am thinking that I will want to get all my wisdom teeth removed soon because my gums keep getting bitten my wisdom teeth – will I have a big gap in my gums where the wisdom teeth were? Or will the gums heal up smooth as if I never had any molar teeth there, like would a dentist be able to tell if I had my back wisdom teeth out?
    Thank you for your time,
    Thomas

    • Dr Jules says:

      Unless I could see a panoramic radiograph showing that one or many of your wisdom teeth are fully erupted at 13, I will have great difficulty in believing this as this is extremely unusual.

      When a wisdom tooth or any other tooth is extracted, the hole in the bone eventually fills up completely and the gum will cover it.
      Any dentist taking a panoramic radiograph will be able to tell you exactly what is going on with your wisdom teeth.

  184. Gaurav says:

    Hey there
    I am in the middle of the process. The wisdom tooth has started to come out. Along with the discomfort on the same side of my mouth I am feeling a kind of blockage in my head. A light pain in my head and a feeling as if a vein has converged in on that side because of the inflammation of my gums on that side. Please explain it. Should I be worried. A normal dental check up just revealed that its all because of my wisdom tooth coming out.

    • Dr Jules says:

      It may indeed be related to a wisdom tooth trying to erupt without enough space but it is hard to assume that there is an automatic “cause and effect” relationship between all these symptoms.
      Have a panoramic radiograph taken by your dentist orthodontist and ask them their opinion about all that.

  185. angela veilleux says:

    Hello. I am looking for an opinion. I have to have all of my molars removed in a few weeks. I have wisdom teeth still they have not erupted or surfaced at all. They are not impacted. They sit straight up. My oral surgeon is telling me I need to remove them at the same time as my other extractions for they may migrate…. what is migration? Is it really necessary to remove the wisdom teeth?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Tooth migration is the phenomenon by which teeth tend to drift forward without the application of a direct mechanical force (such as with orthodontic appliances).
      For example, if you extract a first molar, the second molar will tend to move and tip forward into the extraction space. This usually disrupts the occlusion because it also affecte the teeth in the opposing arch and can cause “posterior bite collapse”. To see some examples(text in French).

      If your wisdom tooth erupt and migrate enough, maybe they could be “salvaged” and become functional? Ask a certified specialist in orthodontics (orthodontist) for an opinion about this (with your panoramic radiograph).

  186. Christopher says:

    I am 51 years old. Many years ago I was diagnosed as having 6 wisdom teeth -2 uppers, 2 lowers and 2 small ones preceeding the uppers like baby teeth. The 2 lowers came in many years ago healthy and straight. I’m not sure when the 2 “baby” uppers started coming in, but about 10 years ago the left one started loosening and eventually came out and the void healed over. The right “baby” wisdom tooth was a little crooked and causing pericoronitis so I had it extracted about 6 months ago. I am still having mild pericoronitis symptoms it seems because the void did not close and is communicating with the “adult” wisdom tooth above.
    Is there any chance my “adult” upper wisdom teeth will start coming in at my age? They are both straight and healthy, and I am worried the pericoronitis I am experiencing will not clear up until that tooth its associated with erupts.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Wisdom teeth are full of surprises and they can erupt at any age if the conditions are optimal.

      If you have periodontal problems, a consultation with a periodontist may be indicated.
      Have your dentist take a panoramic radiograph and evaluate all this globally.

      • Christopher says:

        With a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

        Thank you Dr Jules -I’ll look for a peridontist in my area and try to get help. I honestly did not know there was such a thing.

        A few days ago when I went back to the dental surgeon who removed my “baby” wisdom tooth 6 months ago, his plan to fix my current pericoronitis problem was to remove the “adult” wisdom tooth above it -and said while he’s at it, he should probably take out all my other wisdom teeth too -all healthy. Maybe he’s right, but I can’t help being reminded of the saying about how to a Hammer everything looks like a Nail.

        Thanks again

        • Dr Jules says:

          When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Avec un marteau, tout ressemble à un clou. Diagnostic et plan de traitement en orthodontie You are right (to a certain extent)!
          Don’t expect an oral surgeon not to want to extract wisdom teeth!
          However, there is more to deciding to extract third molars than their simple presence in the mouth. This decision should be made with an overall evaluation of the dentition, occlusion (bite), periodontal status, presence or absence of symptoms and problems associated with these teeth, etc.

          Ask your dentist, periodontist or a certified specialist in orthodontics (orthodontist) for a second opinion about the importance of these molars in your case.

  187. Alex says:

    Will removing a wisdom tooth unbalance the dental arch?

    This site is wonderful, thank you for all the information.

    I’m 45 years old, my wisdom teeth have all been fully grown and recently on right-upper wisdom tooth was diagnosed with cavity. Since it was very difficult tor reach for filling (was done once already), dentist recommended removal. The dentist mentioned that I don’t need to have the lower ones removed, but I should have my left-upper wisdom tooth removed as well even though the left-upper wisdom tooth is perfectly healthy. Dentist said this is for balance reasons. I’m hesitant to have my perfectly healthy left-upper wisdom tooth removed and was wondering if you can tell me if that is necessary? Or could I just ask the dentist to remove only the infected right-upper wisdom tooth? Thank you for your help.

    tag #merci

    • Dr Jules says:

      There are dozens of reasons to extract a sound erupted wisdom tooth bu the purpose of providing a “balance” or equilibrium in the mouth, dention, occlusion or dental arches is not one of them. Tehre is absolutely nothing in the dental scientific literature that supports such a claim.
      Poeple have all kinds of asymmetries in their mouth; deviated midlines, ectopically erupted teeth, asymmetric arches, missing teeth, malocclusions, etc. etc. and extracting teeth for the purpose of trying to restore symmetry or “balance” the dentition would mean that most poeple would need extractions!

  188. Srinivas says:

    I want to send my tooth x ray and take some consultation. How to attach the file

    • Dr Jules says:

      We do not offer such an online consultation service but you can upload your photos or radiographs on any website dedicated to that purpose (for example photobucket.com) and sendus the link and we may comment on them if it may be of general interest for the readers of this website and blog.

      tag #photo

  189. Jacqueline says:

    I have a unique and rare wisdom tooth!

    Hi, I have a different ‘type’ of wisdom tooth. My dentist, when I was young, told me that it’s normally a tooth that a second born child has but I’m the eldest as far as I know. She loved this tooth and would look at it and be really interested in it as it’s apparently very rare. I’ve searched everywhere online and cannot find any evidence of this. She said these type are prone to spindly spidery roots and that extraction can be difficult. The tooth doesn’t give me any trouble and appears to be growing normally without any drama. Of all four wisdom teeth, three feel and look the same but the top right is tiny and feels ‘two-pronged’. My current dentist doesn’t know anything about this and isn’t at all interested in it. Can you shed any light on this? Is there different ‘types’ of wisdom teeth?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Wisdom teeth are known to have extreme variations in shape, form, size, morphology, etc. and even in numbers so despite being unusual, your wisdom tooth is certainly not a rarity even if your dentist has never seen that. Also, this has nothing to do with your birth rank, even if it is genetically related.
      Sorry to disappoint you but you are not that unique… at least concerning your wisdom teeth! Anything goes and is possible with wisdom teeth!

  190. Raju says:

    Many questions about wisdom teeth

    Bonjour Dr Jules

    You have made a great website it is very detailed and precise.I am considering to get braces so I had some questions which I hope you can answer.

    I am 23 years old and I wish to get braces but the orthodontist after examining by x-rays says that I must get 4 wisdom teeth extracted and then perhaps few premolars as well.My front teeth are a bit crooked and they do cut my inner lip sometimes and give out a constant low pressure on them but premolars are fine and my upper wisdom teeth are fully developed and have no problems, but in case of the lower ones, one has not reached the crown completion yet and is still underdeveloped and has not come out, I doubt now that it ever will develop or come out but it is not creating any problems and is not headed towards my molars and neither are the upper wisdom teeth but one wisdom teeth, the lower right one is just like the one in the image you published here under the heading “Examples of third molar eruption problems” in which 13-year-old patient reveals impacted lower wisdom teeth asymptomatic for the patient. the left side of that image has an identical case as mine the only difference is 10 year difference and the tooth is still almost not formed.

    I have 5 questions :-

    Should I get them all extracted as the dentist told me I will get cyst formation in the lower one if I don’t get it out and plus he will get some extra space to move them all as front is a bit crowded.

    Should I consider another dentist and get a palate expansion as the sole solution instead of tooth extraction, would it be suitable for me at my age.

    Will cyst form in that tooth regardless of the dentist if i get braces or will it depend upon the dentist or is it entirely unpredictable.

    Is there any chance of further growth of that underdeveloped wisdom teeth if I get braces or even in the future will the unformed teeth develop late on in life as the pressure is reduced on it and is a time bomb waiting to grow or is it never going to grow now that the it’s most of the growth age has passed, have you ever heard of cases when premature wisdom teeth who have not had their crown formation get formed after the age of 23.

    Should I just leave everything as it is so that I don’t start something worse because even if I do get that extracted it will be a complicated surgery as the molar roots are on that premature wisdom tooth, it will require a lot of drilling to get it all out and perhaps in the process damage my molar as well.

    Thanks a lot

    • Dr Jules says:

      Should I get them all extracted as the dentist told me I will get cyst formation in the lower one if I don’t get it out and plus he will get some extra space to move them all as front is a bit crowded.
      Cyst formation can’t be predicted and in fact does not happen on the majority of impacted teeth.
      Extracting wisdom teeth does not really provide space for the alignment of the incisors as these teeth are too far away in the back of the dental arch to have any significant effect on space availability.

      Should I consider another dentist and get a palate expansion as the sole solution instead of tooth extraction, would it be suitable for me at my age.

      Expansion and extractions are two different issues, one doesn’t replace the other. They have totally different indications. Some cases may require expansion AND extractions.

      Will cyst form in that tooth regardless of the dentist if i get braces or will it depend upon the dentist or is it entirely unpredictable.

      Entirely unpredictable and has nothing to do with the dentist!

      Is there any chance of further growth of that underdeveloped wisdom teeth if I get braces or even in the future will the unformed teeth develop late on in life as the pressure is reduced on it and is a time bomb waiting to grow or is it never going to grow now that the it’s most of the growth age has passed, have you ever heard of cases when premature wisdom teeth who have not had their crown formation get formed after the age of 23.

      The third molars (wisdom teeth) can complete their development in our twenties but this doesn’t mean that they will erupt. Most wisdom teeth don’t erupt ever. They will not affect the front teeth (see information above in this section).

      Should I just leave everything as it is so that I don’t start something worse because even if I do get that extracted it will be a complicated surgery as the molar roots are on that premature wisdom tooth, it will require a lot of drilling to get it all out and perhaps in the process damage my molar as well.

      It is all a matter of risks and benefits; your dentist must evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of extracting these teeth. If they cause problems, it is indicated to have them extracted whether the extraction is difficult or not as keeping them may cause worse problems.

  191. Raju says:

    Bonjour Dr Jules

    You have made a great website it is very detailed and precise.I am considering to get braces so I had some questions which I hope you can answer.

    I am 23 years old, the orthodontist after examining by x-rays says that I must get 4 wisdom teeth extracted and then perhaps few premolars as well.My front teeth are a bit crooked and they do cut my inner lip sometimes and give out a constant low pressure on them but premolars are fine and my upper wisdom teeth are fully developed and have no problems, but in case of the lower ones, one has not reached the crown completion yet and is still underdeveloped and has not come out, I doubt now that it ever will develop or come out but it is not creating any problems and is not headed towards my molars and neither are the upper wisdom teeth but one wisdom tooth, the lower right one is just like the one in the image you published here under the heading “Examples of third molar eruption problems” in which 13-year-old patient reveals impacted lower wisdom teeth asymptomatic for the patient. the left side of that image has an identical case as mine the only difference is 10 year difference and the tooth is still almost not formed.

    I have some questions :-

    Should I get them all extracted as the dentist told me I will get cyst formation in the lower one if I don’t get it out and plus he will get some extra space to move them all as front is a bit crowded.

    Should I consider another dentist and get a palate expansion as the sole solution instead of tooth extraction, would it be suitable for me at my age.

    Will cyst form in that tooth regardless of the dentist if i get braces or will it depend upon the dentist or is it entirely unpredictable.

    Is there any chance of further growth of that underdeveloped wisdom teeth if I get braces or even in the future will the unformed teeth develop late on in life as the pressure is reduced on it and is a time bomb waiting to grow or is it never going to grow now that the it’s most of the growth age has passed, have you ever heard of cases when premature wisdom teeth who have not had their crown formation get formed after the age of 23.

    Should I just leave everything as it is so that I don’t start something worse because even if I do get that extracted it will be a complicated surgery as the molar roots are on that premature wisdom tooth, it will require a lot of drilling to get it all out and perhaps in the process damage my molar as well.

    Thanks a lot

    • Dr Jules says:


      Should I get them all extracted as the dentist told me I will get cyst formation in the lower one if I don’t get it out and plus he will get some extra space to move them all as front is a bit crowded.

      There is no grantee that cysts will form around wisdom teeth or impacted teeth. This doesn’t always happen and can’t be predicted.
      Removing third molars rarely helps in obtaining space in the dental arches to align the other teeth (except perhaps in the upper arch in certain specific cases).

      Should I consider another dentist and get a palate expansion as the sole solution instead of tooth extraction, would it be suitable for me at my age.
      Palatal expansion is not done to “avoid” extractions but to correct a deficient width of the upper jaw. You may still need extractions.

      Will cyst form in that tooth regardless of the dentist if i get braces or will it depend upon the dentist or is it entirely unpredictable.
      Cyst formation has nothing to do with braces or your choice of dentist!

      Is there any chance of further growth of that underdeveloped wisdom teeth if I get braces or even in the future will the unformed teeth develop late on in life as the pressure is reduced on it and is a time bomb waiting to grow or is it never going to grow now that the it’s most of the growth age has passed, have you ever heard of cases when premature wisdom teeth who have not had their crown formation get formed after the age of 23.

      Anything is possible with wisdom teeth but it is very unlikely that it will later erupt if it is not already in at your age.

      Should I just leave everything as it is so that I don’t start something worse because even if I do get that extracted it will be a complicated surgery as the molar roots are on that premature wisdom tooth, it will require a lot of drilling to get it all out and perhaps in the process damage my molar as well.

  192. Mallika says:

    Cyclic problems with wisdom teeth

    HI,

    I am 33 years old female and I have both my lower jaw wisdom teeth hurting like every 6 month since it first started. The pain stays for 3-4 days I can feel that the teeth is trying come out however has no space and hurts my jaw. I had been to dentist couple of time, once part of the jaw was cut however it still hurts every six months or so. I was worried as I had heard that extracting wisdom teeth, the underlying nerves are connected to eyes and can have an impact on eye. However I am not sure if this is fact or myth. Reading the information here I can see that its strongly recommended to extract the teeth. Can you please advice me at this age is it ok to extract it and can it have any kind of adverse impact. Also Shall I get the xray taken as I feel my teeth is impacted and its been for years and that really worries me now after reading this article. Kindly advice.

    Regard,
    Mallika

    • Dr Jules says:

      – The best way to know what is going on whit your wisdom teeth is to have a panoramic radiograph taken.

      – The wisdom tooth are not connected to the eyes so extracting them will not affect your eyes or your eyesight.

      – There is no age to extract wisdom teeth if they cause problems.They can be extracted anytime. Cyclic problems such as the one you are describing can last a very long time and can worsen with time so it may be a good idea to consult a dentist to have this situation evaluated professionally.

  193. Shelley says:

    Can a crooked wisdom tooth self correct?

    Hello,
    My name is Shelley. I have one of my last molars on top extracted recently because it was broken. I was hoping I could keep my wisdom tooth. The wisdom tooth is coming in now I haven’t had any pain from it but it is coming in crooked. It has plenty of room I was wondering if it would possibly straighten out or if I should have it extracted.
    Thank you

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is very unlikely that such a wisdom tooth would self correct and migrate forward enough to close the space left by the extraction. It doesn’t necessarily have to be extracted however and you may want to consider orthodontics to reposition this tooth.

      Un orthodontiste a des qualifications différentes de celles d'un dentiste. An orthodontist has different training and qualifications than a dentist. Consult a certified specialist in orthodontics (orthodontist) to find out more about your case (diagnosis, malocclusion, etc.) and what are the possible treatment options (ideal treatment, alternatives, prognosis, appliances, duration, cost, etc.).

  194. Kimberley says:

    A red bubble appearing on an erupting wisdom tooth

    Hi, my top wisdom teeth have just started to come through and I’m pretty worried since a couple of weeks ago a purple bubble appeared on my top left gum in the corner and had disappeared leaving a small hole in the middle a couple days later a tooth started to come through and then a red bubble appeared on my right gum in the corner and has now disappeared leaving a big hole really close to the tooth, what do I do? Can u help? I have researched but nothing has come up on this.

    • Dr Jules says:

      This may be part of the normal eruption process and these “bubbles” are not uncommon. If you don’t have any symptoms on pain, just let it be. If you need to be reassured more, do not hesitate to consult your dentist.

  195. Dev says:

    hello,I am a 24 year old male.I can see my 3rd molar in the lower jaw erupting.My dentist suggested me to massage the gum in order to uncover the tooth properly.I am not massaging it but it has started to pain lately.I think my gum tissues are getting damaged while chewig.Will it cause any infection? Is it possible to cut and remove the extra gum tissue that’s covering the tooth? How can i know if it’s not damaging my 2nd molar which also can be a probable cause of pain? Is there any remedy to speed up the eruption process?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Yes it can cause infection… but not necessarily. The overlying gum tissue can be excised but, unless the underlying tooth is well positioned, this would be useless in the long run. You can’t accelerate tooth eruption. The real question however is will the tooth erupt completely in the first place? Does it have enough room in the back of the jaw? etc. A panoramic radiograph would confirm the exact position of all your molars.

  196. Aliyah says:

    Hi!
    I have an appt. to get all four wisdom teeth pulled on the 29th…. parents are encouraging me to go to because it’s free.
    As an 18 yr old, I am trying to research consequences -good and bad- and make my own medical decisions. I found your information very helpful, but I still need to be informed before I make a final decision.
    If I remember right, my x-ray showed all of my teeth growing straight – they also feel straight. The only problems that I know of are that there is gum covering a good chunk of the bottom teeth. (the top teeth just has some on the sides) The part furthest back of my bottom jaw is barely sore, (never unbearable) and that feeling usually happens when I wear my retainers/early morning. I don’t know the size of my jaw, so I am not sure about that side of the story…

    Any advice so that I can avoid unnecessary consequences? Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Dr Jules says:

      Well… unless your wisdom teeth are completely in and uncovered chances are that in the next decades they will cause problems. When and exactly what will happen is hard to predict but it is all a matter of weighing the pros and cons of extracting them on not in the long run. Ask you orthodontist or dentist for advice after reviewing a panoramic radiograph.

  197. Lily says:

    Hello Dr. Jules

    Would you advise I should get my wisdom teeth extracted? Here’s a link to the xray…

    mpacted wisdom tooth , dent de sagesse incluse traitement de canal

    I was also wondering if I should get my premolars removed as well to fix my overbite (I never got to close my resting mouth completely unless I force it.). My doctor hasn’t given me a definite answer to either of my concerns yet. I’m currently on my second orthodontic treatment, the first being 7-8 years ago, and it’s a bit disheartening having to go to the whole process again as an adult which is why I would like to get this done as soon as possible.

    Cheers,
    Lily

    • Dr Jules says:

      The future for your wisdom teeth is not very bright! They will never erupt and will likely cause problems some day so you can’t go wrong in having them extracted.
      You may want to discuss with an orthodontist the possibility of removing your lower second molar with a root canal treatment and bringing the wisdom tooth forward into that extraction space. THis way, you would get rid af a potentially problematic tooth (second molar) and replace it with a sound tooth.
      ➡ To see examples of cases where this was done.

  198. Malory says:

    Will removing wisdom teeth straighten the other teeth?

    Im 25 and I just had a consultation to get my bottom wisdoms removed. I wore braces for four years in my early teens and was given a built in retainer. I became pregnant in January 2015 and in February I noticed that my retainer had snapped in the middle. I watched during my pregnancy as my bottom teeth shifted in a weird way. My middle tooth where the retainer is broken is high and is pulling the teeth attached with the retainer up wirh it, causing them to be slanted upward. My dentist said it looks as if my jaw was broken in half. Its causing me some insecurities as my teeth were perfectly straight and now when i barely open my mouth you can see my front two bottom teeth as they slant up.

    My question is: will removing my wisdoms help pull these teeth back down since there’s force on both sides? Or should I just pay the $50 to have my retainer removed and risk them going all haywire?
    (I would be discussing this with my orthodontist but I visited him last month with a fee. Cute.)

    • Dr Jules says:

      Believe me, if you had a broken jaw you wold know about it and it would be very painful!
      Removing your wisdom teeth will not change anything in the position or alignment of your other teeth as they are not responsible for the movements you observed in your dentition.
      It may still be indicated to remove your fixed retainer if it causes tooth displacement. Discuss that with your orthodontist.
      To learn more about orthodontic retention and dental stability.

  199. Prateek says:

    Dear sir,

    I am 28 and have delayed getting my impacted wisdom tooth out. Because it wasn’t causing any pain. But now it is. So how difficult it is going to be to extract the wisdom tooth at my age?

    • Dr Jules says:

      instrument-dentaire-dentiste-orthodontiste-Sherbrooke V2Age is not the limiting factor but the position of the impacted tooth. The more impacted the tooth is the more difficult the extraction can be… but not necessarily. A simple panoramic radiograph will confirm the tooth position.

      Start by consulting a general dentist who will evaluate your condition, give you a diagnosis and will make the appropriate recommendations if an intervention is indicated (ideal treatment, alternatives, compromises, prognosis, duration, cost, etc.) and will refer you to other dental specialists if necessary.

  200. Shaina says:

    I’m 26 years old and I’ve had my upper left wisdom tooth removed and now another one is coming in along with the right side. I have bad teeth as it is and no insurance what should I do? I can’t chew food I’m in extreme pain

    • Dr Jules says:

      Go see a dentist before this condition deteriorates too much. You will never know what can be done unless you consult…

  201. Heather says:

    On the left side of mouth in the back I feel a very small tooth like thing coming out of my gum. My mouth is very sore and it hurts to open my mouth. Could this be one of my wisdom teeth coming in!!

  202. Dipti says:

    I am 32 years old I have had gap (space) under my wisdom teeth. What’s that I don’t know but sometimes it creates a pain?

    • Dr Jules says:

      instrument-dentaire-dentiste-orthodontiste-Sherbrooke V2 Start by, consulting a general dentist who will assess and diagnose your condition, give you a prognosis, make appropriate recommendations if there are reasons to intervene (ideal treatment, alternatives and compromises, duration and cost of these treatments options, etc.) and direct you to other dental specialists if necessary.

  203. Love says:

    I’m 20 years old and I recently started feeling pain in the lower right part of my jaw and I’m noticing the crowning of a tooth. It’s really painful and makes swallowing painful as well. The gum around there is also a bit swollen. How do I know if I should extract the tooth? Or do I just give it some time and wait for any other symptoms? Also, are there any precautions to take when trying to handle the crowning of the wisdom tooth with care?

  204. Julie says:

    Bisphosphonates and dental extractions

    I am 58 year old female and have a partially impacted top wisdom tooth that is erupting. It is very slow coming in but it is straight according to the images. When the tooth first erupted, the dentist initially recommending waiting to see if the tooth would come in. The last visit it had not move much and a partner dentist recommended that the tooth be extracted until he realized that I had taken bisphosphonates for a couple of years. Despite being off of the bisphosphonates for 2 years, apparently there is still risk associated with oral surgery. Although the partner dentist claimed that the wide part of the adjacent tooth was blocking the molar from coming in further, the tooth has started to move again and while there is still some skin covering the back of the tooth, I can now feel the entire bottom of the tooth with my finger.

    Should I get a second opinion on the tooth? There does not appear to be any infection and the pain is minimal although it is annoying that it is taking so long to come in.

    I did have a lower wisdom tooth erupt and slide in where a molar had been removed. It is mostly straight and looks like it belongs there. This also occurred as an adult (in my 40s) but I do not remember it taking so long to come in.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Hmmm… this is far from my field of expertise but I can tell you that bisphosphonates remain in the body for many many years after a patient stops taking them. As to the effect on the dental surgery, I imagine it can greatly depend on the extent of the surgery. An oral surgeon or you dentist will know more about this topic than me.
      If the tooth is asymptomatic and not causing any problems, maybe it can be left in place and monitored. Discuss that with your dentist. If you are not totally comfortable with the information you received concerning the options for your erupting wisdom tooth, you can ask always for a second opinion.

  205. Khalid says:

    Hi Dr. Jules,
    Am 24 years old, and have a semi erupted tooth on my lower left jaw because there is no space for it to erupt. I usually have a mild pain if I press on it, but whats bothering me is the smell around the tooth. Its making me unconfident even to talk around people. I tried telling my dentist, he says he sees no need to extract the tooth I should just brush the area and gargle with mouth wash but even if I do that after 10 minutes the smell is back…is there any remedy to it apart from extraction?

    • Dr Jules says:

      A bad smell around a semi-impacted tooth may be a sign of infection or inappropriate cleaning. If your dentist can’t find a solution, get a second opinion as this problem will not go away by itself if has not done so by now!

  206. Lynn says:

    Hi Doctor

    I had my second bottom back molar removed due to terrible toothache, caused from my filling leaking, my dentist tried to save it by refilling, but unfortunately that didnt help. its been 1 month since i extracted the molar and now i have pain in my mouth affecting the two teeth next to it.

    PLEASE HELP!!!!

    LYNN

    • Dr Jules says:

      You need to go back to the dentist who did the extraction so that he can evaluate your condition and treat you.

  207. Azaria says:

    Dentist suggested pulling of two wisdom teeth. Just recent after finishing orthodontist work to reduce gaps between teeth(mainly upper)Dentist says wisdom teeth are growing crooked and must be pulled. the sooner the better.I think, won’t that enable teeth to “escape” back and widen the gaps we worked so hard to close?

    16 year old female. after orthodontic work for closing gaps between teeth. despite orthodontist saying there was no need, but kid insisted for cosmetic reasons.
    what is the reason to pull the wisdom teeth here?

    How urgent is it? if at all? (must be this week? within a few months? can wait some years? Don;t unless it hurts or any other harm comes?, etc.)
    What is the risk if at all to the orthodontic work that just finished?
    Thanks in advance,

    Here is a link to my panoramic X-ray

    ~Azaria

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is very unlikely that the lower wisdom teeth will completely erupt and become functional so consider having them removed eventually. This is probably not urgent but don’t wait to have symptoms. The risks have nothing to do with the orthodontic treatment.

  208. Mark says:

    Why extract upper sound wisdom teeth?

    Hi Dr. Jules,
    I am a 24 yr old male and am experiencing mild pericoronitis on my lower left third molar. The tooth is just under the gum line from what i have seen on my x-rays. I would not have even noticed it, were it not that my upper left wisdom tooth (which is fully erupted, straight and healthy) is biting down on the mildly swelling gums below.

    My dentist recommended that my upper, healthy, fully erupted wisdom tooth be extracted as the “proper method” of dealing with the issue until such a time that the lower wisdom tooth erupts and then have that tooth extracted as well. This dentist has also been “reminding” me every visit that we should eventually pull out all of the wisdom teeth so that i do not end up with a crooked smile. Obviously having done some research and from reading your article i am apprehensive of having any of my wisdom teeth pulled out.

    My question to you then is: Is extracting my upper healthy and straight, fully erupted wisdom tooth the BEST method of dealing with what is essentially a mild swelling issue of the gums below?? (The tooth does not bite down on the gums when they are not swollen)

    • Dr Jules says:

      First of all, the presence or absence of your wisdom teeth has nothing to do with the future crookedness of your teeth or smile! Read the information in this section to understand why.

      Even if I didn’t see a radiograph of your dentition, I can say that extracting you upper wisdom teeth is in no way a “guarantee” that your lower wisdom teeth will ever erupt. Pretending the contrary implies that your lower wisdom teeth are not erupting because of the presence of the upper one, which is extremely unlikely and rare. Also, is the swelling on the lower molars really caused by the upper molars? Maybe so, maybe not. Only a clinical exam could confirm that. If there is indeed impingement from the upper molar on the gingiva covering the lower ones, maybe removing the excess gingiva on the lower molar may be an option. Or, as your dentist suggested, extracting the upper third molars may solve that problem of gingival impingement (but that will not necessarily help the eruption of the lower wisdom teeth).

      Now, it may still be indicated to remove your lower third molars if they remain semi impacted and never erupt and in that case, if the opposing third molars (wisdom teeth) have no opposing contact, it may be indicated to extract them as well, even if they are sound and well erupted.

  209. Bulanda Ntumbu says:

    Hi Dr. Jules
    Am a 22yrs old female… I had my 2nd last upper left molar tooth extracted on monday 11/07/2016
    It had decayed on one side and only pained when I took hot drinks and cold stuff so I visited the dentist he said the best way would be to have it extracted which I did so now I have a single tooth isolated on the far end of the upper jaw separated from other teeth by the gap of the extracted tooth (the gap is so wise I wonder if it will reduce).
    I have had difficulties eating properly and chewing, and the gap still hurts and bleeds when I brush… making me miss my tooth and getting me thinking I should have simply insisted that it be filled and treated which is not the case because it’s impossible now. I can’t help the discomfort of the gap and the thought of having another tooth extracted from my upper right jaw because it is decayed too… and the dentist advised me to fill it but from the look of things it has decayed to nearly the same level as the one I extracted exept it hasn’t created a big hole yet.

    Can I still grow another tooth in place of the extracted tooth?
    At my age is it possible for teeth to grow, if yes, until when am how old will they stop?
    Why do I feel pain when chewing on the left jaws especially on teeth closest to the extraction gap they really hurt? How long will the pain last?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Once a tooth is gone, it is gone for good. Unlike other species like sharks who continuously grow new teeth as they are shed or fall out, human don’t grow new teeth.

      It is impossible so predict how long your pain will last but if it doesn’t improve, consult the dentist who did the extractions.

  210. heather says:

    Hello I have a problem and im not sure what’s wrong. My too left wisdom tooth is growing in sideways and a couple days ago I found it impossible to open my mouth all the way. Its like my jaw is locked. It hurts so bad I can’t even eat. I’ve gotten an xray but because of my limited mouth opening they couldn’t do much. Any idea on why my mouth will bearly open?

    • Dr Jules says:

      You may have an infection around these growing molars ant this may be causing inflammation in your muscles and trismus or muscle spasms limiting the jaw opening? This is just an hypothesis but you would find out more by consulting a dentist who could examine you.

  211. AB says:

    Can extracting wisdom teeth change my facial appearance?

    Hi Dr. Jules,

    I had the two wisdom teeth on my left side removed 6 months ago (due to one being infected). Since then, I believe my face has narrowed slightly on that side, which I’m concerned about. The wisdom teeth on my right side are both semi impacted but without complications so far. I’m worried that, if I leave them in, they’ll cause problems eventually, and that the facial asymmetry I’ve noticed will continue to get worse due to having the third molars on one side only. However, I’m afraid that choosing to have them extracted will cause more narrowing and subsequent aging to my face. I’m worried about the top right tooth in particular, because it is more impacted than the others (only the very bottom of the tooth has broken through the gums) .. I’m worried that it’ll be difficult to remove and that my bone will have to be cut/damaged in the process, causing even more bone loss in that area post extraction.

    I’m 27 years old, which is why the possibility of bone loss and structural changes really concerns me. I’m healthy but my biggest fear about this is that my face will look aged and sunken in afterwards, as I feel has already happened slightly on my left side. Is there any way of remedying this and/or minimizing damage post extractions? I would greatly appreciate any guidance you could give me. Thank you!

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is not because you perceive some changes in your face after the extractions that they are directly related to these extractions. If fact, there is probably no direct cause and effect relationship between these 2 events. Facial evaluation is very subjective and difficult to compare over time unless you have excellent calibrated photographs to compare “before and after” an event such as an orthodontic treatment, a surgery, extractions, etc.

      The wisdom teeth are too far back in the mouth to have an effect on facial appearance. However, the side effects of surgery, for instance if you could not eat properly and you lost weight, may affect your facial appearance but this is not because of the loss of a molar in the posterior area of the mouth.

  212. Natassa says:

    Hi,
    Im 26 years old. An x-ray I had years ago showed I have all the wisdom teeth, though only the top left one has been growing. my teeth were always straight and never put braces, but recently I realized that one of my teeth is no longer straighten due to the pressure. Now my question is if I remove the third moral will my tooth go back to its original position or will it stay the way it is now? Thank you

    • Dr Jules says:

      If you read the information in this section, you would understand that the pressure from the wisdom teeth is NOT what cause your other teeth to move so extracting them (wisdom teeth) will not affect the alignment of your teeth. There may be other reasons however to extract these molars.

  213. Katie says:

    Hello there!
    I’m 19 years old and on my latest xray it appears that my two lower wisdom teeth that are coming through are very slightly impacting just below the gumline (the straighter one is just peeking through it now). My upper wisdom teeth came through fully straight. My dentist said that the lower ones may be problematic if they don’t come through straight but they may also straighten up. My 2nd molars are both very round as are my wisdom teeth so unlike a lot of these images it doesn’t appear that it will get wedged or stuck(unless it may keep growing and push the 2nd molar on top of it a bit more if that is possible?) It looks like the impacting part is just on/above the rounded part at the top. My dentist said my jaw may grow slightly since I am 19 in which case there would be no problem at all(although it also doesn’t appear that space is a problem), but I am doubtful of this. Is it possible that even as they are there may be no problems? There is no pain or discomfort from them whatsoever.

    Many thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      Don’t expect any significant jaw growth at your age!
      It is always a possibility that you will never get any problems from these wisdom teeth attempting to erupt but, if they remain semi or partially impacted as you described and not fully erupted and correctly positioned, chances are that eventually, you will get symptoms from these third molars. It may be just a matter of time… but you have a long way to go!

  214. Michelle Agiviav says:

    Hello Dr. Jules,

    I am 17 and I have been receiving some pain from the back of my jaw, so I visited my dentist and he suggested a panoramic X-ray. After inspection of my X-ray, it was concluded that I only have 2 wisdom teeth on the bottom of my mouth; there is no root or sign of any potential wisdom teeth at the top of my jaw. The oral surgeon suggested removing them, as this would lead me to having many problems with my teeth and jaw, including pain, infections, and the moving of my bottom teeth. What is your opinion? Is it worth it to remove them? I do not feel pain anymore, as I only feel it while eating sugar (no cavities and I have fillings in). Thank you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      It may be indicated to remove these wisdom tooth if they can’t erupt but not to prevent movement of other teeth. You have all the necessary additional information in the previous answers and in the page above.

  215. beth says:

    Hello
    Im 31 and need to have one upper wisdom tooth removed it has erupated and the dentist said he can remove with just doing local freezing. Im super nervous about it and i dont think i should be
    Thanks
    Beth

    • Dr Jules says:

      Local anesthesia is more than sufficient for a simple dental extraction. You may ask your dentist to give you additional sedation or some premedication to “calm you down” before the intervention. Discuss it with him.

  216. Anita says:

    Hey Dr. Jules,

    I’m 28 and recently got woken up august 9th in the middle of the night because of very intense throbbing left lower molar pain. I also spiked a low grade fever and got put on antibiotics. my dentist assumed looking at my last year’s x-ray that it was my wisdom tooth causing the pain. so I removed my left bottom and upper wisdom tooth on august 16th. august 18th my oral surgeon said I developed a dry socket.

    My question is, this pain that I am experiencing is very similar to the pain that woke me up august 9th. is it possible that something else is going on?
    also my tooth that is right in front of the left removed wisdom tooth is so sensitive to cold water and it never was before. I’m worried that the main cause of my pain is actually this sensitive tooth that might be decaying or abscessed. my oral surgeon keeps saying that there is no infection and is contributing the pain to my dry socket. He never took an updated xray to see if anything else is wrong.

    thank you for taking your time to answer my question as i have been in pain for almost 3 weeks now.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Extracting a wisdom tooth may affect the tooth just in front of it (second molar) so the pain you are feeling is probably not caused by a cavity or a dental abscess which would have been visible on the radiograph taken before the extraction.

      A dry socket may cause a lot of pain so this may contribute to your discomfort as well. If things don’t improve, do not hesitate to contact your oral surgeon so that he can evaluate your condition and make the appropriate recommendations.

  217. Daniel says:

    Hi Dr. Jules

    I’m 30 and i need one lower wisdom tooth removed it has erupted and I was told by the dental surgeon that he can remove it and x ray is no longer required because the tooth had decayed and what’s left of it is almost just the roots. I just want to know if there are cases like this where in x ray may not be necessary.

    Thanks
    Daniel

    • Dr Jules says:

      Well, unless there is an older radiograph showing the exact position of the tooth and its roots, most dentists and surgeons will prefer to work with an X-ray to guide them in accessing the tooth. It is however for your dentist to decide what he needs to properly extract the tooth.

  218. roy says:

    I have my lower upper molar extracted many years ago. The lower one is growing and reaching towards the upper gum. Should I remove the upper molar now, or wait to seee whether it causes any discomfort?
    Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      It all depends on your symptoms and if it causes problems. Chances are it will eventually become problematic if it is already touching the opposing gum tissue so it is probably preferable to have that tooth extracted before it causes problems and “emergencies”.
      However, have your overall occlusion or bite evaluated by a dentist or an orthodontist to make sure that I am not missing something and that there are not advantages in keeping this tooth.

  219. Jessica says:

    32 teeth and dental pain!
    Hi!
    I’m 22 years old and for the past month I’ve been having some pretty severe tooth pain. I know I should visit a dentist, I’ve just been putting it off because I think the pain will magically go away. I started looking things up about teeth. (I don’t know much about the anatomy of teeth) I read that adults should have 32 teeth; including all 4 third molars. I of course looked up a diagram about teeth and counted all my teeth. I have 32 teeth! I had no idea my wisdom teeth came in. But anyway I was wondering if it was completely normal to have all 32 teeth at 22 years old? And also this pain I’ve been having comes and goes, but it gets way worse at night time.
    I don’t know exactly what tooth hurts, because it feels like the pain is on the whole entire right side of my mouth. Do you have any idea what this could possibly be?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Agir comme une autruche avec la tête dans le sable et ignorer un problème n'est pas une solution valable en dentisterie ou en orthodontie. If someone has enough space in the mouth to accommodate 32 teeth, which is rather rare, it is not unusual that all these teeth have erupted and be prensent in the mouth in the early twenties, age around which wisdom teeth can erupt.

      Dental pain can have many causes so the only way to find out what causes your symptoms is to visit a general dentist so that he or she can have a look at your mouth. Postponing this visit will just make things worse. Don’t be like an ostrich putting your head in the sand hoping that your problems will disappear. You have already tried magic and it didn’t work! 🙂

      • Stephanie Pujols says:

        Hi,

        I’m a 23 year old female and just had three [# 32, 17, and 01] wisdom teeth removed. I didn’t seem to have a fourth. All has healed pretty great with the exception of a gap where #17 used to be just before my tonsil. When my mouth is half closed you can not see it as theres some skin covering it. But when my mouth is open you can. The main issue is that it keeps getting filled with food and I’m very concerned this might eventually lead to an infection. My surgery was the 19th of August so its been a little over a week. I’d like to know if my body will eventually fill this gap with tissue or its something I would have to go back to the dentist for and have it closed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

        Thank You.

        • Dr Jules says:

          This hole, which is the bony socket where the tooth was, will eventually fill in but this may take weeks and even months to completely fill. Just make sure that you keep this area super clean and you shouldn’t have any problems. If you do, do not hesitate to consult your dentist again.

  220. ian paul says:

    I have a problem with my teeth. it starts when my first molar tooth is aching. i took some mefinamic acid hoping to relieve the pain. Two days passed yet it still hurts. I got colds and starting to worry about my teeth. I visited my dentist and he said that my third molar is erupting putting pressure to my 1st molar tooth. I ask him if he could just remove my 1st molar since it is the one who is aching but he said that my 1st molar has no defect and it would be a waste if he will remove it but then the pain will still be there. So he just gave me some painkillers and antibacterial meds. My question is is it possible for the 1st molar to have pain when the third molar is erupting? I’m 19 years old.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Anything is possible and there may be no relationship between your third molar and the symptoms in your first molar.
      You dentist is right; don’t extract a sound first molar instead of a malpositioned and problematic third molar because this will cause other problems such a movement and drifting of adjacent and opposing teeth, bone loss. etc.

  221. Ali says:

    hello
    Im 36 and have had 3 wisdom teeth through. The first (upper right) grew through ‘spongy’ and loose and fell out after a few years although I still have the root which I have checked reguarly and has so far not caused me issues. The second (upper left) was also spongy and developed an infection very quickly after coming through so I had it removed when I was 31. The third (bottom left) only came through 5 years ago and has always been slightly loose, but never caused issues before however Im pretty sure it now has decay and it is definatly looser so Im hoping to have it removed tomorrow. My concern is that the 2 molars in front of it are also now slightly loose. Im thinking advanced gum disease which has spread despite my daily brushing, flossing, mouthwash. I have no pain, misalignment or problems eating but I would hate to loose these 2 teeth. Can removal of my wisdom tooth make these tooth looser or can I save them?

    many thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      Removing a tooth may affect the teeth around it if their bony support and gingival health are jeopardized. A good dental examination by your dentist will confirm your dental health and he should be able to make recommendations concerning your condition.

  222. Sheree says:

    Hi,

    My daughter is 17 and several gaps in her upper teeth ( molars and incisors). They range from 1 – 3mm. Do the eruption of wisdom teeth help to close these gaps a bit with age?

    thank you

    Sheree

  223. Ivana says:

    Long standing and recurrent wisdom tooth problems

    Hello Dr Jules, my research on wisdom teeth brought me to your website and I hope you will be able to give me your opinion. I am 27 years old. My first wisdom tooth started coming in 6 years ago, I was in pain for a few days and I remember my jaw got locked for two or three days. A little bit of my first wisdom tooth made it’s way out. Over the next couple of years I felt pain here and there. Now my upper wisdom teeth are fully out. My left bottom tooth is 3/4 out, it’s not aligned properly but doesn’t give me much trouble. My last one – right bottom – was less than 1/2 out. 5 days ago I started feeling some pain in the area and my jaw. The second day was the worst! I had severe pain, swelling, almost fully locked jaw, swollen glan and trobles with swallowing. I noticed my gum started ripping and more of my tooth started showing, now you can see more than 1/2 of the top surface but a lot of it seems to be still under thick layer of gum. It’s aligned exactly the same way as my bottom left – not perfect but it’s not impacted. My problem is – today starts day 5 and I am still in pain. My jaw has released a little bit and I am able to open it about half way through. My gum is still a bit sore and has not healed around the tooth yet.

    The biggest problem is the pain that is persisting. Feels like it’s coming rather from my jaw than from my actual tooth. I seem to have the most pain early in the morning or when I sleep. I just wanted to know how many days of this situation is acceptable and after how many days do you think I should seek help as it might be something more serious.
    Thank you!

    • Dr Jules says:

      You are describing semi-impacted teeth and, at your age, it is very unlikely that these will not cause problems over the next years or decades. As you can see, the symptoms associated with such teeth are often “cyclic” or recurrent, which is typical behavior of these teeth; symptoms will appear and disappear every few weeks, months or even years. The pain that you feel in your jaw may be irradiating from the tooth. It is hard to predict how long these symptoms will persist or if they will disappear at all.

      My recommendation would be to have a dentist evaluate your condition clinically and radiographically and probably have these wisdom teeth removed… unless they can make a valid point to keep them after a examination.

  224. Francisco Loureiro says:

    Hi, I’m 17 years and about 4 months ago my bottom wisdom teeth erupted, I had fever and pain, I also started noticing my bottom front teeth getting crowded. The pain went away but the crowding has gotten worse to the point that when I close my mouth and jaw, the “bite” feels off because one of my bottom teeth started to hit one of my upper ones and it hurts. My wisdom teeth are almost perfectly straight(x-ray) but I wonder if they didn’t impacted the crowding teeth or is it just coincidence it happened at the same time plus me having swollen gums all the time due to mouth breathing through the night. I’m thinking of getting my bottom wisdom teeth extracted to see if it helps stopping the teeth crowding and pain. My dentist recommended getting them extracted after getting a chipped teeth, main reason being teeth crowding and the change in the “bite”

    • Dr Jules says:

      The wisdom teeth didn’t cause anterior dental crowding so suddenly in your mouth. It is however possible that during the extraction process the second molars just in front of them were slightly displaced ant that this caused an interference with opposing teeth which you now find uncomfortable. Ask you dentist to evaluate you occlusion (bite) and the presence of such interferences.

      As for the swollen gums, this is a totally different issue but your dentist should be able to make appropriate recommendations about this problem as well.

  225. Anshu Prasad says:

    The left over root will magrate to the seurfce?

    Hi, I am 30yrs old. Few months ago my lower wisdom teeth were fully out as well as bit decayed as result of being partially under the gums for a long time. At the momemt i am experiencing tooth ache, ear ache and jaw pain. Local dentists have advised that both wisdom tooth cannot be extracted as xray shows the roots to be quite long as well as shaped inward. I will undergo surgery whereby only top half of the tooth will be removed and the root covered and left in the mouth. The root is expected to move up to the surface overtime and then be extracted once visible. Please share your opinion.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Hoping that a dental root left in the bone will migrate up to the surface for easier later extraction is a very, very long shot at best!

      I am not an oral surgeon but I have never heard of such an treatment protocol. There ways to extract severely impacted teeth but this may not be tackled by any general dentist, it may require the skills, expertise, and experience of a specialist such as an oral surgeon. Get a second opinion from an oral surgeon and come back and tell us if he/she thinks the same thing as what was initially proposed to you.

  226. Emma says:

    Are there extraction risks in a young patient?

    Hi,
    So i am 13 years old, and my dentist says that my two bottom wisdom teeth are risking the health of my second set of molars and that they still have gum over them. The dentist also said my mom should consider getting them removed, and I was wondering if I am younger than all the other patients is there anything at risk? And would it take longer to heal if this is the condition of my mouth? Not to mention my dentist recommends getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed, should I just wait for my mouth to heal the first time and then get another surgery?

    • Dr Jules says:

      There are always risks associated with extractions, especially wisdom tooth but they vary from case to case. Extraction of teeth for orthodontic purposes (usually premolars) are usually much less risky than more complex surgical extraction of impacted wisdom teeth. Ask you dentist to explain what the risks are in you specific case and what are the advantages and disadvantages of removing the wisdom teeth in one or 2 sessions.

  227. Anish says:

    Dear Dr.Jules,

    I have a small gap behind my Left Wisdom teeth . My dentist wants it removed as it causes frequent infection. What should I do about ?

    • Dr Jules says:

      I would follow your dentist’s recommendations as he is the one who examined you and made a diagnosis. If you are not comfortable with that, get a second opinion from another dentist.

  228. Ananya says:

    Hello,
    I had undergone orthodontic treatment few years back .Braces were mounted on my upper teeth only.after completion of the treatment within 4 days a gap was developed form where the premolar was extracted.At that point of time I went to 2 other orthodontist who gave me different suggestions
    1)she said my molars are taken ahead therefore wisdom teeth erupted only on upper jaw and teeth are slightly turned inward and they are still ahead
    2) another dr suggested again premolars must be
    removed from upper jaw as teeth are still ahead.

    Now my question is if I go by suggestion 1) is it possible to move teeth back by turning them outside as there is very less gap between canine and 2nd premolar.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If I understood correctly, you are complaining that a gap opened in the area where upper premolars were extracted for you orthodontic treatment.
      Yes, under the right conditions, it is “possible to move teeth back” and close a space. I don’t understand however why an orthodontist mentioned that other premolars must be removed to do this but there may be missing information that prevents me from understanding all the subtleties of the case. Make sure that you have all your questions answered by the orthdontist BEFORE you undertake any treatment.

  229. female says:

    Hello, I`m looking for input anywhere i can, because im in a lot of trouble. I am a 30 year old female. All my 3rd molars came with no pain at all, probably in teenage years. I didnt even notice they were there. Now, a mysterious pain in the right lower jaw is bothering me so much. Started as a mild pain, but got worse as time went by. Its been 2 months now. It started just under the 1st right molar that got extracted couple of years ago (after massive inflammation and many root canals). Now the first month the pain was mild and coming down there from a jaw and easier to tolerate, but now it really feels like a tooth ache, but my dentist found nothing wrong there (did the xrays, tapped on teeth etc). The surgeon also did not find anything wrong over that place of extraction. It mostly feels like the front tooth next to that not existing 1st molar is hurting and on fire and feels kinda sensless or.. i dont know how to describe that (radiates from somewhere?).

    After my dentist found nothing i went back a week later, and now the dentist did find caries on my 3rd molar (just between 2nd and third), i felt it when he blowed air on it and he fixed it cause i need it to bite (if that would be extracted i would be left with only one molar over there). We hoped this repair did the trick, but no, it did not make much difference to the pain im experiencing.. if, then maybe over time the pain moved more to the back also, away from only the front one (i think its called 2nd bicuspid) (but now im on painkillers, so i wouldnt exactly know – although they do a poor job masking the pain, i dont know if i should stop taking them and see if the bicuspid starts to ache like crazy again).

    One thing i noticed – just after the repair, at home after anesthesia for the 3rd molar fix wore off, the same little tooth, bicuspid, started hurting really much, like never before, but not the 3rd molar that was actually worked on, it felt nothing at all! Painkiller took that pain away easily. But they do not work on that general pain i have constantly (only at nights i get relief). No hot-cold sensitivity in these molars or bicuspid and no pain tapping them. The 2nd molar next to the one that got extracted has changed its position durig these couple of years and is crooked a bit inwards, i guess because the 3rd molar is pressing on it. The usual over the counter pain killers (that had worked for me in past in case of a tooth ache) do not work, Tremadol has helped a bit but then firstly the pain moves to the left jaw and i feel a slightly lighter mild pain on the left mirroring side of the lower jaw and then eventually the pain gets weaker both sides. The pain down in the jaw and bicuspid got worst in the second month, but there is no change in it when eating or talking.

    My first appointment to orthodontic specialist is month away. Can it be TMJ related? Because of the missing 1st molar its hard to make a desicion to extract the 3rd molar just in case. If the pain does not go away im left with one molar and still in pain and how can i get an implant to replace the 1st molar when the jaw is still in pain. Can the big pain in bicuspid just after traumatizing the 3rd molar indicate that it is still the 3rd molar that is causing the pain and it just radiates, not showing in itself? Can it be made sure with some tests? X-rays show that the fix was done well, the doctor even tested the little black spot on the 3rd molar (in case it went down under there somehow), drilled that caries out without any anesthesia – i didnt feel a thing. So that was not it also. I`m puzzled, and my dentist too.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Before deciding on extracting any “good” and salvageable molar, try to have an orthodontic consultation if you are considering an orthodontic treatment. It is hard to know the exact state of your mouth and occlusion just from your description but it may possible that if a first molar needs to be extracted, the extraction space could be closed orthodontically by bringing the second (and maybe third molar if present) froward and eliminates the need foe a dental implant. You can see examples of such cases and how they were treated in this section about mini-screw anchorage.

      Discuss all these possibilities with your dentist and orthodontist.

  230. Ira says:

    Hi Dr Jules,

    I had all my 4 wisdom teeth out nicely aligned with the rest, apart from missing one tooth at the bottom front, all are intact.
    My problem is that I noticed that one of my front upper tooth is getting misaligned and looked as if its being pushed out. I am thinking if both the upper wisdom teeth are causing this to happen and do I need to remove them and probably get braces to realign them back. I am just afraid that in the long run I might have problem and further discomfort.

    • Dr Jules says:

      The mouvement of your front teeth has nothing to do with your wisdom teeth. Read again the information in this page. There may be other reasons however to consider having these third molars extracted. If you want to realign your teeth, you will indeed need some form of orthodontic treatment. Un orthodontiste a des qualifications différentes de celles d'un dentiste. An orthodontist has different training and qualifications than a dentist. Consult a certified specialist in orthodontics (orthodontist) to find out more about your case (diagnosis, malocclusion, etc.) and what are the possible treatment options (ideal treatment, alternatives, prognosis, appliances, duration, cost, etc.).

  231. Jason Tan says:

    Hi, I’m 21 years old and have not felt any symptoms of the common growth of wisdom teeth, and there is still a gum space left for where the wisdom teeth grows. Does it mean that my wisdom teeth has not grown, or still growing?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Symptoms are unpredictable and sometimes unreliable. Consult a dentist to have a panoramic radiograph taken and you should get all he answers to your question.

  232. Austin D says:

    How rare is it to have 6 wisdom teeth . Went to Dr today to find have I have extra on top row . Or is there a certain reason for it . Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is relatively rare but not unheard of. Anything is possible with wisdom tooth; extra or missing teeth.
      The only explanation is genetics.

  233. Shara says:

    Greetings to u Doc,
    I am a 26 yrs old girl and happened to be in pained due to my wisdom tooth coming in. Infact time check here is 3 am and still Im awake. I cant sleep because of the severe pain I feel in my jaw, in my ear,in my neck,i have a headache,my shoulders are aching and it really painful.. I already taken 3 pain killer medicine not caring if I might get overdose.. Its just the pain wont go away. This past few days my decay tooth is aching,not realizing its the wisdom tooth that hurting.Its my 1st time feeling this pain in my teeth. This decay tooth infront of the incoming wisdom tooth had just broken while eating an unpopped piece of popcorn,and then slowly it decays though I have proper hygiene. I am planning to see a dentist and have my decayed tooth extracted,but can they extract it even i have pained incoming wisdom tooth beside it??? Its my right lower jaw. Hoping for your advices doc. Thank you!

  234. Divya says:

    Why extract lower wisdom teeth if they don’t hurt?

    Hi doctor…can u pls help me..i am very scared and confused about mu wisdom tooth extraction..i am 29 years old and on recent dental visits..my dentist advised i shoul get my wisdom teeth removed because of big cavity on my 2 upper wisdom teeth. So they have taken radiograph and they mentioned they need to remove bottom 2 as well. NOW the bottom 2 teeth are not erupted out at all, i did know that i have them until we saw radiograph. I had no issues with that, left side is grown horizintal inside and the right side is grown fine inside. My questiom should i remove the bottom two teeth when i dont have any issues??my doctor mentioned i may get infection so its best remove all 4 at once with general anesthesia.should i just remove top 2 for now and wait and see bottom 2 if they develop any issues in future?

    Appreciate ur response…plz help

    Divya

    • Dr Jules says:

      I would tend to agree with your dentist. Even if your lower wisdom teeth are not erupted, they are in a bad position, especially the one on the right side which is horizontal and almost pointing downwards. You may not have any symptoms associated yet with these teeth but at your age, you hopefully have many more decades to live with these teeth and they may become problematic some day. Extracting them soon may be a prophylactic or preventive measure but it may save you a lot of problems later…

      This procedure can be done under local anesthesia if you want and it is not essential to remove all 4 wisdom teeth at the same time but this may be more practical.

  235. Shelly-Ann says:

    Hi Dr. Jules. My right lateral incisor is still a temporary tooth as radiography shows that the permanent one is still in the gum above. My two lower wisdom teeth are impacted and have been causing infection and pain each time they start erupting. The incisor has begun shaking and so I know it will soon fall out. I am thinking of getting braces as my dentist suggests, so as to open the gap to pull down the permanent incisor. However, I want to know if I could put the braces in first before removal of the wisdom teeth, or do I have to remove them before the braces? Thanks in advance

    • Dr Jules says:

      The orthodontic corrections will be independent of the presence or absence of your wisdom teeth so your could start an orthodontic treatment whenever you are ready and have your wisdom teeth removed before or after that time.

  236. R says:

    To extract or not to extract… that is the question!

    Hello Dr.
    First of all thank you for your help publishing all this info!
    I’m 24, male, and after a recent visit to my dentist I found out I have 3 wisdom teeth, one top, two bottom, all impacted and completely under the gums. I went to the dentist because the top one hurts, and we decided to extract it soon. However, my dentist recommended to extract the other two on the bottom as well since they are in a very bad position, completely horizontal and close to the 2nd molars. The oral surgeon took a look at the radiography and he said he can extract them, but nobody even mentioned that I could keep them, considering they don’t hurt at all and they’re free of diseases. I didn’t get a chance to speak with the surgeon in person, unfortunately.
    The possible problems my dentist mentioned were infections and cavities, but can these even happen if the teeth stay under the gums (they should according to the radiography)? I have pretty good oral hygiene and have never had cavities or any sort of issues.
    I’m leaning more towards keeping those two, as the extraction would be completely prophylactic in nature, and having just one extracted is making me really nervous already! I’m having a hard time deciding what to do.
    Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    tag #merci

    • Dr Jules says:

      Many studies have concluded that symptom free wisdom tooth do not always mean disease free teeth as there are many types of infections which can be developing over time around these teeth. Very often it is a judgment call on the part of the practitioner but when you look at the pros and cons long term, it is probably safer to extract borderline problematic wisdom tooth instead of hanging on to them in the hope that nothing happens.


      For further information, see White RP, Proffit WR. Evaluation and management of asymptomatic third molars: lack of symptoms does not equate to lack of pathology. Am J Orthod Dentofac Orthop 140:10-16, 2011.

      • R says:

        So I scheduled an appointment and had a chat with the oral surgeon and we agreed that extraction was probably a good idea, but since those teeth are asymptomatic and healthy, there was no rush in doing it. Specially since the extraction wouldn’t be particularly easy because of the position they were in. I guess he’s the kind of doctor who’s not fond of prophylactic surgeries! I’m also starting orthodontic treatment soon so he said that I could go ahead and start the process and if they gave me problems later we could take a second look at them.
        Thank you again for your help, Doctor Jules! The study you linked to provided good insight too!

  237. Ailen says:

    Can wisdom teeth cause hearing loss?

    Hi,
    Can wisdom tooth cause hearing loss? Short story: i used braces, at 20 i was advised to remove all wisdom teeth. I removed the Upper ones, but was told by one surgeon that the lower ones touch the nerves and could cause loss of sensitivity. So after some months i consulted my dentist again and then a new surgeon. He said that as they hurt, we should probably remove them. This was 4 months ago and i haven’t gone yet because of exams and all but the thing is since that visit, and now its worse, the molars make my ears hurt and now they are causing ringing. Can i loss my hearing if a remove them/ not remove them?

    • Dr Jules says:

      The mandibular nerve in the lower jaw (mandible) and near your lower wisdom tooth has nothing to do with the innervation in you ears and it cannot affect your hearing,,even if it was completely sectioned. Loss of sensitivity in the lower jaw is always a possibility and your surgeon will explain the risks.

      If your wisdom teeth are symptomatic, it is probably wiser to have them removed sooner than later if you want to avoid future problems.

  238. Katie says:

    Hi. I’m 17, and I was told a few days ago that my wisdom teeth were horizontally impacted and that they would need to be extracted. I have had braces, and I was told that they could move my teeth. I don’t want this to happen because braces were extremely painful and extremely expensive, and it would be a waste if my teeth moved. However, the wisdom teeth aren’t causing me any pain, and I really don’t want to get them extracted. I have read from your website and other websites that wisdom teeth do not move teeth. Do you think I should get them extracted? Thank you so much.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Read the information in this page… wisdom teeth will not displace your other teeth.
      There are however many other reasons to extract impacted wisdom teeth even if they are not painful.
      You’ll fine more information on this topic in this other answer.

      • Katie says:

        Thank you so much for replying.
        So you it’s a good idea to extract them even though they aren’t causing any pain? I have an appointment scheduled for a second opinion with a different dentist. I just really don’t want to get them taken out. I’m terrified of surgery and needles, and there are so many risks associated with this surgery. Thank you.

        • Dr Jules says:

          I don’t know the details of your case but if you read the information on this website and in the links provided, it may be a good idea to have them removed. If problems arise and you have infections, caries, etc. you won’t have a choice to have a surgery and it will be more severe or difficult.

  239. Cheyenna says:

    Is it possible for another wisdom tooth to grow where one was removed? I believe that is what is happening to me, Ive recently have been having extreme pain and what feels like another tooth where one was pulled 2 months ago. I hope you can answer soon!

    • Dr Jules says:

      Anything is possible with wisdom teeth but if there really is an extra wisdom tooth, it should have been detected on the pre-op panoramic radiograph…

  240. woosung yun D.D.S. says:

    Hi
    I’m an orthodontist practicing in Seoul, South Korea treating about 2000 teenagers and adults yearly.
    May i use your material in the office education program for patients?
    I found it to be very useful. And that will be greatly appreciated.
    thanks

  241. Suhaib says:

    Greetings!
    I was 23 when I had to go for root canal, and as of now it looks good (2nd Pre Molar top right) but now for last year or so my top left wisdom tooth is semi impacted and dentist says it needs to be removed (surgical process). Whenever I get pain I just take a pain killer and avoid the doctor. I am 25 now and don’t want to remove it as it involves surgical procedure and I know how much it hurts as I have also done root canal. So my question is can I just take pain killer and let it remain there and hope some day pain will stop. I take pain killer every month. How long will it (wisdom tooth )continue to grow as I am already 25 so can I wait and hope pain stops or just remove it. I also have clicking Jaw problem (TMD). What impact will it have on me?

    • Dr Jules says:

      You can function a certain time with pain killers but this cannot last forever. Pain killers don’t treat infection, dental cavities, etc. Chances are that problems will eventually flare up and even pain killers won’t be able to help and you will eventually have to follow your dentist’s advice so might as well do it sooner than later to avoid more serious problems.

      It is impossible to tell how long a wisdom tooth will take to erupt… if it erupts completely at all.

  242. oolie says:

    Why does the dentist insist on extracting sound healthy wisdom teeth?

    I’m 52 and have never had my wisdom teeth removed. They grew in cleanly when I was seventeen. My mouth had plenty of room for them. I take great care of my teeth. I avoid most sweets and adding sugar to tea and coffee. I brush and floss at least twice a day and usually after every meal. I have had very few tooth problems as an adult. The problem is that every time I have ever been to a dental professional I get hassled endlessly about having my wisdom teeth out.

    Why? They have done me no ill for all my adult life. It gives me a very bad feeling toward the profession who seem to want to cause me pain and unnecessary expense because removal is dental tradition, or something.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If your condition is exactly as you describe it (and it probably is!), you are correct in that it may not be necessary to extract your wisdom teeth. Don’t blame the dental profession for trying to “force” you in having theses third molars extracted but only the individual dentist who insists on doing these extractions because it is not an absolute obligation to extract all wisdom teeth. Ask your dentist what are his specific reasons to remove completely erupted sound and healthy third molars. If you don’t obtain a satisfactory answer, get a second opinion.

    • Dr Jules says:

      If your condition is exactly as you describe it (and it probably is!), you are correct in that it may not be necessary to extract your wisdom teeth. Don’t blame the dental profession for trying to “force” you in having theses third molars extracted but only the individual dentist who insists because it is not an absolute obligation to extract all wisdom teeth. Ask your dentist what are his specific reasons to remove completely erupted sound and healthy third molars. If you don’t obtain a satisfactory answer, get a second opinion.

      • valerie lovell says:

        Trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis

        Hi Dr Jules
        I have now been to see maxifacial surgeon he says the wisdom teeth are not causing me the problems they are fine and do not need to be removed. However I am still no better and the problem seems to be with my tongue one one side when the doctor examined my mouth and touch my tongue I nearly fainted with the pain which lasted a few seconds. Now he thinks I may have trigeminal neuralgia . How it is not sore to touch the outside of my face the pain when I swallow is felt in my tongue on right side and in my ear . Nobody seems to be able to come up with a positive diagnosis now he is sending me to an ENT doctor and has asked me to try taking some drugs for two months that is a nerve blocker . I not to happy about taking drugs with side affects until I know for sure what the real problem is I am still no wiser .
        Thanking you for your advise Dr Jules

        • Dr Jules says:

          What you describe seems indeed like a neurological problem but other causes are possible. Unfortunately, I am far from being an expert in that field and I am afraid that I can’t help you much except than to recommend to continue to have some tests made until they can identify a cause.

  243. Katie says:

    Could extracting wisdom teeth affect the TMJs?

    Hi. I recently commented about my impacted wisdom teeth, and I asked if I should get them out, considering that they aren’t causing me any pain. I now have another question. I have tmj issues. Last time I was at the dentist my jaw locked up. Could extracting my wisdom teeth harm my tmj problems even more? Thank you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      It is usually necessary to open very wide to extract teeth at the back of the mouth so if the jaw is forced open beyond its physiological range, it may affect the TMJs.

      • Katie says:

        Thank you For replying.
        Considering that extraction could affect tmjs, what do you think is the best option for me. As I’ve said, my wisdom teeth are impacted, and some are impacted horizontally, but they don’t hurt. Should I get my wisdom teeth out even though it could affect the tmjs? What are the risks concerning the tmj? Thank you.

        • Dr Jules says:

          Extraction will not necessarily affect your TMJs and in fact it is a rare side effect. You must consider the risks vs benefits of keeping potentially problematic wisdom teeth and the chances that your TMJ will be affected by the procedure. Discuss all that with your surgeon.

  244. Miriam says:

    Need to extrat wisdom teeth if 2 molars are already missing?

    Hi Dr Jules,
    I am 17 and I have 4 semi-erupted wisdom teeth. When I got braces four years ago, my dentist removed 2 healthy molars to prevent crowding when I got braces. When I went to the dentist a couple months ago, my X-ray showed that my wisdom teeth were coming in straight and not in a weird position. I can feel them coming in and my parents are worried about the expense of taking them out. What is your opinion on this?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Extracting molars will not prevent crowding…
      If you are already missing 2 molars, it may not be necessary to extract your wisdom teeth in that arch since they may end up replacing the extracting molars. Make sure however that they come in straight and are functional otherwise it may cause other problems. They may need orthodontic uprighting.

  245. Ivette says:

    Hello
    On a yearly dental check up my daughters dentist referred her for a wisdom tooth consultation. My daughter is 17 years old and has not experienced any pain. When I took my daughter for the consult they told me that she should have it removed and that this is the age when it should be done because it’s easier to do. Now like I said she has not expirienced any pain and all 4 are growing upright only thing they showed me was that she had no room for them to grown out.
    They are recommending surgery to remove all four at one time.
    Is it wise to get it them out without any current reason only their suspection of not having any room? And if so is it wise to have them remove all at once?
    She was referred to a teaching hospital and I’m afraid they are telling me this. Just to get the experience.
    Your advise would greatly be appreciated.

    Thank you
    Ivette

    • Dr Jules says:

      If the wisdom teeth don’t have enough space to erupt completely, they will probably cause problems some day. It is true that it is easier to remove them before the roots are completely formed. There are advantages and disadvantages of removing all 4 wisdom teeth at the same time. Discuss that with the surgeon.

      Note : it is often possible to postpone the extraction of the upper wisdom teeth until they are close to erupting as their direction of eruption is usually different than that of the lower third molars.

  246. Kashaf says:

    Wisdom teeth pain but no inflammation or redness

    Hi Dr. Jules
    Thanks. This is the most informative article I’ve read. My lower left third molar semi erupted over the period of a year with no big issue. I’m now on my honeymoon and the back half of the tooth appears to be trying to grow out. I have a very small jaw and there doesn’t appear to be much space for it. It is also covered by what appears to be my white gum. It’s causing me more pain than I’ve ever had from wisdom teeth but doesn’t look inflamed or red. How long would you expect this to take to grow out and would you recommend removal? It appears to be growing vertically although misaligned from my other teeth. I still have five days left of my holiday and hope this level of pain doesn’t persist!
    Many thanks!

    tag #merci

    • Dr Jules says:

      Most semi-impacted wisdom teeth never erupt completely and end up in a normal.

      Now, the fact that you have recurring pain, this may be a problem whether there is inflammation, infection or not. This type of cyclic problem can last a long time and will come back to haunt you in the worst of times.

      Read this information about symptom free wisdom teeth to understand that there may still be risks of problems developing with symptom-free wisdom teeth.

  247. May says:

    Why the third molar is the last tooth to erupt ?
    I want to know if there is any reason

    • Dr Jules says:

      Because it is the last tooth to be formed and it is in the back of the mouth which has to grow to accommodate these third molars and that takes time too.
      A third molar could not erupt in the mouth of a 10 year old child because there is not enough room.

      ➡ To see diagrams illustrating jaw growth.
      La croissance mandibulaire est un phénomène complexe qui se produit en 3 dimensions jusqu'à la fin de l'adolescence. La croissance mandibulaire est un phénomène complexe qui se produit en 3 dimensions jusqu'à la fin de l'adolescence. Il est essentiel de bien comprendre ce processus de croissance pour intervenir au moment opportun. Le développement se produit surtout vers l'arrière après l'âge de 6 -7 ans.

  248. Tope says:

    My wisdom teeth comes and goes for left to right, but now the more painful than usual in the right. I even find it hard to swallow anything; the right side of my throat pains me. Please what can I do?

  249. Aricia says:

    Wisdom teeth hurt my cheeks

    Hi Dr. Jules,
    Thank you for the informative article. I’m 20 and my wisdom teeth has been growing out for the last year. However, both my upper wisdom teeth seems to be tilted slightly backward and outward. These caused me some discomfort and soreness especially in my cheeks. Is there a possible solution for this other than having the teeth extracted?
    Also, for the last six months, I’ve been feeling pain around my upper right incisor whenever any of my tooth in the upper right row touches anything hot or cold. Is this normal?
    Thank you very much,
    Aricia

    • Dr Jules says:

      Depending on the exact position of theses wisdom teeth, they may be modified (polished, reshaped, etc.) to modify the form of their cusps so that they don’t impinge as much on the cheek tissues when you bite. I don’t know if that would be possible for your case but consult your general dentist to have this option (and others) evaluated. However, if they are semi-impacted and prone to infection, it may be preferable to have them extracted.

  250. Petr says:

    Will horizontally impacted lower wisdom tooth removal increase chances that the opposing upper impacted wisdom tooth will erupt? I’m 28 years old and have my right lower wisdom tooth removed in August, 2016. I have left the opposing upper vertically impacted wisdom tooth. Is it worth waiting eruption of this tooth?

    • Dr Jules says:

      Removing a tooth (any tooth) will not affect the eruption of an opposing IMPACTED tooth. It may however affect the position and eruption of an already erupted tooth in the opposing arch it the extracted tooth was in contact vertically with that tooth.

  251. Alexandra says:

    My son just turned 15. A few months ago I had him at the dentist, they took X-rays. No cavities (thankfully) but they noticed his wisdom teeth, not yet erupted, were at a little bit of an angle, and right away they said next summer they want to refer him to an oral surgeon to get them out or else it would crowd his teeth. I didn’t think the angle looked that bad, really.

    There is nothing wrong with them! What do you think would be the best course of action? His father and I believe in wait-and-see. I had impacted wisdom teeth (I also had braces from age 14 to 16) but I didn’t have any issues with them until I was 38, then I had them out.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Read the information in this section (page and other answers) and you’ll soon realize that it is not indicated to extract wisdom teeth to prevent dental crowding but there may be other valid resasons to do so.

  252. Sheng says:

    I have my 4 wisdom teeth semi erupted, the crown can be seen. But my 2 bottom wisdom teeth causing me a lot of pain and most of of time it’s giving me a canker sore, especially the bottom left. Can I request my dentist to to remove the excess gums to ease the pain or should I wait to grow it in a natural way.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Removing the excess gum tissue (operculectomy) may help but it would be indicated only if doing so would allow the wisdom teeth to be functional, and for this to happen, they must be well positioned. If they are semi-impacted because they are tilted in any direction and don’t have enough space, it is probably wiser and safer in the long run to have them removed. Discuss all that with your dentist.
      These teeth may never make it in all the way “naturally”.

  253. Hunter says:

    Wisdom teeth; to remove them or not…That is THE question!

    Dr. Jules, I’m 18 and was told by my oral surgeon there is no room for my wisdom teeth to fully erupt. I have mixed feelings and know that most dental providers are on the same page: remove them. My parents, who both have all four wisdom teeth, have actually had hygienists complain about having to clean them. They’ve been told over and over to have them removed. I only have the two on the bottom, and they began erupting without problems. The top never developed. On the X-ray (wish I could attach it) they look like there would be partial contact with the last molars at the top. I got a second opinion from a more conservative dentist who said he would not recommend removal, as it looks like the roots are close to the nerve and there is a risk. Why take the risk if there are no problems?

    My question is: if left alone won’t the risk of root touching the nerve just increase as they grow to full size?
    Also, is there a chance the root could actually grow into the nerve and make removal impossible? What would the option be in that case, if problems were to occur in 5, 10, or more years from now? Thank you very much. Hunter

    • Dr Jules says:

      There are always risks associated with wisdom teeth, whether you extract them or keep them!

      If your wisdom teeth are semi-impacted, they are a significant factor for possible infection so, even if their roots are close to the nerve, the risk-benefit evaluation would probably be in favor of removing them. If they are fully impacted, make sure that they are monitored regularly with radiographs. Indeed, it is usually more difficult to extract them as the roots grow longer and closer to the nerve but they could be removed by a good oral surgeon. Removal is always possible but sometimes very risky. Roots don’t grow “into” the nerve but they can grow “around” it.

      Only time will tell it these teeth can become problematic.

      Here is an example of the roots of a wisdom tooth encircling the inferior alveolar nerve (blue circle).The oral surgeon had to section this molar in 2 fragments to remove it… but it is feasible. The saw cut is visible along the surface of the tooth (the fragments were pieced together for the photo).

      proximité du nerf dentaire dent de sagesse

  254. Xavier says:

    If I remove my wisdom teeth, is it likely that my remaining teeth will space out and create gaps in my mouth? My teeth are currently well packed (but not over packed) and my wisdom teeth are semi-impacted. They came up a bit but the dentist says they won’t come up all the way. I really don’t want extra space in my teeth though.
    I have never worn braces but my teeth are rather straight.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Removing wisdom teeth in the back of the mouth will not cause spacing in between the other teeth in front.

  255. Nat says:

    Will extracting wisdom teeth help anterior dental crowting?

    I am 28, i had braces when i was at school, i had to have two upper teeth extracted to make room for the movement of my teeth, a few years ago my upper wisdom teeth came through and since then i have noticed movement in my front two teeth, specifically the one on the left is beginning to overlap the right tooth. Would extraction help in anyway shape or form. I also get terrible jaw ache from time to time as well. On my last xray it showed my lower wisdom teeth to be growing inwards instead of upwards yet nothing was mentioned about extraction, should i bring this up at my next appointment.

    • Dr Jules says:

      Extracting wisdom teeth will not help your anterior crowding.
      If your lower wisdom teeth will not come in, they should be monitored or extracted, discuss it with your dentist.

  256. Adele says:

    Hi,

    I am a 39 year old woman. I had both lower wisdom teeth removed when I was 19 as I kept getting infections. My left upper wisdom tooth has come through but I am having pain a little further back at what feels like the side of the gum rather than the bottom of it. I don’t know if the pain is from the tooth still erupting or if there is a problem. I only saw the dentist a couple of weeks ago and she didn’t see any problem. how long would it take for a wisdom tooth to fully come through? My right upper wisdom tooth has not come through yet. Shouldn’t it have grown by now?

    Thanks.

    Adele

    • Dr Jules says:

      Wisdom tooth follow absolutely NO rules!
      Most of them never erupt fully, they remain completely impacted or semi-impacted. It your condition doesn’t improve, go back to see your dentist and insist that she runs additional tests to find the cause of your symptoms.

  257. Pooja says:

    Numbness after wisdom tooth extraction

    My 2 third molars are removed from my lower jaw 7 years back and there was a strange numbness which wasn’t justified. While removing the right one the doctor had given me double anesthesia. I have a crooked smile and I don’t know which doctor to consult. Coz the other end who advised the removal n did said that physiotherapy is needed. Please can you suggest

  258. John says:

    Hello. I read a lot of the comments. I am 23 year old male and have all 32 teeth. I can’t remember exactly how long they have been completely in but I’d say 3-4 years. They started coming in around 17.

    My top teeth are good straight. My bottom teeth are descently crooked in front and have been even before the wisdom teeth came. However, I’m not really obsessed with my bottom teeth being perfect because they mainly stayed covered from my bottom lip haha. I’m just glad my top are straight.
    My daddy’s teeth were the same way, and he had all 32 teeth.

    My wisdom teeth have never hurt or seemed to cause any problems and they’ve been fully in for 3-4 years. I’ve had no infections and my teeth appear to be the same straightness on top and bottom as before they came in. Do I appear to be one of the few that have room and get to keep them?

    • Dr Jules says:

      It the 32 teeth are in ant the wisdom teeth are not partially covered by gum tissue, yes, you may be an exception. If theses third molars are functional, you can probably keep them but any dentist could easily confirm that.

  259. Priya says:

    Hi, I am 42 years old and last 5 months I have been noticing cuts on my both cheeks, there is prominent Linia Alba – white line too. My dentist says it is due to wisdom teeth & I have been advised to take all 4 out at the same time. My question – is it possible to happen this when I am 42 years old ?? Thanks

    • Dr Jules says:

      Almost anything can happen at any age with wisdom teeth. The presence of a linea alba is not however due necessarily to the presence of wisdom teeth. Follow your dentist’s advice concerning the wisdom teeth.

  260. Akilesh says:

    hello,am 20 year old.my wisdom teeth is growing,and my gum is swelled and there is a little pus that came from my gum in the morning.am afraid that it get worsen.i want to ask if it is normal.And what precaution should i take or i should visit a dentist or not..

  261. ARCHANA says:

    Hello Dr… Good evening..
    I am having four impacted wisdom tooth… two in upper jaw and two horizontal in lower jaw.. Dr advised me remove the 3rd mollar tooth since am having jaw pain .
    Pls suggest whether to remove it or not.
    Am I get any numbness in my jaw line nerves for removing the molar teeth.
    Am not having any pain inside my mouth, just getting pain in my jaw line and cheeks.

    • Dr Jules says:

      I don’t know enough about your case to make specific recommendations and that is not the purpose of this blog. You must follow the recommendations of your dentist qho knows you best. If you are not comfortable with his recommendations, get a second opinion.

  262. Fahad says:

    Horizontally impacted wisdom teeth

    Hi
    I am 42 years old and my lower wisdom tooth on both sides are at right angle (grown horizontally) to the adjacent tooth in mouth. I don’t feel any pain but my dentist says that these wisdom tooth, if erupts, would displace and damage other tooth hence both of them should be extracted. I wonder if the wisdom tooth shall still grow or erupt at the age of 42. Shouldn’t I leave it as such till the time I start feeling any symptom of pain…. many thanks for advising.

    • Dr Jules says:

      At you age, horizontally impacted wisdom teeth will never erupt. They will not displace other teeth as explained in this page and in previous answers but there may be numerous reasons besides that to recommend their extraction even if they are asymptomatic. Review the inform above and discuss it with your dentist.

  263. Lina says:

    Hi there. I’m 28 and I’ve gotten my impacted wisdom tooth out, as per your comment:Dr Jules 2014/12/14 at 15 h 02 min

    After removing it, it seems that the area where my wisdom tooth affected the second molar has a big gap. Not sure if it’s almost nearing the nerve but I cannot bear the cold air/cold water at all. It hurts so bad.
    I didn’t have money to do a root canal treatment (very expensive and I’m afraid of repeating the procedure several times if the doctor is a quack). I did filling instead.
    RCT is not really permanent, isn’t it? It actually depends on how the owner takes care of its teeth.
    If it is not treated good, infection might occur and we need to get the tooth removed, isn’t it?

    It’s been several months (not yet 6 months) and the the gums near the wisdom area has settled down.
    But I had a peculiar sting at my second molar’s filling area when I sleep and drink cold water. Maybe the filling wasn’t thoroughly covered.
    Can I still do another filling? Is it okay if I remove the second molar?
    If I remove the second molar, how hard is it to chew since the upper jaw does not meet the bottom second molar. Will it affect my facial structure?

    • Dr Jules says:

      A root canal treatment should be “permanent” if it is well done and without complications but the patient still has to take care of his or her teeth because they can still break down from caries, periodontal disease, etc.

      you will have to consult a general dentist to find out what can or cannot be done to repair your molars (filling, extraction, etc.) and understand the impact of each option.

  264. Evan says:

    For some reason, it seems like your article is skewed towards fear-mongering and encouraging surgery.
    At every chance you have, you liken wisdom teeth to being a time bomb, jack in the box, or something or other that will eventually be trouble. And even recommend those without symptoms to still go for an extraction.
    Wisdom teeth surgery can be costly, and the surgery itself has risk of complications like infection, loss of sense of taste or numbing of the mouth, nerve injury etc. I wonder if you are just in it to encourage everyone to go for the surgery and let you and all your dental friends make a few extra bucks.

    How many percent of the population has wisdom teeth surgery, and how many go through life without ever getting any teeth extracted, and still do fine?

    • Dr Jules says:

      First of all, as an orthodontist, I don’t make any bucks by removing or recommending wisdom tooth extraction.

      Second, I am only mentioning information that reflects the official position of all the largest professional associations of orthodontists and oral surgeons in the world, position and recommendations that were made after lengthy epidemiological studies over decades and in many countries. Whether you like it or not, wisdom tooth are like time bombs and can cause tremendous problems… but it doesn’t mean that they will.
      The purpose of this web page is to give information to the public that these teeth can eventually be problematic even if they are symptom free for a long period of time (years, decades) and that it is easier to have them removed when they are not fully completed.

      Having said that, I totally respect that someone may decide not to have them removed and you are right that such surgeries have risks and are costly but it is always a matter of looking at the pros and cons of each option when it comes to issues such as prophylactic extractions of impacted or semi-impacted third molars.

  265. john says:

    Hello, I’ve visited multiple doctors regarding the removal of my wisdom tooth but received many different replies. I was just wondering if you could perhaps take a quick look at my CPG and offer me another secondary opinion on its growth or implications? Thanks a lot.

    • Dr Jules says:

      These third molars (indicated by a red *) don’t have much of a future and I would agree with the recommendation of having them extracted as it is very likely that they could cause some problems over the years.

      Impacted wisdom tooth extraction. Extraction de dents de sagesse incluses.

  266. Prem says:

    Options for impacted molars?

    Hello Doctor
    I find this article extremely useful with detailed explanations. I will be very much appreciate if you give some opinion on my case. I wanted to get braces to straighten my upper and lower front teeth. I am 24 years old now – male(I knw it is a bit late to start getting braces. But I was financially unstable before. Though I am not now. So I thought to get braces). I have overbite, my front incisor on upper jaw is very much leaned forward and also there are small gaps between incisor on lower jaw as well. My orthodontist suggested to remove 2nd molar on lower left and 3rd molar on lower right. No removals in upper jaw. But removing those 2 teeth has complications since these are close to the nerve. Orthodontist referred me to an OMF surgeon. My ortho said she cannot correct my teeth alignment without removing those 2 teeth. Long story short.

    But I am very much concerned about the nerve damage if I get my 2 teeth on lower jaw removed. OMF surgeon said he cannot guarantee 100% he can extract without the nerve damage ( I know nobody can). Also he is not okay with removing the crown and leaving the roots behind. If it is to be removed it is to be removed completely. Those wisdom teeth on my lower jaw haven’t given me any pain ever. In fact I was unaware of such teeth until I saw my xray. I want to weigh the pros and cons and really want to know if it is worth the risk, incase I happen to lose sense becose of the permanent nerve damage for the rest of my life. I am very much sure I want to get braces. But I am stuck in here whether to remove these 2 teeth or not. Please doctor if you answer the following question it will be a big help to me to have a decision.

    1) What do you think about the position of the two teeth – 2nd molar on lower left and 3rd molar on lower right? (I have attached a link to my xray at the end )

    2) Would it be safe to remove those without damaging the nerve permanently? (P.S : I am completely okay with temporary pain as long as it goes away in a month or something)

    3) My 3rd molar on lower left is completely horizontal. 2nd molar on lower right is buried deep between 1st and 3rd molar. Why do you think my ortho didnot suggest to remove these two? Because it seems to me that these two are more troublesome. What do you think about the position of these two?

    4) My ortho suggested to remove 2nd molar on lower left leaving 3rd molar which is completely horizontal. Is it possible to make it vertical and drag it on to the 2nd molar’s position? What will happen to the nerve which is close to the roots of this teeth? Will it get damaged?

    5) Just as ques 4, what will happen to 2nd molar on lower right? And the nerve damage near roots? How it is going to be moved into a good position?

    6) Do you think removing these two teeth is a good option ? Or is there any alternative option ? If this is a good option how do you think my molars are going to be aligned?

    I am going to consult another OMF surgeon to discuss these issues and have his opinion. But it will not be for another 4 weeks. I want to completely and thoroughly understand the risks associated with my case. Because living with permanent nerve damage to have a straight teeth is kinda not the fact I am capable of digesting. I am grateful that I found useful information on this page.

    Please reply
    Thank you soo much in advance : )

    • Dr Jules says:

      Severely impacted wisdom teeth - third molars. Inclusion sévère de dents de sagesse.
      There is no hope for your lower wisdom teeth! There is always risks involved with the extraction of thirdr molars, even the simplest ones. Your may be riskier but not impossible to removed by a skilled surgeon.

      The lower second molar is probably ankylosed (fused to the alveolar bone) and that’s why it remained low and unerupted. It would probably have to be removed as well. That would mean that the opposing second molar will be useless from a functional point of view and could be extracted as well otherwise, it may tend to over erupt with time.

      Removing the second lower left impacted molar without removing the third molar would be extremely difficult and uprighting and bringing the third molar forward would be long and tedious and not worth all that extra trouble in my opinion.

      It may seem a little drastic to remove so many molars but keep in mind that none of these molars are functional presently so these extractions would not change anything to your actual dental and masticatory function.

      I agree that the removal of the lower right wisdom tooth is necessary to move and upright the second molar in front of it but I disagree that the presence of all these molars prevents an orthodontic treatment; orthodontic corrections could be made on all the other teeth.

  267. Vanessa Shiu says:

    Why extract good healthy teeth?

    Hi Dr. Jules,
    I am turning 17 this September and I am currently scheduling to have braces done. I have a rather small jaw bone structure and frame relative to probably 99.9% of people and as a result my teeth are squeezed together and not aligned properly, especially my front teeth on the upper jaw. . After an early consultation with an orthodontist, the recommendation was that I should have 4 of my present teeth extracted (I already have all my 28 teeth right now) in order to re-align my teeth with the help of the braces.

    I am exceptionally concerned with having to extract 4 good teeth from my set of healthy teeth. Friends who are of similar ages as I am have mostly needed to extract only 1 or 2 teeth for the procedure.

    Can you kindly let me know what your opinion might be regarding the extraction of so many teeth for the procedure ?

    Thanks & best regards,
    Vanessa.

    • Dr Jules says:

      I can’t comment specifically about your case for lack of information but I can say that extractions are not that uncommon in orthodontics. The main reason for extracting teeth is not that they are bad or damaged but that there is a severe lack of space to align them. Extracting only 2 teeth is also a relatively common treatment, especially in the upper arch. Extracting a single tooth is however more rare and requires particular conditions such as a significant asymmetry needing correction or the presence of a severely damaged tooth which the patient would benefit from having it removed.

      ➡ To learn more about extractions in orthodontics.

  268. Samee says:

    Hi,

    Just curious to ask as the full x-ray shows 14 teeth (upper Jaw) and 16 (lower jaw) 2 of them were impacted which I have removed, is this normal to have only 30 teeth at 47? , for years i feel constant dull pain in the last upper molars, been to many different dentists and many times had the full xray taken they cant find any thing I often visit for cleaning as they recommend but the pain is still there, am thinking to have the last upper molar removed as I constantly feel pressure and pain and for some reason I keep feeling to touch that tooth. your advise is appreciated
    Thanks….

    • Dr Jules says:

      Humans can normally have up to 32 teeth if we include the wisdom teeth which rarely erupt so you can have up to that number of teeth.
      If you have symptoms in the region of your teeth or in your mouth, I can’t recommend anything else than to consult a dentist who is the mouth expert.

  269. George says:

    Hi Dr Jules,

    I am going to start on my braces treatment and I am having some concern. My Ortho suggested that I remove my lower right lateral incisor to make space due to overcrowding and a little misalignment in my jaw. However he did not comment much on my lower wisdom teeth. He said that as long as the wisdoms are not giving me any problem, it should be fine. I am very worried because the x-ray shows that my wisdoms are in a nasty position.

    1. Will my wisdom be able to erupt properly after 1 of the tooth is extracted out?
    2. Should I proceed on with the braces and ignore the wisdom? I recently have some weird feeling in my left 2nd molar, feels like it is shifting a little.

    Here is the link to the x-ray of my teeth *****
    I am 25 this year. Thank you for your time Dr Jules. Thank you so much for helping me out. Have a very nice day!

    • Dr Jules says:

      impacted wisdom tooth to be extracted, dents de sagesse à extraire Your lower wisdom teeth are blocked and inclined forward and will never erupt. Extracting an incisor will change nothing to the space available in the back of the arch for theses third molars so if you want to avoid future problem in theses areas, if have no hesitation in recommending to extract the wisdom teeth but it doesn’t have to be done for the orthodontic treatment.

  270. Wilmalyn Barolo says:

    Hi Dr. Jules I have a horizontal impacted tooth both on lower right and left side I’m scarred it is close to my mandibular nerve.i want to send the x ray to you please. Right now I’m experiencing pressure on both side I’m scarred if I will not remove it .. will it cause infection to me in the future?.please advise. Thank you.

    • Dr Jules says:

      You can always post your radiograph online and send us the link but whatever I say, you will need to consult a dentist to have a proper diagnosis and have the teeth removed if they have the potential of causing you problems in the future.

  271. Winnie says:

    Thanks for the article! I have a question. Will a tooth always keep growing if there’s no opposing force? I have an overbite so my upper front teeth don’t touch my lower front teeth but they stopped growing at an appropriate length. My dentist recommends that I get all my wisdom teeth extracted but only my bottom ones are problematic. Is it okay to keep my upper wisdom teeth (they’re straight, the only issue with them is the possibility of them to keep growing)? Thank you!

    • Dr Jules says:

      Having an opposing contact will stop the eruption of a tooth but there are other factors. For instance, people with open bites don’t have their teeth touching but they don’t erupt. The musculature can also play a role in stopping tooth eruption (tongue).

      An unopposed wisdom tooth will probably continue to erupt with time. you can always have it extracted later if it is not problematic.

  272. danielle says:

    Dr jules

    I’m a 21-year-old female that went to get their wisdom teeth pulled. I got an x-ray and both my lower wisdom tooth were horizontal and impacted. one is broken a bit and gum partially over it. It has been painful to brush out food when it gets in and therefore I set to get it removed. however. the dentist pulled out my second molar that was right in front of it.
    it was a healthy tooth and it didn’t cause me pain, only the wisdom tooth did. these things don’t grow back, and I’m very upset that it will affect my smile and daily life and, why would they remove a healthy tooth like that, that has no cavities?

    • Dr Jules says:

      That is a good question that only your dentist can answer…
      Removing a wisdom tooth or a second molar will not affect your smile but, as you were wondering yourself, I don’t understand the reasoning behind extracting a sound molar and keeping a semi-impacted broken wisdom tooth!!!!

  273. danielle says:

    Dr jules

    I’m a 21-year-old female that went to get their wisdom teeth pulled. I got an x-ray and both my lower wisdom tooth were horizontal and impacted. one is broken a bit and gum partially over it. It has been painful to brush out food when it gets in and therefore I set to get it removed. however. the dentist pulled out my second molar that was right in front of it.
    it was a healthy tooth and it didn’t cause me pain, only the wisdom tooth did. these things don’t grow back, and I’m very upset that it will affect my smile and daily life and, why would they remove a healthy tooth like that, that has no cavities?*