Typically, the wisdom teeth (aka third molars) erupt between the ages of 17 and 25.
So what if you have hit your mid-20s and your third molars haven’t come in? Is this a problem?
Although it’s not necessarily cause for concern, it is important to consult with an oral surgeon to find out exactly what’s going on with your wisdom teeth and why they have yet to put in an appearance.
You May Not Have Wisdom Teeth
If you’re lucky, you might be missing a wisdom tooth — or even all four of them.
According to expert estimates, as much as 35 percent of the population is lacking at least one of the third molars. Scientists think that this number will rise as time goes on, and eventually, these teeth may disappear altogether.
Why is this? Basically, it comes down to evolution. Our early ancestors needed their third molars — modern man does not. As a result, our jaws have become narrower over the centuries. And in some people, wisdom tooth development is genetically suppressed.
Your Wisdom Teeth Could Come in Later
The third molars usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25 – but that’s not always the case.
Wisdom tooth development can occur years or even decades later. Scientists can’t explain the reason, but some patients don’t see their third molars erupt until they reach their 50s or 60s. And it’s possible for the teeth to come in even later than that.
So it may just be a matter of time before your third molars emerge.
Your Wisdom Teeth May Be Stuck in the Gums
While there’s a chance you’re a late bloomer — or that you simply don’t have third molars — it’s far more likely that your teeth are impacted.
As our jaws have narrowed over time, many people don’t have enough space for these teeth to erupt through the gums. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 9 out of 10 people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth.
Impacted third molars need prompt attention from an experienced oral surgeon. Left in place, teeth trapped below the gumline can create serious dental complications. For that reason, young adults whose wisdom teeth have not emerged should schedule a professional consultation to determine whether proactive extraction is the best approach.
If your wisdom teeth have yet to appear and you want to find out why, make an appointment at Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
Our board-certified oral surgeons, Dr. Garrison and Dr. Kelly, have over 40 years of combined experience resolving wisdom tooth problems and managing a wide spectrum of dental irregularities. Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery offers state-of-the-art treatment with a compassionate touch. Contact our Indianapolis, Indiana, office and schedule a wisdom teeth consultation today.