Common facts and myths about wisdom teeth
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What are some facts about wisdom teeth?

We’ve heard this before, the pains associated with getting your wisdom teeth extracted. From countless stories, discussions and controversies around the third molars, it really isn’t a surprise that wisdom teeth or third molars are mostly considered alarming. But, the fact remains far from this unnecessary hype. While wisdom teeth could probably cause crowding, most often they do not cause worry.  Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth may cause no pain. 

Let’s learn a little more about wisdom teeth and in particular, the myths surrounding them.

What are wisdom teeth?

Typically, between 17 and 21 years of age, there is the growth of wisdom teeth or third molars. They’re called “wisdom” teeth because they appear at an age that is considered wise or mature. Most often, we hear that when wisdom teeth erupt, the best way is to treat them is to get them removed. This advice is mostly followed by how painful the extraction process is. But, wait, not everybody needs to get this done! Until the dentist or an oral specialist recommends getting an extraction done, it’s hard to tell.

Just like the fear associated with wisdom teeth, there are quite a few myths about wisdom teeth. Let’s look at some of them:

  1. Wisdom Teeth are natural and will be present for all

The truth: Around 35 percent of the population have no wisdom teeth. An X-ray of your teeth after 17 years is the best way to check if there are wisdom teeth, waiting to erupt, underneath the gums or simply absent.

  1. It’s easy to know if you have or don’t have Wisdom Teeth

The truth: The jawbone or soft tissue that surrounds the wisdom tooth makes it difficult to sense the presence of wisdom teeth. 

  1. Wisdom teeth extraction-a must

The truth: Not true in all cases. Sometimes wisdom teeth could lead to crowding, discomfort and pain, but for many the teeth are healthy and come in properly positioned.

An extraction is recommended if there is:

  • Damage to the jaw
  • Damage caused to surrounding teeth 
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Problems such as sinus
  • Teeth decay

Also, remember that dental hygiene and diet play a major role in all of this. There could be potential problems when there isn’t enough space for the wisdom teeth to emerge or if they erupt in an improper position or they are under the gums or jaw.

  1. Wisdom Teeth are basically useless

The truth: Historically, the foods eaten were coarse, hard and mostly undercooked. For those times, wisdom teeth helped in chewing the food better. Today, with softer food, wisdom teeth aren’t of much use.  “Evolutionary biologists say wisdom teeth have become functionless.”

  1. Extracting Wisdom Teeth is terrifying

The truth: Wisdom teeth extraction is a common and safe procedure. 

  1. Pain-Free Impacted Wisdom teeth don’t always need a surgical extraction

The truth: A pain-free wisdom tooth isn’t really free of disease. They could cause damage to neighbouring teeth, cysts and infection that can be dangerous if ignored. 

  1. Wisdom Tooth Removal is the same at any age

The truth:  Wisdom teeth are easier to remove at a younger age given the soft bones and lesser risk of damage to nerves and jaw. At an older age, since the roots are completely formed the risks may increase.

  1. Wisdom Teeth extraction doesn’t really impact the other teeth

The truth: According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, “after the extraction, the periodontal health of the adjacent teeth improved or remained stable, 90 percent of the time.”

 If you’re concerned with your wisdom teeth, set up an appointment for a consultation with your dentist. They’ll go over numerous options and choices for your wisdom teeth. Need more advice? If you are having problem gums or other dental concerns, it is best to get it checked by one of Harbour Pointe’s experienced oral surgeons. Remember, your wisdom teeth are the same as your other teeth. It is absolutely safe to remove them and many of the fears associated with wisdom teeth are unfounded. The recovery procedure too is simple and not as complicated as some people make it be. At Harbour, the team will help you clear your doubts and some of the myths surrounding wisdom teeth and their removal. We’ll be glad to help you clear your doubts, answer your questions and offer you our wisdom tooth removal services. We have a highly skilled and experienced team of oral surgeons who will guide you to the right solution. For more information, visit You can book an appointment at