Some health researchers also believe that the jaws of humans who lived thousands of years ago were larger, and therefore plenty of room existed for wisdom teeth to emerge, unlike today.

Scientists have also discovered that smoking during pregnancy, chemicals used in processed foods and inhaled pollutants can result in early malformation of a child’s jaw, causing lack of space for the emerging wisdom teeth. This crowding can cause such molars to grow sideways, emerge only partially, or stay completely trapped in the gum and jaw bone–also referred to as an “impacted” tooth.

Managing Wisdom Teeth

Managing wisdom teeth is important, and individuals must seek the advice of an oral surgeon or dentist if such teeth become problematic. Surgery is certainly an option for fully or partially impacted wisdom teeth, but it is not automatically the best choice. Some individuals develop third molars that function as appropriately as all their other teeth, and therefore never require surgery. However, no one can predict when wisdom teeth complications may occur. For this reason, it is important to have wisdom teeth examined during regular cleanings so that the dentist can evaluate whether or not the teeth are likely to cause future problems.

Those with questions or concerns about wisdom teeth or any other dental health issues should schedule an appointment with a dentist or oral surgeon for further evaluation and advice.