Teething as an Adult: What to Do When Your Wisdom Teeth Grow In (Part 1)

Adult Wisdom TeethWisdom teeth are notorious for making their arrival when you least expect them. Sometime in your early to middle 20’s when your career is taking off and you’re figuring out how to live on your own as an adult, suddenly you’ve got new teeth growing in. While there are many stories of how this can go wrong and most dental advice focuses on impacted or infected wisdom teeth, what happens when everything is fine?

For many young adults, wisdom teeth are a bizarre experience, but not a painful one. If your teeth are healthy and correctly angled, you don’t need them extracted, but you may still want some guidance on how to face teething as an adult. So keep reading to learn what to expect.

Not All Wisdom Teeth are Problematic

Not everyone gets their own unique wisdom tooth horror story and, in fact, some people never grow in any wisdom teeth at all. And then there’s that rare percentage of the population that don’t experience any of the negative symptoms we hear about all the time. No overwhelming jaw pain, no constant headaches or earaches, and no emergency trip to the dentist. You probably got your wisdom teeth X-rayed a few years back and the dentist may have even recommended removing them because problems are the norm.

Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth may be mysterious in when they’re going to appear, but we certainly know why they do. Compared to today, almost all historic humans lived hard lives fraught with danger and malnutrition. Losing a tooth in a fight, from calcium deficiency, or getting hit in the head by primitive equipment meant that most people had lost a few teeth by their 20s. But having gaps in your teeth is less survivable than a full rack of choppers so in come wisdom teeth, angled to “impact” because they’re actually a primitive evolved form of braces, in their way. They are meant to push your forward teeth up and together from all four corners in the gums to make room for themselves and complete your smile. Many of the problems caused by wisdom teeth result in coming in at too sharp an angle and having no room to make for themselves because modern humans usually have all our teeth

Why Your Wisdom Teeth are Coming In Fine

For those few lucky people who don’t get shooting pains or headaches from the growth and approach of their wisdom teeth, you can thank one of two explanations and one lucky roll of the genetic dice. The chance aspect is that your wisdom teeth did not get ‘confused’ and head in the wrong direction or at too sharp an angle and they did not get infected while still developing. After that, there’s explaining why you have room in your gums. It’s possible that you actually did lose teeth to malnutrition or, more likely, misadventure somewhere between growing your adult teeth and your mid-20s. Alternately, your gums are just unusually spacious and there’s plenty of room for those wisdom teeth to grow in!

Whether you’re one of the lucky few with gums prepared and sized properly for wisdom teeth or you ‘made room’ for them a few years back, having your wisdom teeth grow in is a strange sensation for any adult. Of course, as you may have guessed this is only the first half of our two-part article on the how, why, and what to do about growing in healthy wisdom teeth. Join us next time as we talk about what it feels like when your wisdom teeth start to grow in, what to do about it, and when to consult with your dentist.

[To be continued]

In the meantime, contact us with any questions or concerns that you have about your incoming wisdom teeth.

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