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All You Need To Know About Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom tooth i.e. Third Molars have been the most common topic of concern to the general population for a long time. These teeth never fail to amaze us, be it about development, eruption, shape, form, clinical implications or many more things to come which justifies it as –“ENIGMA IN DENTISTRY”. A lot of false beliefs, misconceptions come handy in day to day opinion of the common population as we come across. Here, we will be dealing with all these doubts and beliefs along with a detailed study about development, clinical topics concerned with the third molar.


As the name suggests wisdom tooth, commonly signifies the age group concerned for the tooth eruption. These teeth are 4 in no. i.e. 2 upper and 2 lower third molars and commonly eruption age is 16-24 years and can extend till 30 yrs. Also, a common belief is that children do mature in this age group hence named WISDOM TEETH.


Third molars also known as wisdom teeth exhibit greatest variability in eruption timing, growth, development size and shape, along with eruption position.

When do wisdom teeth stop growing

wisdom teeth normally start development at 8.5-9 year of age within jaw bone. The crown or tooth portion visible within the mouth gets developed by 14-16 years of age. It varies for upper and lower teeth. Tooth normally starts erupting in the oral cavity by the age of 17-21 years, at this time root formation is complete up to 1/3rd of final root length. Root development continues even after eruption into the oral cavity. Root formation gets completed at an average age of 23-25 years.

How long do wisdom teeth take to come through the gum

Wisdom teeth normally begin to erupt into the oral cavity at an age of 17-21 year of age. Sometimes due to impingement of third molars on 2nd molars the path of eruption is hindered leading to delay in eruption. Partially erupted wisdom tooth can take as much as 6 months to come through gums. In case of bony interference, the eruption process can extend up to 1-1.5 years.

How long does it take a wisdom tooth to come in once it starts

Third molars start their development in the oral cavity by initial calcification in the jaw at around 7-12 year age. These teeth are the last one to erupt in the oral cavity between 17-25 years of age and augment the function of second molars. Once the crown portion is visible in the oral cavity and no interference is present in the path of eruption, the tooth normally erupts through gum within 6-8 months.

In cases of improper angulation some part of the crown can still be seen in the oral cavity behind the second molars but the tooth cannot erupt further due to interference by 2nd molars hence extraction of third molars is advised to prevent food lodgment and further caries involving 2nd as well as 3rd molars.


How do you know if your wisdom teeth are coming in??

First signs and symptoms associated with wisdom teeth eruption are as follows –

  • Tenderness in area behind the second molar teeth
  • Swelling of gums and redness in the third molar area
  • Restricted mouth opening
  • Jaw pain
  • Unpleasant taste and foul odor due to food accumulation
  • recurrent infection in gums of third molar area
  • Difficulty in eating food due to impinging of third molar on opposite side gingiva


Wisdom teeth begin to erupt at an average age of 17-21 years. Preceding eruption pain and tenderness can be felt in the third molar region leading to difficulty in mouth opening. Food accumulation behind the 2nd molar can lead to infection with further inflammation and pain .Pain can also get referred to ear causing earache. Bad breath and bad taste also accompany these symptoms. In severe cases of infection lymph nodes can become painful and enlarge.

What is an impacted wisdom teeth

What does impacted wisdom teeth mean?? Any teeth deviated from the usual path of eruption and positioned against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue is said to be impacted. This condition doesn’t allow teeth to erupt to their normal position in the jaw.

Third molars are most common impacted teeth. Based on angulation of erupting teeth impacted teeth are categorized as follows –

Types of impacted wisdom tooth

  • Mesioangular – Erupting towards adjacent teeth
  • Distoangular – Erupting away from adjacent teeth
  • Vertical – Fail to erupt to normal level and remain in bone
  • Horizontal – Lie horizontally behind adjacent teeth at a right angle

Based on this classification and space available for teeth eruption it can be judged how difficult it is to get wisdom teeth out.