The Truth About Wisdom Teeth

There seems to be a lot of mystery concerning wisdom teeth…

What are they?
Why are they often cut out?
Why in the world are they called wisdom teeth??

First of all, the term wisdom teeth is simply due to the timing of their arrival…usually during the mid-teen years.  During the age of gaining wisdom.  Hence, wisdom teeth.

The arrival of these large, back molars can trigger a few issues…most commonly, crowding.  When a third set of molars begins to emerge, space can become a major issue.  Many people simply do not have enough room in their mouth for another set of large molars.  Severe crowding in one’s mouth can lead to damage to the jawbone and even to nerves.

Wisdom teeth can also become implanted.  Wisdom teeth that are implanted never truly break through the surface of the gums.  Food particles become trapped in the thin layer of gum, leading to bad breath and possible tooth decay.

The best solution to these wisdom teeth issues?  Removing them.  And the sooner, the better.  If removed during a person’s youth, it is an easier procedure…the jaw bone is not as dense and the roots are not completely developed.

If you or your child are beginning to experience discomfort due to the arrival of wisdom teeth, the first step is to have your dentist x-ray your mouth.  From there, you and your dentist will determine what the best course of action will be.

Here at Montgomery Dentistry, we would love to consult with you about any questions or concerns you may have.  Whether you are interested in learning more about a major procedure such as wisdom teeth removal, or if you simply need to schedule an appointment for a cleaning, please give us a call!  We would love to hear from you!


Photo Credits:  header photo

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Dr. Jay L. Robertson


Dr. Jay Robertson joined Montgomery Dentistry in July 2008. He is from Montgomery and is a graduate of Saint James School, Birmingham-Southern College, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Alabama Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. When not at work, Dr. Robertson enjoys playing in various sports leagues around the city and is an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery.