How Your Wisdom Teeth Grow

Ever wondered how wisdom teeth grow? By your late teens, your jawbone has nearly reached its adult size. But sometimes it isn’t big enough to hold developing wisdom teeth. When this happens, your teeth become trapped in the bone and grow wherever they can. The crown (chewing surface of the tooth) may only partially break through the gum. In other cases, it may remain completely in the bone. The roots, which hold the wisdom teeth in place, may become misshapen or grow dangerously close to a sinus cavity or to the nerve located in your lower jaw. Since wisdom teeth pose a number of serious problems, wisdom tooth extraction is often a necessity.

How Your Wisdom Teeth Grow

Positions of Impaction

Cramped for room, impacted wisdom teeth grow in many different directions, commonly at an angle. A wisdom tooth may grow at an angle toward you other teeth (mesioangular position) or away from your other teeth (distoangular position). Wisdom teeth also can grow into a horizontal or vertical position.

The Advantages of Early Wisdom Teeth Removal

Like all teeth, wisdom teeth develop inside an opening (socket) in you jaw, protected by bone and gum tissue until they erupt. Over time, your wisdom teeth become more firmly anchored in your jaw as their roots lengthen and the jawbone becomes more dense. So, the older you are, the more difficult wisdom tooth extraction can be. Early removal of wisdom teeth offers several advantages such as:

  • Easier Procedure
  • Less Risks
  • Healthier Patient
  • Life is Less Complicated
  • Less Dental Disease/Problems

At about age nine, the crown of your tooth begins to form in a small sac inside your jaw. The roots begin to grow into the soft, developing bone. By your late teens, the crown often begins to erupt, if there is room. Roots continue to lengthen in the jawbone, which is almost adult size and density. By your early twenties, the crown has emerged or is impacted. Roots are usually completely formed, and the jawbone is adult size and density. By your forties, the roots of your wisdom teeth are solidly anchored to the dense jawbones, making removal more difficult.

Wisdom Teeth Problems

Whether wisdom teeth cause your mouth harm depends on several factors, including the size of your jaw and how your wisdom teeth grow in. Sometimes, wisdom tooth problems can cause wisdom teeth symptoms like swelling or wisdom teeth pain. Or you may have no symptoms at all, but the other teeth in your mouth could be at risk for damage.

Gum disease.

When a wisdom tooth partially breaks through the gum’s surface, bacteria can get under the flap, causing an infection in the gum.


Impacted or erupting wisdom teeth can push on adjacent teeth, causing them to become crooked or even damaging them structurally.


A wisdom tooth that is hard to clean due to its position or because it is partially covered by gum disease may collect cavity causing bacteria. This could also lead to decay in the tooth next to it.

Poor position.

Wisdom teeth that grow toward the cheek can irritate nearby tissue. If an erupted tooth is crooked, it maybe hard to bite down.


If the sac that holds the crown remains in the bone, it can fill with fluid, forming a cyst that can destroy surrounding bone. These can become quite destructive.

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