Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing anxiety in patients even before they’ve experienced symptoms. Some patients may never have problems with their wisdom teeth, but it’s one of the most dreaded procedures in oral health. New Bern dentist Dr. J Stephen Hoard can help alleviate some of that anxiety.
1. Not Everyone Has Them
Some people are born without wisdom teeth! Dentists can see whether a patient’s wisdom teeth will ever erupt on a dental X-ray. If a patient doesn’t show any signs of the third molars below the gum line by their mid-twenties, there’s a good chance they aren’t going to develop. In some cases, however, wisdom teeth can erupt many years or even decades after young adulthood.
Next time you see Dr. Hoard, ask if your wisdom teeth are still hiding in the gums or if you could have been born without them. You might be surprised!
2. They Have A Formal Name
While you might be familiar with molars, the larger teeth towards the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are formally called “third molars.” This is because they are similar to the first two sets of molars, and they erupt later in life.
Third molars are commonly referred to as “wisdom teeth” because they erupt in young adulthood — usually between the ages of 17-25, when the teeth are almost finished developing. During this time, the rest of the teeth have almost completely settled into their permanent positions, and wisdom teeth will begin to show behind the existing molars.
3. They Don’t Always Come In at the Same Time
Although they are collectively referred to as “wisdom teeth,” they don’t always erupt at the same time. The ones on top may come in first, years before the ones on the bottom, or one on top and one on the bottom may stay beneath the gums while the other two erupt.
It’s also possible to have only one or two wisdom teeth causing problems. It depends on the amount of space available in the jaw and the positioning of other teeth. Because of their position, wisdom teeth can be harder to clean, leading to infection — but this doesn’t mean they will all become painful or infected.
If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Hoard today by calling 252-507-0373 or scheduling an appointment online.