Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

The third molars in human beings are popularly known as the wisdom teeth. These teeth are most probably named so because of their rather late appearance in a person’s life – when they are supposed to be wiser. They are the last teeth to show up, and when they appear in each corner of the mouth, complete the dental formula of (in order – Incisors, Canines, Premolars, and Molars).

When Do They Form

The wisdom teeth generally appear when people are getting ready to walk out of adolescence and take their first steps as adults. Late teens and early twenties are when you can expect your third molars to form.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth a Common Source of Pain

By the time wisdom teeth grow, the rest of the 28 teeth have already taken their assigned places in the mouth. This leaves the newly formed molars with very little room inside the mouth, and they are not able to grow as well as the other teeth.

Due to space constraints, they sometimes get stuck and are not able to emerge completely. At other times, they grow at angles, instead of growing straight.

Wisdom Teeth in Hand2

When wisdom teeth grow with these misalignment problems, they are termed as impacted. It’s the impacted wisdom teeth that can give rise to dental problems.

Food can easily get trapped on the edges of wisdom teeth that haven’t formed properly. The food provides a ready substrate for oral bacteria, leading to plaque build-up. A direct result of this is dental caries, disease of the gums (periodontal disease is the medical term), cellulitis, osteomyelitis, or any other health problem.

To Remove It or Not Is the Question

Have you been experiencing discomfort or pain because of your wisdom tooth/teeth? You had better hurry and get your teeth examined by your dentist. Depending on your dental health, your dentist will be able to advise you on their removal. It’s important that you do not delay the visit to the dentist, and do not wait for the regular trip to the dental clinic.

Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to health problems, but unless they are infected or carrying disease, there’s no reason to remove them. Perhaps because of the trouble they are, many people want to get their wisdom teeth pulled out, even before they cause them any pain. As third molars, wisdom teeth have an important role to play in helping people chew their food.

No scientific studies indicate towards any benefits whatsoever of removing healthy wisdom teeth. So, unless your dentist advises, there’s no need to expose yourself to the risks and complications that regularly accompany teeth removal procedures. After all, the doctor knows best.

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“Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed” Article pictures
“Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed” Photo Credit: Wisdom teeth in hand: Mouldycat via Compfight cc.
“Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed” Photo Credit: Tooth removal: Starush via Compfight cc.

About Ian Arturo Izaguirre

Hi, I'm Ian Izaguirre, Owner of IAmDentistry.com. I enjoy writing articles that educate and help support healthier lifestyles. My #1 goal is to make a positive impact in other peoples lives. I am pursing a career in Dentistry. Being an aspiring Dentist means I will be considered a doctor; as a doctor I not only want to inspire others to take better care of their teeth, but their body’s as well...Ask Me Anything!


  1. Seriously nice article. i am a student and pursuing carrier in dentistry in Melbourne. I will ask my seniors to about wisdom teeth removal. what is the side effects of wisdom teeth after operation?

    • Thank you so much for your response and I am glad you enjoyed my article. I read up on the possible side effects that can happen after someone gets there wisdom teeth extracted and discovered the following from “WebMD” :


      After a wisdom tooth is removed, you may experience:

      * Pain and swelling in your gums and tooth socket where the tooth was removed.

      * Bleeding that won’t stop for about 24 hours.

      * Difficulty with or pain from opening your jaw (trismus).

      * Slow-healing gums.

      * Damage to existing dental work, such as crowns or bridges, or to roots of a nearby tooth.

      * A painful inflammation called dry socket, which happens if the protective blood clot is lost too soon.

      *Numbness in your mouth and lips after the local anesthetic wears off, due to injury or inflammation of nerves in the jaw.
      Rare side effects, including: Numbness in the mouth or lips that does not go away.
      A fractured jaw if the tooth was firmly attached to the jaw bone.
      An opening into the sinus cavity when a wisdom tooth is removed from the upper jaw.

      Dental surgery may cause bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body. People who have difficulty fighting off infections may need to take antibiotics before and after dental surgery. Such people include those who have artificial heart valves or were born with heart defects.

      Anesthetic (local and/or general) almost always is used during the extraction procedure. All surgeries, including oral surgery, that use general anesthetic have a small risk of death or other complications.

      If you have any other questions please let me know, I am happy to help.

  2. Hi, I really appreciate your blog. Great!!!!!!!!!! This blog is really instructive. I would like to know more about this.

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