When It's No Longer Wise to Hold Onto Wisdom Teeth

When It's No Longer Wise to Hold Onto Wisdom Teeth

By the time you become a young adult, the hope is that your teeth have reached their final positions. Whether it took braces to get there or not, your teeth work well together and they have been doing their jobs without incident — until your wisdom teeth started to come in.

Each year in the United States, about 5 million people have one or more of their wisdom teeth extracted, as these late comers create far more problems than they’re worth.

If you're wondering whether your wisdom teeth should come out, our team at Willow Glen Dental Specialists pulled together a few points to consider when considering wisdom teeth removal.

Wisdom teeth — becoming obsolete

Most of us start off with 20 baby teeth, which are replaced by 28 permanent teeth by the time we enter our teenage years. Then, between the ages of 17 and 25, a third set of molars can appear at the back of your mouth, bringing the total up to 32.

Called wisdom teeth due to their late arrival (when you’re supposedly wiser), these teeth are designed to step in and take up chewing and grinding responsibilities, which was useful among early humans.

These days, our diets have become far less tough and grizzly, and the need for wisdom teeth is all but gone. In fact, wisdom teeth may be phasing out naturally as between 5% and 37% of people are missing one or more of these third molars. 


As we make this evolutionary transition away from wisdom teeth, our jaws are becoming increasingly smaller, which can be problematic in terms of making room for four more molars.

Common reasons to remove wisdom teeth

Most patients who come see us for removal have wisdom teeth that are:

If your jaw can’t comfortably accommodate the late arrival of these third molars, problems can arise. As examples, some common side effects of wisdom teeth that don’t come in properly include:

As you can see, wisdom teeth can wreak no small amount of havoc in your mouth, making having us remove them a good idea.

Removing your wisdom teeth

If you’re having problems with your wisdom teeth, we start with some X-rays to determine whether the issues will resolve or get worse.

If we find that removing your wisdom teeth will improve your oral health, the good news is that our extraction procedure is quick and easy. Rest assured, we make you comfortable with a local anesthetic beforehand, and then we work quickly to remove the tooth (or teeth) so that your dental health gets back on track.

To figure out whether your wisdom teeth are more of a liability than an asset, please contact our office in San Jose, California, by calling 408-478-9081. Or, if you prefer, you can book an appointment with us online.

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