Most Wisdom Tooth Extraction Totally Unnecessary

by Sarah Oral HealthComments: 459

wisdom tooth extractionOver Spring Break during my senior year in college, I endured wisdom tooth extraction like just about everyone else I knew my age.  Needless to say, I spent most of  my vacation on the living room couch with my mouth loaded with gauze!

Prior to surgery, were my wisdom teeth infected or painful in any way?


Were they causing any sort of problems for me whatsoever?


Then why in the world did I have them out you might ask?

Good question!

As it turns out, over two-thirds of cases of wisdom tooth extraction are completely unnecessary says Dr. Jay Friedman DDS in a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Of the approximately 5 million people who endure wisdom tooth extraction each year, 11,000 suffer what’s called “permanent paresthesia” which is a fancy name for numbness of the lip, tongue, and cheek resulting from nerve damage during the surgery.

The problem is, wisdom tooth extraction is quite the little oil well of profit for dentists with the costs of such surgeries topping 3 billion US$ each and every year.

Sounds like the standard practice of wisdom tooth extraction is a bit like “finding and filling” cavities that don’t exist, doesn’t it?

Ah, yes.  There’s the rub.

According to Dr. Friedman:

Third-molar surgery is a multibillion-dollar industry that generates significant income for the dental profession, particularly oral and maxillofacial surgeons. It is driven by misinformation and myths that have been exposed before but that continue to be promulgated by the profession.

Dr. Friedman goes on to dismantle in very compelling fashion the 5 myths of wisdom tooth extraction.

Myth #1:  Most Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems

The truth is that only 12% of wisdom teeth actually cause an acute issue somewhere down the road that requires the attention of a dentist to resolve.  This is about the same rate as appendicitis, but people do not routinely and preventively have their appendix removed like what happens with wisdom teeth!

Myth #2: Early Wisdom Tooth Extraction is Less Traumatic

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends extraction of all 4 wisdom teeth by early adulthood before the roots are fully formed to minimize any chance of infection and pain.

The truth is that this early removal of wisdom teeth is actually much more traumatic than a wait and see approach which leaves asymptomatic wisdom teeth in place and only removes them if pathology develops in the future.

Further, complications from wisdom tooth extraction which include dry socket, secondary infection, and paresthesia (numbness of the lip, tongue and cheek) are less likely to occur in an older patient than an adolescent.

Myth #3:  Erupting Wisdom Teeth Crowd Anterior Teeth

Dr. Friedman writes that it is simply not possible for wisdom teeth to crowd 14 other teeth with firm vertical roots.  There is simply not enough force to do so and multiple studies support this fact.

Myth #4: The Risk of Problems with Wisdom Teeth Increases With Age

A study of 1756 people who kept their wisdom teeth for an average of 27 years found that less than 1% experienced any cyst formation.   There is zero evidence to support the unsubstantiated claim by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons which states that problems with impacted wisdom teeth increase with age.

Myth #5: The Risk of Harm in Wisdom Tooth Extraction is Small

The list of potential complications from wisdom tooth extraction is long:

Trismus (lockjaw)
Alveolar osteitis (dry socket)
Periodontal damage
Soft-tissue infection
Injury to temporomandibular joint
Temporary paresthesia (numbness of the lips, tongue, and cheek)
Permanent paresthesia
Fracture of adjacent teeth
Fracture of the mandible
Fracture of the maxilla
Sinus exposure or infection
Anesthetic complications

Even in cases where there are absolutely no complications whatsoever, wisdom tooth extraction requires 3 days of discomfort and disability while the patient recovers from surgery.

Given that no more than 12% of wisdom teeth ever cause any problems whatsoever at any point down the road, the risk of removal seems great in comparison.

Skip That Surgery!

So, if your dentist tells you or your child that it’s time for those wisdom teeth to come out when they aren’t causing any trouble at all, just politely smile, say “uh, no thanks”, and go home.

You just saved yourself a rather large chunk of change my friend.


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  American Journal of Public Health, The Prophylactic Extraction of Third Molars: A Public Health Hazard, Jay Friedman DDS

More Information on Nutrition and Oral Health

How I Healed My Child’s Cavity

Toddler’s Severe Tooth Decay Halted in 5 Days

Whiten Your Teeth Without Dangerous Chemicals

Resolving Periodontal Problems with Bone Broth

Coconut Oil Stops Strep Bacteria from Damaging Tooth Enamel

What is the True Cause of Crooked Teeth?

10 Signs Your Dentist is Truly Holistic

Avoiding Root Canals with Diet Alone

Could the Cause of Your Illness Be Right Under Your Nose?

Picture Credit

Comments (459)

  • Anna

    I recommend listening to professionals and your body, rather than internet ‘professionals’. I have three wisdom teeth and am removing them one at a time. It is very easy, nothing to worry over if you have a good dentist. Don’t ever be scared. Do what is best for you, always. Be wary of the dangers of leaving wisdom teeth in your mouth.

    July 23rd, 2016 7:00 am Reply
  • Diane

    I have only read a few responses to this article and just wanted say a few things. If you are having issues with your wisdom teeth then take care of the problem. This article is about NOT fixing them if there is no problem. It is a money maker when they do procedures that are not causing problems and don’t need to be done. If all they had to do was pull your problem wisdom tooth without cutting into the gum which would be considered surgery is why you pay less. Once they start cutting is when it gets expensive and usually has to be covered under medical and not dental and that would also require you meeting your deductible first before insurance benifit picks up. I was told to have my teenage daughter’s wisdom teeth taken out because they are impacted but only one looks a little off so I put it off 2 years ago and started looking into it again recently. I have come to the conclusion that it is an unnecessary procedure for something that is not causing her any problems and an unnecessary expense as this procedure is going to cost about $1,000 under medical due to it is oral surgery under our medical / dental plan. We will take care of her wisdom teeth if and when there is a need to do so. I did not have mine out till in my 30’s due to headaches that I later found out was caused by allergies and not my teeth :( My kids and I go to the dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and check ups and have or had braces. Just take care of your teeth and fix things when fixing is needed.

    July 5th, 2016 11:58 am Reply
  • Samuel

    From Kenya, am 31 and just had my lower right wisdom tooth removed 2 weeks ago and it was a painful procedure for me spent almost three hours to get it out. The tooth was impacted i.e. knocking the other molar and thereby caused an infection of the gum my dentist advised I remove it. The left lower is also growing in the same position though no pain or problem yet.

    But have to say proper dental hygiene is the key because most often it is the retention of food particles in the far away areas that causes a problem either cavities or gum infection. I now gurgle with salt water every evening before brushing. After its removal I now thoroughly clean the other wisdom teeth on the left and hope it is enough for them not to be extracted.

    The upper right wisdom tooth used to cause me problems in the past that stopped. My dentist advises I remove the upper right one as in his opinion it will continue growing and begin crushing the empty space on the lower side, is that the case?

    July 5th, 2016 3:29 am Reply
  • shanika

    Hi sarah,

    I have a vertical impacted wisdom tooth, of which 15% of the tooth can be seen when i open my mouth. It becomes very painful at times. Most of the time i visited doctors regarding this, they told me that they need to extract this. However is it possible to turn it around (horizontal turning) with braces without extracting it.

    June 16th, 2016 2:34 am Reply
  • Tom

    It’s interesting reading about small jaws. I’d like to know how many people have had braces , I had braces from 14-16 , before braces I had a bigger jaw but had my growth altered, I think the dental industry could be the root of the problem.

    January 27th, 2016 10:27 am Reply
  • Roy

    I just had my lower left wisdom tooth out due to tooth decay and the gap cost was $165.

    Not sure how it’s such a money maker for dentists.

    December 14th, 2015 2:45 am Reply
    • Diane

      It’s a money maker when they do procedures that are not causing problems and don’t need to be done. If all they had to do was pull your problem wisdom tooth without cutting into the gum which would be considered surgery is why you only paid $165. Once they start cutting is when it gets expensive and usually has to be covered under medical and not dental and that would also require you meeting your deductible first before insurance benifit picks up.

      July 5th, 2016 11:17 am Reply
  • Tawnie

    I rather disagree with this article. My wisdom teeth started coming in at age 17 and at least 2 of them were slightly impacted. I made the decision to have them all out and am so glad I did. Down for 3 days, no complications. I have never had any problems with my teeth other than a cavity here and there, and I did have braces for 1.5 years when I was a kid. My facial bone structure did not change after having my wisdom teeth out. I’m very thankful to say that I am 29 and do not have to “wait and see” if my wisdom teeth give me problems. However, my husband, 32, cannot say the same. He had all of his wisdom teeth come in with no problems in his early 20s (one of them did come in slightly impacted), up until today. The impacted tooth (bottom left) had a horrible infection 3 weeks ago, and just yesterday, only one week after finishing antibiotics for that infection, the opposite wisdom (bottom right) tooth got infected. He had both the top and bottom on the newly infected (right) side removed today and will wait to get the other 2 removed surgically. So far, dealing with all these wisdom teeth problems over the last few weeks has paled in comparison to just having them removed and dealing with a few days of discomfort and not having to think about it ever again. He regrets not getting them out as a teenager. With technology as advanced as it is today, I doubt very much that many complications arise from having your wisdom teeth extracted.

    December 11th, 2015 4:03 pm Reply
    • Daniel

      I’m sure your husband regrets it in hindsight, but cases like his are actually quite rare… like dying on the operating table from excessive bleeding when having your wisdom teeth out.

      The question is what rare risk would you rather avoid? Whilst death is extreme, I tend to think it’s a fairly big risk to take for a procedure that is of highly questionable utility to the majority of people and is really more designed to line dentists pockets.

      I had my wisdom teeth checked by a health-fund associated (and clearly profits focussd) dentist, who immediately tried to book me in for a $1,800 removal. Not because they were impacted, but “just in case.” I went and got a second opinion from a trusted dentist who is a family friend and he told me I risked far more with the surgery than by keeping them in, and began telling me horror stories of patients having their entire jaws cracked, massive hemorrhaging and infections resulting from the brutal attempt to remove these teeth.

      That was in my 20s. I’m now 46 and have a dental check up every 6 months and my teeth are completely fine.

      Turns out the trick is to clean them and not eat crap.

      February 2nd, 2016 5:35 pm Reply
    • Joe

      I agree with you. I’m 38 I just had my lower left wisdom tooth removed a few days ago. What a mess I’ve been through the past few days! First my dentist said he could get it after he filled a cavity right next to the Wis tooth. So he numbed me up filled the cavity and started probing and prying on the Wis tooth for over an hour! The tooth did have to come out. It wasn’t impacted but did have a piece cracked for about a year prior. An oral surgeon removed the right side upper and lower wisdoms about a year prior with out any issues. So here I was at the Dentist not the oral surgeon and he’s trying to pull my other wisdom.! I had to tell him to stop after an hour pulling and prying!. He cracked the tooth off and couldn’t remove there roots! So I left with a script for pain meds and an appointment with a good oral surgeon the next morn. The surgeon got it out after multiple shots of local antisteshia. He did it in about ten minutes while i was still awake. I guess I had a tolerance from the night before. I should’ve listened to the dentist when he said to have them removed back when I was 19. It would’ve saved me from having adjacent tooth damage. All I can say is go to an oral surgeon! Don’t let the dentist “try it”.

      May 23rd, 2016 12:56 am Reply
  • Nathan dds

    take it from me as a dentist for over 20 years you do not want to suffer from unremoved wisdom teeth complications after the age of 40. I have little to gain as I don’t perform wisdom teeth removal BUT I have had to deal with patients who suffered greatly trying to heal from wisdom teeth removal at the age of 45 or 50. you do not heal as well as you would have if you had the same wisdom teeth removed when you were in early 20’s.

    October 4th, 2015 12:05 am Reply
    • Katy

      I have to agree. I’m not 40, but I am 30. For over 6 years i’ve been trying to get these things out and something ALWAYS delayed my surgery. First couple times no insurance, not enough money, I got pregnant,ect…

      It gets worse and worse. Sometimes nothing at all then out of nowhere complete agony! Infection that gives me horrible breath, my jaw does this spam out thing (no clue), I can hardly open my mouth, Absess, biting my swollen cheeks, pain that keeps me up at night…. the list goes ON!

      My dentist as a kid said I wouldn’t have to ever worry about them. Maybe it was too early to tell, but I wish so much that I could of had the chance to remove these things!!!
      I started getting jealous of people getting them out! lol Especially if they never had the “pleasure” of knowing what pain they cause! Consider yourself LUCKY to get those freakin things out for crying out loud!!!!

      November 1st, 2015 2:03 pm Reply
  • Z

    I am 58 years old and until recently I had all my teeth intact. My wisdom teeth were not impacted, not crowding out other teeth, or any other thing wrong, although they did need fillings.

    I went to a new dentist that my wife uses and they strongly advised me to have the teeth pulled. Reasons given include:
    – Gum disease starts from the back of the mouth and works its way to the front. Without the wisdom teeth, it is much easier to control.
    – Teeth cleaning via flossing and by the hygienist is much easier without the wisdom teeth.
    – Dental work on the back teeth is much easier without the wisdom teeth.

    The other dentist I had been seeing said wisdom teeth serve no purpose, deteriorate over time and cause health issues.

    Ok, so these folks are experts, I trusted them and went and had my teeth extracted.

    I have regretted it ever since.

    The surgery went well, no complications as expected, as there was nothing wrong with my teeth.
    The recovery went well, then I developed sever diarrhea, going to the bath room like 7-10 times a day, and within 15 minutes of eating, accompanied with piles of mucus coming out of my rectum.

    My specialist believes that this was due to the antibiotics I was given, from which a super bug evolved that was causing havoc with my digestive system.

    Having gotten over that, I am constantly reminded of the missing teeth when eating anything requiring chewing. E.g. an apple, peanuts etc. What happens is that the food goes to the back of my mouth and then hits my gums. That was hurting. I now send the food back to the front where my teeth are at.

    May 17th, 2015 7:33 pm Reply
    • Dave

      Interesting story. I’m 50. I still have all 4 of my wisdom teeth. Never had a problem. I haven’t had them checked in 5+ years but they look fine to me. For 3-4 decades I told my dentists, “no thanks, they aren’t giving me any problems”. I HATE dentists. Wisdom teeth removal is all about making their jobs (tooth cleaning, molar dental work) EASIER. I don’t trust dentists, period.

      May 19th, 2015 2:31 am Reply
      • Jenn

        Gosh, I wish it were *just* about making dentists’ lives easier – sadly, I suspect that’s NOT the reason most wisdom teeth extractions occur – I suspect they mostly occur to make dentists’ lives richer.

        As a physician, I know that any time performing a procedure is “rewarded” with financial gain, it’s bound to skew your judgment. It doesn’t happen in Canada, say, with doctors as much, because the wait-times are so long for procedures that Canadian doctors don’t need to “drum-up” business by, for eg. looking at a hip x-ray and saying, “well, *maybe* it needs replacing” – there’s already three years’ worth of patients waiting. But when doctors – or dentists – compete for patients’ business, there’s bound to be trouble, and a lot of ambiguity surrounding what’s deemed an “essential” procedure. A very good article, I think.

        June 10th, 2015 8:19 pm Reply
  • Jonathan

    Sarah, I’m afraid you should re-evaluate one of your claims. I read the article you cited, and it would appear as though you misquoted it!

    From the cited article: “Not more than 12% of impacted teeth have associated pathology.”

    From your article: “The truth is that only 12% of wisdom teeth actually cause an acute issue somewhere down the road that requires the attention of a dentist to resolve.”

    I found this by ctrl-f (searching) “12%” on the article. Correct me if I’m wrong, but…

    The two are not congruent. The article you cited says “impacted wisdom teeth,” yours practically says “all wisdom teeth.” Can you explain this, Sarah?

    April 16th, 2015 4:37 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Not sure what your point is? If a wisdom tooth is not impacted, it is even less of a problem.

      April 16th, 2015 4:46 pm Reply
      • Jonathan

        Not quite. I just had my lower wisdom teeth removed (I’m 6 days into recovery without complication) because they were crowding my lower set of teeth to the point that my two front teeth began to shift like tectonic plates, moving inward on one side and outward on the other to make room.

        My wisdom teeth weren’t impacted– they were growing in straight and okay, but just overcrowding my lower jaw. This is one example of why somebody would have their wisdom teeth removed even if they aren’t impacted.

        Another example (which I may also follow) is when a wisdom tooth doesn’t have an opposing tooth (some people have an odd number of wisdom teeth, like 5 wisdom teeth). What can happen is ‘overeruption’ and that can cause complications because it will compromise your bite and you can start chewing up your cheek when you normally chew.

        The surgery I just had done removed my lower wisdom teeth, and my upper ones just erupted and are halfway to full-length. I’m consulting my dentist in 2 months to check up on them with a ‘wait-and-see’ technique to determine whether or not they are overerupting and need to be removed as a result.

        Note that none of my wisdom teeth were ever impacted– they grew (and are growing) in straight. My jaw (like so many other people’s jaw) was simply too small.

        April 16th, 2015 5:42 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          If they were overcrowding your jaw and compromising your other teeth, then you were in the small minority having a problem with them then, right?

          April 16th, 2015 7:38 pm Reply
          • Rebecca

            Nope I’m in the same boat. They’re growing in straight but they’re still shifting my other teeth.

            April 30th, 2015 12:34 pm
          • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            That’s a contraindication then … have them removed.

            April 30th, 2015 1:17 pm
          • Jenn

            I discussed this issue, actually, with a good friend of mine, who has a reputation locally as a superb and very ethically-minded dentist. He told me that people only *think* their wisdom teeth are “crowding” their other teeth forward – the truth is that all the teeth in our mouth are continually in the process of moving forward, as folks are surprised (and dismayed) to learn, when they have wisdom teeth removed, have all this *space* at the back of their mouths, and yet find their front teeth crowding anyway! Crowding’s not an issue for everyone, but it turns out that it’s just as much an issue for those *without* wisdom teeth, as those *with* them, and the only sure-fire way to prevent crowding is to wear a retainer at night.

            June 10th, 2015 8:25 pm
        • Anonymous

          Why not just have your two front bottom teeth removed. Sounds just as logical.

          April 28th, 2016 11:43 am Reply
  • Deborah Salinas

    Even though I don’t have a problem with my lower wisdom teeth, I was planning to remove both lower and upper teeth. After reading this article, I visited Pearl Dental, a dental clinic in Burlington and had a detailed dental checkup . Then we decided to leave my lower wisdom teeth, which don’t cause any problem yet.

    April 6th, 2015 12:24 am Reply
  • Vic

    Hi, thanks so much for the informative article, totally agree the extractions are unnecessary and mostly harmful. I’m wondering if anyone here experienced facial changes after wisdom removal? I think my jaw/face has gotten narrower as a result of the bone atrophy after tooth loss. To say I’m despondent over this would be putting it of now I’m strongly considering dental implants to regenerate the bone/restore my natural face. I’m apalled this after effect isn’t mentined as a part of informed consent..

    March 30th, 2015 9:48 pm Reply
  • Wil

    My wisdom teeth only started to erupt in my 21st year. Only one has half erupted and recently started biting the flesh inside my cheek. It makes it hard to chew anything without blowing air to puff out my cheek while I do so and still I bite my cheek a lot. I can feel a tooth on the other side of my bottom jaw but it hasn’t erupted, and one on my top. The other one on top doesn’t seem to exist, or it isn’t starting to erupt yet. So far, the one that’s coming in is nice and straight and doesn’t crowd my teeth. My jaw’s big enough, it’s just my cheek skin that’s not. Would be nice to know what to do to get it to stop biting my cheek

    March 19th, 2015 2:55 am Reply
    • Ken

      If your wisdoms have grown in straight and the only problem is biting your gum, there is a procedure called an operculectomy. It involves simply cutting tissue over laying the section of the molar you’re biting on. It’s cheaper and less painful than getting it pulled. Just make sure you get back there good with the tooth brush. Swish with saline and peroxide to prevent infection. Use oragel, and about 500mg of ibuprofen for pain. I assume your experiencing ear pain, jaw pain, oral pain and maybe a head ache, the ibuprofen will definitely help.

      April 5th, 2015 12:08 am Reply
      • vincent

        do not worry its impossible to not bite your cheeks when wisdom teeth are growing what will happen is that youll bit over and over your cheek while trying to eat and the excess of cheek getting squeeze will tear up a bit every day and in a couple weeks it will have healed and youll have more room in your mouth,

        June 30th, 2015 5:57 am Reply
    • Haley

      After each of my teeth had erupted I bit my cheeks too but it didn’t last long and you get over it. Now they are all out and I have no issues. I read a really intriguing article about the benefits of keeping wisdom teeth and ever since then I have been extremely leery of getting my teeth extracted. Wish I could find it. In addition, my husband just got all four of his out and boy was it horrible to see him heal through all that. No thank you! I definitely feel like it is simply a ploy for dentists to get more $ and is very unnecessary for the majority of people. Also, I just bought myself a toddler tooth brush and clean my wisdom teeth this way and it’s not that hard flossing either. KEEP THOSE WISDOM TEETH if you can. <3

      September 3rd, 2015 3:59 pm Reply
  • Marco

    Can you please cite your sources for your percentage information? How can I know that what you report is even valid. It seems to be full of faulty information. Never in my research have I even seen, ‘The truth is that only 12% of wisdom teeth actually cause an acute issue somewhere down the road that requires the attention of a dentist to resolve,’

    Rather, I have read the opposite – that impacted wisdom teeth have a high chance of becoming infected if left alone, even if asymptomatic, they may still be infected (what I have read from medical journals).

    Please cite your sources.

    November 4th, 2014 2:34 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Sources cited within the post as links as also at the end of the article.

      November 4th, 2014 5:48 pm Reply
    • Kim

      Blind trust of anyone wearing a white coat is what makes this crooked US healthcare and a need to be convinced with scientific evidence, blah, blah, blah. Americans need to wake up and realize the evidence they need to obtain is from their doctors who are ripping them off with unnecessary procedures everyday. Xrays, prescriptions, all to line their pockets and pay off their medical school debt. Americans need to become more informed and less suspicious of anyone who speaks contrary to practices (like wisdom tooth extraction) that have become customary and in ways, ritualitic, when they are unwarranted. Mother Nature did an amazing job and conventional medicine is refuting it in order to make money and keep American ssick as a result. Pretty disgusting. You should be asking your dentist why the extraction instead of disputing someone dispensing advice that is saving you money and pain and not earning money doing it. Your suspicions are displaced.

      February 15th, 2015 12:51 pm Reply
      • Haley

        GO KIM!!!!

        September 3rd, 2015 4:01 pm Reply
    • reineke

      I agree I had 3 wisdom teeth pulled when I was about 26. The last one was impacted so I left it alone thinking no big deal but oh how wrong I was. I now (12yrs later) have a abscess that won’t go away, and no real tooth there to pull just rotten bone. This now is way worse than if I had just done away with them all in the first place. I don’t believe your finding are correct either.

      February 16th, 2015 4:22 pm Reply
  • rachel

    Hi can anyone help?

    I am 29, and my bottom right wisdom tooth is taking years to fully grow, its partially erupted, I cant count how many times I have pain and swelling there. Out or leave?


    October 29th, 2014 3:51 am Reply
    • Carol

      I took 2 out when i was in my early 20s.. I had all 4 grown normally but one of them was causing pain once in a while.. i got annoyed and decided to extract. The dentist said I had to extract both upper and lower even though only one was causing pain. (Not sure if that’s true)
      I had no issues, no infection, i’m glad i did it.. i did take pain meds on time because I was afraid it was going to hurt.
      thinking of extracting the opposite side for the same reason.
      Good Luck!

      January 13th, 2015 8:10 pm Reply
    • Joel

      Hi I have the same problem apparently the wisdom tooth will never fully come in, I have discovered a way to fix the infection and pain, anytime it starts hurting, I take baking soda on my finger and pack it in the area, leave it for about 30 seconds and then brush it off, oil pulling also helps and garlic. At the moment I have a abscess tooth, caused by a cavity filling which was screwed up, If I take 3 cloves of garlic internally it takes the pain away for about 3 hours, because I have been taking garlic trying to kick the infection, I have not had any pain in the wisdom tooth. Just praying it works for good.

      March 7th, 2015 3:48 am Reply
      • dlin

        I hope youre getting it pulled. Your body is constantly fighting a low grade infection and that’s not good for you :(

        April 24th, 2015 8:22 pm Reply
  • Leanne

    My lower right wisdom tooth is growing completely perpendicular to the rest of my teeth and pushing it so that my bottom front teeth are getting crooked. I’m 33 so the roots are fully formed and according to my dentist, the procedure would be complicated, involving CT scan, bone graft because the root is near a main nerve and they would probably cut the top of the tooth off and do a bone graft, leaving the root since it might be intertwined with all the important stuff near the back of my jaw. Now, I don’t mind crooked teeth as much as the complication of getting rid of the wisdom tooth, but I am curious to know when the tooth will stop pushing. How far will it go? How does a tooth know when to stop growing?

    September 11th, 2014 6:57 pm Reply
  • Laura

    Agreed, don’t do it if you don’t have to! I have permanent paresthesia in the right half of my tongue. Also, I frequently feel inflammation in the holes where those teeth were, and it’s been over 20 years. I’m pondering cavitation surgery to deal with that, but the idea makes me very nervous. :-(

    April 3rd, 2014 8:01 am Reply
  • Kate Sharp via Facebook

    Wish mine was not necessary. My wisdom teeth were twice the size of my molars!! They had to crack the teeth below him line and take out if my mouth!

    April 2nd, 2014 1:21 pm Reply
  • Danielle Bennicoff via Facebook

    And humans are actually beginning to experience a reduction in the presence of wisdom teeth, (being born without them) because our jaws are becoming smaller and therefore no longer have the same room to allow for these third molars. Just shedding a little light on some of the reasons many dentists and oral surgeons recommend getting them out…its not just a payday frenzy. If you are in the hands of good dental professionals, they will do anything to prevent extractions of teeth in most cases. Their primary concern in dentistry as a whole is to retain as much tooth integrity as possible.

    April 2nd, 2014 1:04 pm Reply
  • Danielle Bennicoff via Facebook

    Yes, it’s absolutely true that the younger you are the easier recovery you’ll have. Same reason why it’s much easier to orthodontically adjust teeth in children, because the alveolar bone is much more able to adapt and allow the movement of teeth, whereas if an adult we’re to get braces, it’s much more painful, difficult, and longer in duration, depending on severity of course, because the bone does not have the same ability to “regrow” And fill in empty spaces. Same with wisdom teeth extraction.

    April 2nd, 2014 12:58 pm Reply
  • Terry Kendall Schnitzler via Facebook

    and beware of root canals!! Weston A. Price Foundation

    April 2nd, 2014 12:09 pm Reply
  • Lee Ebbs via Facebook

    Wrong. My story. The dentists told me for years to get my wisdom teeth taken out. I said no way because I’m not having any trouble with them. Then, at the age of 36, I started to have some trouble with impacted wisdom teeth. Had them removed and what a NIGHTMARE of pain and agony for months and months. If you wait until you are older it is horrific! I had dry sockets and paresthesia (numbness of the lip, tongue and cheek) for YEARS. When you get it done at an early age, it is little pain and you recover much quicker. How do I know that? My 17 year old son had it done and 3 days later, he was good to go. Also, throughout my years in the Army, the young Soldiers would all recover within about four days. I don’t buy what this article is selling, especially “myth #4”.

    April 2nd, 2014 10:59 am Reply
  • Leanna Zimmerman via Facebook

    My wisdom teeth had to be removed because they were impacting my back molars but they did them two at a time with just Novocain. I never have understood why someone would want to be put asleep for dental work. It really isn’t that bad.

    April 2nd, 2014 10:18 am Reply
  • Shannon Otto via Facebook

    Sarah if you are referring to me, yes, I did read the article. I totally agree:). Just sharing my personal experience:).

    April 2nd, 2014 10:12 am Reply
  • Lynn Therrien via Facebook

    Dentists scare me these days, just as much as doctors do. :(

    April 2nd, 2014 9:24 am Reply
  • Sara Frogner via Facebook

    i needed this! any recomendations though for an impacted wisdom tooth? my husband had 1 wisdom removed because it was impacted,whatever that means, and another one he thinks is also impacted. more dental insurance though!

    April 2nd, 2014 8:48 am Reply
  • Megan Winters via Facebook

    Some probably don’t need it. I have a mouth the size of a child and have had to have 4 adult teeth removed in addition to my wisdom teeth, plus jaw surgery to correct an overbite. The wisdom teeth were removed when I was 13 during the jaw surgery, so I didn’t have any problems due to my age.

    April 2nd, 2014 8:37 am Reply
  • Shannon Laage Lake via Facebook

    Julie J. Leber

    April 2nd, 2014 8:15 am Reply
  • Lori Smith via Facebook

    As a hygienist…i see very few adults that clean them properly which is the problem. If they can’t come in right, have deep decay that is not accessible they need to com out. If the patient has access to clean them they can stay but they have to take the time and effort cuz folks…they are hard for us to clean with your mouth in out faces as trained professionals. The other issue is age. After 40 they become more “fused” to the bone which makes them harder to remove with more issues. We recommend extractions from experience of issues later in your life. If they trap bacteria…decay and periodontal problems Will happen. The people on here care about health and go the extra mile to achieve it. This is not the norm unfortunately. Studies show 50 percent of Americans have dental ins. Of that 20 percent use it and go. Our recommendations are for those people that dont do as well as you may.

    April 2nd, 2014 6:24 am Reply
  • Kim Fabian via Facebook

    *and no, my teeth were not even out besides one, they were all empacted, and needed to be cut out/bone removed, and I still was able to just have it done with a local.

    April 2nd, 2014 6:03 am Reply
  • Kim Fabian via Facebook

    The biggest concern here should not be whether the teeth need to come out, but the need to be put under for the surgery. I was told I would need to be put under to take my wisdom teeth out and was not comfortable with that. I found another dentist who would take them out with just novacain. It’s the being put under that’s the big problem with people.

    April 2nd, 2014 5:59 am Reply
  • Aurelie Cous via Facebook

    The article does not say that all wisdom tooth extractions are unnecessary, it says that many are…..big difference…

    April 2nd, 2014 1:15 am Reply
  • Aurelie Cous via Facebook

    I was pushed into removing my wisdom teeth in my mid twenties. They were already fully grown and did not bother me at all. The dentist threatened me that if i did no revive them i might develop abscess or other horrible things…I really regret doing it, it was really traumatic on my body and my mind (i felt like i was in a torture movie with someone literally breaking my teeth with a hammer and removing the bits with pliers, the nurse was wiping off tones of blood splattering everywhere …) also the course of antibiotics afterwards did not help my health…..

    April 2nd, 2014 1:07 am Reply
  • Jayna Graham via Facebook

    My wisdom teeth hurt with all 5 of my pregnancies while pregnant in my 20’s… at 29 and my youngest nearly three, they don’t bother me, only while i was pregnant.

    April 1st, 2014 11:54 pm Reply
  • James Spencer Tagliarini via Facebook

    Don’t take advice from people who have no expertise in the area of discussion. Just sayin’.'s_angina

    April 1st, 2014 11:54 pm Reply
  • Kelly Heery Smith via Facebook

    Yep I had to have mine out too for the same reason but not everyone does and there are still more than necessary being removed because it’s kinda a standard procedure thing. My son has a Diastema or space between his front teeth and his 3rd’s are coming in and my dr who I love wants me to take them out but I am opting to wait and see. All I’m saying is instead of pull now and ask questions later in all cases apply some common sense. You don’t need a dental degree for that.

    April 1st, 2014 11:34 pm Reply
  • Angela Binkley via Facebook

    Mine didn’t fit in my mouth….they were causing severe pain and issues with my other teeth…had to get them out when I was 18.

    April 1st, 2014 11:25 pm Reply
  • Kelly Heery Smith via Facebook

    I’m an old dental hygienist and frankly I have seen many 3rd’s removed that did not need to be. No one has a crystal ball and can predict what will happen. Most often they will do fine if the person has half a brain and takes care of their teeth. But sometimes removal can be necessary. I graduated d hygiene school in the 80’s and have seen a lot of stupid dentistry but much less really good dentistry where common sense is applied and that has always bothered me!!! Remember big $$$$ is involved and when you are in an office setting student the bottom line is in play big time. That doctor paying you wants and need to pay the bills and earn a nice living and sometimes good dentistry is lost in the fray! Sorry to inform you but give it a few years you may see it differently. I used to recite all the stuff they taught me really well too. Just some food for thought on the opposite bank… Do with it what you will

    April 1st, 2014 11:25 pm Reply
  • Danielle Bennicoff via Facebook

    Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but Wisdom tooth removal is recommended and ” necessary” for many legitimate reasons. The large majority of people do not have enough room in their jaws to allow for these large third molars, and when they attempt to grow in, many come in impacted, or slanted so that they are unable to fully erupt. This can cause a host of painful issues such as pressure on the nerves in your mandible, pushing against its neighboring 2nd molar causing it to move and become malaligned, and if it partially erupts, this is a disaster waiting to happen. When a tooth remains only partially erupted, tons of harmful, pathogenic bacteria get stuck under the flap of tissue covering the crown of the tooth that I guarantee 99% will not be able to clean properly on a twice-daily basis. This can, and often will, cause these molars to rot out and form severe cavities, which if left untreated or extracted, can reach the pulp and cause a serious and painful infection. Have fun with a swollen face and an emergency trip to your oral surgeon. And if this happens in a maxillary third molar (the upper ones) it can be extremely dangerous having a bad infection that close to your sinuses and brain.

    Let’s also touch upon the risk of Dentigerous Cysts developing in unerupted teeth that are not removed. These cysts are dangerous to say the least. They can displace teeth, cause fracture and pain, and resorb the roots of the surrounding teeth. Meaning your teeth now have no anchor to stay in their alveolar socket. These cysts can also become so large and destructive to the surrounding bone of your jaw that it can destroy entire sections of your ramus. That’s your jaw.

    I don’t mean to bash anyone, or take away from this very sad and unfortunate experience, and I hope that this poor woman can make a full recovery and be able to return home to her family.

    I read the article posted here and I don’t agree with most of it. IF a person HAS ENOUGH room for their wisdom teeth to FULLY and CORRECTLY erupt with no tissue or neighboring tooth constraints, yes, leaving these teeth in shouldn’t be an issue. This is pretty rare, however. But if you have unerupted or partially erupted or impacted wisdom teeth that “aren’t giving you problems” then You need to get them out.
    Just the opinion of a dental hygiene student and someone who had her fair share of wisdom tooth woes

    April 1st, 2014 10:59 pm Reply
  • Julie Newmeyer via Facebook

    Easiest procedure ever! I got mine out before they broke through the skin. I had my jaw expanded twice and braces twice (i have a veryyyy small jaw). They wisdom teeth would have messed up my teeth and I had no room for them.

    April 1st, 2014 10:52 pm Reply
  • Brenna Iverson via Facebook

    Roger, one of my many reasons I do not want this

    April 1st, 2014 10:51 pm Reply
  • Shannon Blackorby via Facebook

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. I’m 38 and I still have all mine.

    April 1st, 2014 10:44 pm Reply
  • Ericka Beery via Facebook

    A dental hygienist was complaining of my wisdom teeth to a student as if it was an affront to her and I should get them removed to make her job easier. My dentist (a Weston A Price fan) was thrilled I still had mine.

    April 1st, 2014 10:37 pm Reply
  • Nancy Guppy via Facebook

    Our family usually has them removed as we have small mouths (LOL) and they start to crowd and push the front teeth out of alignment.

    April 1st, 2014 10:37 pm Reply
  • Don Don Dominion via Facebook

    My Dentist showed me Xrays of my Wisdom pushing against my molars… she wanted to remove them.
    I saaid Nah.. Theyre there for a reason.
    the gums got infected for a short while. But now. Theyre grown straight as ever and HAPPY.
    Wisdom was. I saved my money and now I have more teeth in my back that can Chew food with

    April 1st, 2014 10:26 pm Reply
  • Ashley Klaphake via Facebook

    Huh, very interesting

    April 1st, 2014 10:25 pm Reply
  • Shannon Otto via Facebook

    I wish I would have had mine out earlier. I waited until after I had my second child, and was in mind blowing pain because, the wisdom tooth was pressed so hard up against the molar I had massive decay because it WAS impossible to clean! Now I have had the wisdom teeth out, an extensive root cannel, going for a crown and eventually an implant! Wish I would have gotten them out before they caused problems, because before that, I had never even had a cavity!!!!

    April 1st, 2014 10:24 pm Reply
  • Keri Hessel via Facebook

    Thank you for this. Years ago my dentist tried to make me feel like some sort of freak because I have my wisdom teeth. I never felt them come in in college and I never had any serious problems with them. I had a very shallow cavity, (a level 0) and he wanted to pull it. I am so glad I listened to my intuition on this one. I never was one to be bullied by dentists or doctors. Shameful!!!! (I am remineralizing my wisdom tooth now – :)

    April 1st, 2014 10:22 pm Reply
  • Bailey Schank via Facebook

    Ugh. I’ve backed out so many times. But mine are constantly throbbing.

    April 1st, 2014 10:19 pm Reply
  • Deborah Weigel Chaplo via Facebook

    I’m 57 and still have 3 ! The 4th was pulled by an oral surgeon last year ! She lied to me and said it was decayed ! My dentist confirmed it wasn’t ! Always local

    April 1st, 2014 10:06 pm Reply
  • Amie Adams Green via Facebook

    But. Mine wasn’t and my sister 7 yrs younger tried to forgo it and ended up with ‘locked’ jaw and had to be hospitalized to get teeth out I will take the dentist chair over that just be picky about the dentist

    April 1st, 2014 10:05 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Budek-Meyer via Facebook

    I wish I had. I have nerve damage on my face as a result. :/

    April 1st, 2014 10:03 pm Reply
  • Rachel Emerson Hiser via Facebook

    I had one removed when I was 19 because it was causing sores on the inside of my cheek. The rest I have just left alone (two others are out and one has never come up)! I’m so glad I did after reading this!

    April 1st, 2014 10:03 pm Reply
  • Rosemary McNaughton via Facebook

    I do wish I hadn’t had mine out, though I just had them out under local! A young acquaintance of mine did have a severe reaction during a wisdom tooth extraction under general anesthesia… Heart stopped, medically induced coma…awful but ok in the end, thank God.

    April 1st, 2014 9:57 pm Reply
  • Lori Selby Devine via Facebook

    I had a toothache and my dentist insisted it was my wisdom teeth. I had them extracted on the left side and lo and behold…as soon as I healed, the toothache was still there. I actually had a very deep cavity in my back molar. I was very ticked off that I spent so much money (no insurance) and pain to go through a worthless procedure. The oral surgeon told me to make an appointment so I could get the right ones out too. I told him “don’t call me…I’ll call you.”

    April 1st, 2014 9:57 pm Reply
  • Chelsea Abendroth via Facebook

    My sister went in for routine wisdom tooth removal and came out without feeling in her tongue. She lost the ability to taste except for one tiny area.

    April 1st, 2014 9:55 pm Reply
  • James-melanie Collie via Facebook

    Diana Adams worth thinking about!

    April 1st, 2014 9:51 pm Reply
  • Cathi Foster via Facebook

    My daughters, one bio and one adopted, were both told that they had impacted wisdom teeth and needed the surgery. I find it rather odd that they both did at the same time with the same problem. We never went back to that doctor!

    April 1st, 2014 9:51 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Buntrock Boston via Facebook

    My dentist told me that my wisdom teeth were fine but that they should be removed because I wouldn’t be able to clean them properly. :/

    April 1st, 2014 9:50 pm Reply
  • Crystal Penny via Facebook

    So sad ! My guess she may have had methylation issues / MTHFR . :(

    April 1st, 2014 9:49 pm Reply
  • Sandy Califf via Facebook

    That is crazy and never heard of it being so dangerous.

    April 1st, 2014 9:46 pm Reply
  • Alicia

    I also think this article is bad advice. As it is unnecessary for some to get their wisdom teeth out, that is not the case for everyone. I really wish my mom had gotten my wisdom teeth out when I was a teenager, when I was still under my parents insurance. I had braces and got them off when I was 14. I got a permanent retainer on my bottom front teeth. The dentist did recommend getting them out. Since we didn’t, my bottom teeth all got pushed forward, and 2 teeth next to the permanent retainer on both sides are majorly sticking out. Thankfully you can’t really see my bottom teeth much when I smile. Worse, my top teeth are worse than they were before I got my braces! My one tooth is quite embarrassing honestly, and I am now working on getting my teeth caught up so I can get braces on my top teeth again. UGH! I got one of my wisdom teeth out a few years ago when it was giving me major headaches and hurt like heck. I just got the other 3 wisdom teeth out yesterday. Did it suck? Definitely! A couple of them were sideways, and one was trying to come out of the side of my gum instead of the top. The dentist was pushing on the side of my face by my bottom jaw so hard that my jaw felt like it was dislocating, and he was actually crunching up my wisdom teeth with his finger because they were so hard to get out! The right side of my face is all puffed up today, although the pain is minimum unless I’m messing around with it. My husband looked in there today and said that gum looks mutilated! All of the teeth looked decayed and the teeth they were touching also have some decay close to where the wisdom teeth were. Definitely take your dentist’s advice, or if you’re worried about it, a few dentist’s advice! My husband has a large mouth and has had no problem at all with his wisdom teeth. Listen to your kids’ dentists and help out their future by getting them out before it screws everything up, like what happened to me!

    March 11th, 2014 9:48 pm Reply
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  • Amy

    Um…. except when one decides to abscess through your sinus to your brain…. Mine were “fine” until one did THAT. It was right below my right eye (on the x-rays) when the doctors got it. It included a cyst the size of a gallbladder. I was 17. I didn’t know what was happening, so I didn’t say anything to my parents. It wasn’t until I mentioned (after a few months of it) “kind of an achy feeling” that my mom clued in that something was horribly wrong. This is back when this kind of surgery was “positively Medieval” according to doctors now who listen, aghast, as I describe it.

    I watch my kids’ wisdom teeth like a HAWK.

    Glad yours weren’t a “problem.”

    January 10th, 2014 12:10 pm Reply
  • Not so lucky

    I guess I am part of the unlucky 12%. I was told when I was 19 that I would need all 4 wisdom teeth extracted. My mom told me she has never had any problems with her wisdome teeth and that I should wait to see if they bother me at all later. At the age of 22 I started noticing that my teeth had been shifting. I also started to get severe migrains along with other various tooth pains. I went to a different dentist who said I would need all four impacted wisdom teeth extracted. The x rays showed all four teeth tightly pressed up ( coming in at a steep angle) on the other back teeth. I just had them removed and I am still recovering. I wish I had taken them out sooner, a lot a pain could have been avoided.

    January 7th, 2014 8:51 am Reply
  • yeah…

    My Father is an oral maxillo facial surgeon and recently took out 3 of my wisdom teeth free of charge. Pretty sure he wouldn’t have done that if it were an unnecessary scam…

    December 12th, 2013 5:29 am Reply
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    November 13th, 2013 6:06 am Reply
  • Sebastian

    I had all four wisdom teeth extracted in 2009.

    I also find it very unnecessary in the aftermath. Alltough i was a little bit sceptical at the beginning i had it done because some texts talk about cysts etc. I think to shock the patients and having removed wisdom teeth without any treatening symptoms.

    I have the feeling since then i can not rest my jaws properly. I also had a very stable resting position before. I could even bolster my head at the chin if i wanted.

    Since then i do not do it, because it does not feel so stable since then.

    November 10th, 2013 6:48 am Reply
  • Hollie

    Sorry, not true. My teeth were straight and looked fine until my wisdom teeth began to grow in. They became impacted and the constant force of them growing crowded my teeth forward. Had to have orthodontics AFTER the extraction due to crooked teeth.

    November 2nd, 2013 11:10 am Reply
  • Alexander

    I told my dentist that I don’t want them out I know I have room for at least my top ones because one has already come out most of the way it just needs to push itself out a little further. My bottom teeth may be a problem in the future but I want to wait because why have surgery if I don’t need it. One of my goals in life is to stay healthy enough and strong enough to never have to need surgery even if I am going into surgical nursing as my major I don’t believe in unnecessary surgery.

    October 21st, 2013 11:06 pm Reply


    October 15th, 2013 11:20 am Reply
  • April

    Yeah….This is NOT all true! I’m pretty sure it’s higher than 12%. I had perfectly straight teeth until my wisdom teeth came in. Since then my bottom teeth have been getting really crooked. My bottom wisdom are still under the gums and pushing and crowding my other teeth. They are also sideways and have been giving me problems for years. I am 36 years old and finally made an appointment to get them pulled. I just hope I have no problems due to my age, since I’m so old now. One of my top wisom is fully down and luckily moved into the spot where another tooth was pulled. The other top wisdom is partially out and a little sideways. It has pushed the molar next to it and made it very uncomfortable when I bite down since that molar is now sideways. Wisdom teeth can and do shove your teeth together!!!! Thankfully my top teeth are not very crooked because the one had a spot to move into. I have a small mouth and jaw though. I’m very petite. I WISH I would have had them removed years ago before my teeth got crowded!!!

    October 3rd, 2013 4:26 pm Reply
  • Taisha

    Dr. Friedman who wrote the article is just one opinion out of many who disagree on this issue. As an oral surgeon and dental profession, most of those listed complications occur in patients who are older (older than 25 years old). If there’s a potential to have problems with wisdom teeth, it’s better to get it done prior to 25 since there’s a significant difference in recovery and potential complications associate with removing them. Not every wisdom teeth should be removed, but at young age, benefits of getting them out outweighs the risk. Do not believe what some articles tell you, talk to your dentists and dental professions because every teeth are different, every patients are different.

    September 20th, 2013 10:16 pm Reply
  • Dan 23

    Hello I currently have one wisdom tooth fully grown in and it has caused one of my front teeth to become slightly out of alignment. The other three wisdom teeth are slowly coming in. Should I get them removed? I feel no pain with the one that is fully in but the dentist said before to remove them.

    September 17th, 2013 8:46 pm Reply
  • Stacey

    This doctor who says it’s impossible for wisdom teeth to crowd the other teeth is wrong.

    Before my wisdom teeth started coming up, I had people ask me if I had had brace before, because my teeth were (naturally) perfectly straight. I neglected to get my wisdom teeth out because I thought it was an unnecessary procedure. After putting it off for two years, the pain became unbearable, due to my other teeth shifting. When I went to a new dentist to get a referral to an oral surgeon, he asked why my previous dentist had never sent me to an orthodontist.

    So now after getting my wisdom teeth out, I have to get braces as well. My teeth have shifted so much that instead of two front teeth, I have three.

    Whatever Dentist wrote this article is an idiot.

    August 20th, 2013 6:23 pm Reply
  • man

    People drive me crazy. How everyone believes what a denist or doctor “people with a title” say like its fact no matter what lol. Just like all the people getting their gaul bladder removed.
    Just like the doctor told me my gaul bladder is only 40 percent functioning and wanted to remove it. So I asked whats the purpose of the gual bladder? He says “it works like a filter for your food etc.” And I responded “well its seems 40 functioning is far better than zero” as I lol. And he couldn’t argue that comon sence. Another time I had a baby tooth that i pulled out at the age of 19! So I went to denist no to long after that, they took xrays and told me it will never grow in bc it has no roots and they wanted to put a metal bracket in my gum to pull the tooth down I said there’s no way! Ill just go without a tooth before I do that lol and not even 6 months later I have a full canine tooth. So that goes to show dont trust shit they say. Also keep in mind that now we all think the doctors of the old days as quacks with there shock treatment techniques etc. And the future generations will see us the same way. Its always best to act on your comon sence and comon sence tells us that we have wisdom teeth for a reason if there wasn’t a reason for them god would not have gave them to us. Idc what any denist or doctor has to say there brainwashed fools. Matter a fact I wont be going to a doctor/denist ever again. Last year I broke my left arm and right leg at the same time and never went to the doctor im now healed fine. Just a few months back I sliced my leg wide open I mean wide open! From sheet metal never got stiches healed up fine.

    August 18th, 2013 2:01 pm Reply
  • Tanja Guven

    I had mine removed when I was 22. I have a small jaw, and one of them was already infected. Antibiotics caused a bad reaction, and even though only one was infected at the time, I had all four removed so that I wouldn’t have to go back into surgery four more times for the same reason. No regrets.

    August 12th, 2013 9:45 pm Reply
  • Bvaldez1

    I really wish that I had found this page a few weeks sooner than I did. I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed four days ago, and it has been the worst experience of my life. Prior to surgery, I have never had any problems with my teeth. No cavities, no braces, and no pain when my wisdom teeth came in. However, my dentist began insisting about 2 years ago that I had to have my wisdom teeth removed. He finally set up an appointment with an oral surgeon for me and told my mother and I that it was completely necessary. The oral surgeon gave us the same story about how it was preventative and that it was mandatory to keep my nice smile. Fast forward to after the surgery, I have experienced many complications. First, my pain medicine made me vomit, so I was unable to take medicine to relieve my pain. I actually ended up in the ER in order to get nausea and pain relief. Four days later, I still can’t take the entire prescribed dose and I am in agony. I haven’t slept a full night since the surgery due to the intense pain. I also have not yet regained feeling back in my lips and chin. It is hard for me to eat and talk and I sometimes drool on myself because of this. I’m now worried that the feeling may never come back. I urge anyone who is getting his or her wisdom teeth out for “prevention” to reconsider. It really isn’t worth it.

    August 4th, 2013 11:55 pm Reply
  • olive

    I am 45. Still have my wisdom teeth. Two are crooked. Had an infection twice. Antibiotics and a prescript rinse. My dentist finally stopped asking me to remove them. I’m am ok with them in.

    August 1st, 2013 7:22 pm Reply
  • Sam

    I just recently got my wisdom teeth pulled. My dentist recommended me for it after going through 2 years of braces and having all four of my premolars removed so that my incisors would line up perfectly with the rest of my teeth.

    I have a very low tolerance for pain, by comparison, but my wisdom teeth weren’t bothering me at all. However, after watching my parents spend tons of money to get my mouth straight, I don’t think anyone wanted to take the chance of them becoming crooked again.

    If I didn’t have enough room for my original 28 adult teeth, no way would my wisdom teeth fit without causing all the work to be ruined.

    June 5th, 2013 2:02 am Reply
  • S.

    Not always true, though. My wisdom teeth came in soon after my braces were removed, so my teeth began moving and shifting a lot very quickly. In addition, due to other complications (basically the reason I had braces) the wisdom teeth caused a minor dislocation of my jaw.

    Also, early wisdom teeth removal IS less traumatic, IF you catch the teeth before they have roots or while the roots are small.

    May 11th, 2013 1:34 pm Reply
  • wisdom tooth

    my two upper wisdom teeth came out. i dont have enough space but they came out anyway. Prior to that i checked with the dentist, he suggested me that i should go for a surgical extraction of my four wisdom teeth but i was persistent that i do not want to remove my wisdom teeth surgically. Later, two of my upper wisdom teeth developed a very little cavities and my dentist is of opinion that i should extract those surgically because they are hard to fill. but they are causing no pain, whatsoever , and i am dead afraid of tooth(ee) extraction(s). I just want them to be filled , even the dentist has said, the cavities are so minored that they are good for tooth colored fillings. Now what should I do? He said “”NO”” for fillings :(

    April 21st, 2013 3:18 pm Reply
  • Artgirl

    I’m 56 years old and never had any major problems other than some swelling on one side years ago. I’m a tongue thruster and grind my teeth at night–mouth guard helped there, and doing tongue exercises to stop the other issue. Consulted with my dentist, he will make a mold of my mouth to see if removing my wisdom teeth–all four–will improve the final results of my Invisalign braces. So I’m going along with this step my dentist suggests–he’s really great and will not charge me for the mold–but I’m not sold on oral surgery for such a small gain–especially after reading these stories. This is the rub, my orthodontist expects to gain only an additional 1 millimeter toward closing my open bite. The only reason he suggested seeing my dentist probably has something to do with his professional standards–I’m so lucky to have two great offices servicing my dental needs! The braces have rounded and widened my mouth so the two front teeth are again parallel and one side is almost straight like they were in my twenties.

    April 17th, 2013 8:54 pm Reply
    • Artgirl

      I would love to send a pic, but not sure how…

      April 17th, 2013 9:02 pm Reply
      • Artgirl

        Had a mold of my teeth today by my dentist. As much as I like the orthodontist and dentist, still not sold on surgery for 1 millimeter gain. Other than my orthodontist adjusting the teeth so that I will have a proper bite at the end of this process–when eating, too–is there anything else I could ask them?

        April 22nd, 2013 1:50 pm Reply
  • Chopped Liver via Facebook

    most maybe but ifyou skip and shouldnt have its really ugly..i had a broken jaw to prove it

    April 6th, 2013 9:14 am Reply
  • Jacqueline Pelletier via Facebook

    I have all four of mine at 43. No problems, no issues whatsoever. If someone had told me that I “had to have them removed,” when there’s no pain, decay, or infection, I would have run and found another dentist.

    April 6th, 2013 7:24 am Reply
  • Melinda Nelson via Facebook

    I agree!! One think I did right as a hygienist mom.

    April 5th, 2013 8:43 pm Reply
  • Desiree Heckaman Odenbrett via Facebook

    Dasha Cochran, I remember reading somewhere that t-cells have been discovered in tonsils. Very interesting!

    April 5th, 2013 2:21 am Reply
  • Sonja Hric Grabel via Facebook

    I’m really not surprised. . . Why would something that humans are born with require routine removal? Similar to the issue with foreskins and tonsils being removed willy-nilly. I had my wisdom teeth out as a teen and even way back then I thought it was ridiculous, but I had no say. The dentist said they would cause trouble down the line, so my mom had them removed. I remember being on the oral surgeon’s table telling him I’d rather keep the teeth. I said, “If you have to take out teeth, why don’t you take out the ones in front of the wisdom teeth. . . they are older! I’d like to keep the brand new ones!” On a similar note, I saw an orthodontist for teeth straightening and he ruined my jaw! Forced me to pull my lower jaw forward, which created undue stress on the muscles and displaced the little cushiony thing in the joint. Now, I struggle with jaw pain, clicking, popping, and locking. I’ve spent tons of money on appliances, physical therapy, massage, and acupuncture. I can get some relief with lots of effort, but it is damaged beyond repair. Another FAIL for allopathic medicine.

    April 5th, 2013 1:00 am Reply
  • Sara Mobrei via Facebook

    I waited til too late to get mine out and lost another tooth as a result of the impacted tooth pushing on the one next to it. However I only did one side, my other two wisdom teeth are still intact and look perfect. However my dentist said I have to take them out before she will give me braces. Is this true? Has anyone had a retainer or braces with wisdom teeth?

    April 4th, 2013 11:16 pm Reply
  • Rebecca K. Agner via Facebook

    When a wisdom tooth REALLY needs to come out it should be because of the following: 1- PAIN 2- a cyst 3- the tooth is half way erupted, and bacteria is growing as an alarming rate causing sever tooth decay and BAD BREATH… yuck! Plus this chronic infection is REALLY BAD for you IMMUNE SYSTEM. 4- when the wisdom tooth is in a position to threaten the tooth in front of it, thus causing the patient to loose both teeth. Yes it is always good to seek a second opinion when facing a surgery, we always advise our patients to do so if they have any questions regarding any of their dental needs. There are times when people put off the inevitable and create larger problem. If removed before the roots are fully developed, the risks go down considerably. At Age 15 is a good time to check. Furthermore, if they need to be extracted do it with in Your Time Table, not the tooth’s. Don’t wait until you have a life threatening infection, or ruin a really great vacation with an un wanted tooth ache. I have had patients threaten a pregnancy with the infection… In closing many of my patients HAVE ROOM for their wisdom teeth, so we DON’T pull them.

    April 4th, 2013 10:42 pm Reply
  • Kathryn Roux Dickerson via Facebook

    I’ve had mine a long time, and yes, they are impacted.

    April 4th, 2013 10:40 pm Reply
  • KT

    I hope you don’t mind me throwing in a little humor to the comments. I thought of this as I was reading some of the comments above.

    This poor girl needed to read you post Sarah. hehe!!!

    Thanks for the post. I have teenagers now and I am sure we’re going to face it eventually.

    April 4th, 2013 10:22 pm Reply
  • Carol Reeves Mcdowell via Facebook

    My brother is one who did get a cyst and it encroached upon the tooth next to it. So he lost a tooth he would not have had he had them removed. Also, my understanding is that paresthesia is more of a risk later than sooner because that particular nerve is more developed and in the way. I think I would rather have them removed preventively than ever risk permanent paresthesia.

    April 4th, 2013 10:19 pm Reply
  • Katherine Miller Mathews via Facebook

    Also if they are erupted 90% of the time they get cavities and have periodontal problems. Keep em clean and u won’t worry about ten

    April 4th, 2013 8:53 pm Reply
  • Katherine Miller Mathews via Facebook

    Impacted ones can cause tumors in rare cases later in life. Biggest issueI have with them is if they eventually start to erupt slightly (but can’t BC they rub into opposing tooth, they can create a pocket (place where bacteria builds) resulting in boneless around the erupted molar u want to keep. Just FYI. To prevent almost all potential issues in ur mouth…. FLOSS! 😉

    April 4th, 2013 8:52 pm Reply
  • Dasha Cochran via Facebook

    You know, I would really like to hear a discussion on removing tonsils. I believe it is not only unnecessary, but harmful to the body, but I can’t find any intelligent articles on the topic.

    April 4th, 2013 8:46 pm Reply
  • Amanda Wright via Facebook

    Lisa thank you for that omg think that’s what wrong with me ever since

    April 4th, 2013 8:18 pm Reply
  • Khris Newell Kirk via Facebook

    Still have mine, for 30 yrs now.

    April 4th, 2013 8:13 pm Reply
  • Julianna Rae Bianez-Crabbe via Facebook

    mine caused tons of problems, i wish i knew about cranio restructuring tho. i have a lot more problems now from the extractions

    April 4th, 2013 8:05 pm Reply
  • Thea Steggall via Facebook

    Yes I TRULY regret it. That was the beginning of TMJ problems for me. So yes to answer your question Bryce, it does haunt me! The headaches and jaw pain haunts me!

    April 4th, 2013 8:04 pm Reply
  • Katrina Bissell via Facebook

    When I was young I actually had a couple of teeth removed so my top wisdom teeth came in fine. My bottom are still there everyone been telling me I should have them removed that they could get infected ect. But they’re not cause a problem so it seems unnecessary. Plus i got a little anxiety after some one I know died form an infection as a side effect of his teeth pulled. He’s widow told me the whole story, it was horrifying. He left behind two very young sons. So sad.

    April 4th, 2013 8:00 pm Reply
  • Christine Reimann Biers via Facebook

    Thanks I am battling this issue now!

    April 4th, 2013 7:58 pm Reply
  • Lisa Pittman Bowman via Facebook

    Personally, my bottom jaw has never been the same since that worthless surgery! Investigating cavitation infections. Most dentists aren’t taught about this but it looks like a lot of people suffer from it.

    April 4th, 2013 7:56 pm Reply
  • Lisa Pittman Bowman via Facebook

    Mine were routinely removed and I experienced lots of problems do to that stupid surgery. Right after surgery, I became extremely ill with a high fever, swollen face, pain and nausea. I drooled for over a week and felt sick for over two weeks. I had open wounds in my gums for years! I constantly had food particles getting stuck in the holes. Twenty eight years later, my gums (bottom only) are still swollen and I’m investigating if I have a cavitation type infection. My diet is clean and appropriate yet I still suffer from fatigue and strange symptoms.

    April 4th, 2013 7:53 pm Reply
  • Monica Schabel Westover via Facebook

    Have all of mine. Never had problems. So thankful for a dentist who said, “if you can keep em clean, you can keep them”. All my teeth are straight & dentists have asked how long I had to have braces. Never had em. Wisdom teeth didn’t even make em crooked.

    April 4th, 2013 7:48 pm Reply
  • Heather Chilton Wormsley via Facebook

    How timely. My son had his 4 out this morning. Why? Because all of the progress made by his long-awaited braces would have been undone. THAT was our “issue”. I AM happy we’re working with his naturopath Dr. for a penicillin alternative, homeopathic support, and liver detoxing after the anethesia. Though I savagely avoid allopathic care, I am at peace re: these removals.

    April 4th, 2013 7:38 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Bondelid via Facebook

    2 of mine were trying to come in but kept getting infected and I had low grade fever all the time. I went to get them out and they told me they would be taking all 4 (the other two were completely buried in the bone, I didn’t even know they were there) Due to various reasons i only had a local… Long story short I don’t recommend that and yes, I regret it frequently and it actually does haunt me… thank you Bryce.

    April 4th, 2013 7:35 pm Reply
  • Danielle Mein via Facebook

    Sarah can’t you block Bryce? His comments are pretty rude and annoying

    April 4th, 2013 7:29 pm Reply
  • Pamela DeMeritte Forbes via Facebook

    My wisdom teeth are all there, I have never had a problem, wouldn’t even know it if it were not for X-rays. It was recommended to me to have them removed. I am 36 yrs old, if it isn’t broken don’t fix it and so far so good.

    April 4th, 2013 7:24 pm Reply
  • Alicia Anne Ireland via Facebook

    I can’t say that’s true. Mine were impacted severely leaving me with an almost constant ebbing, pounding pain in my teeth that felt like they were in a vice, my front bottom teeth went from being straight to almost over lapping each other and the pain was bad most days I would crush my teeth together to stop thr pain. When I went in to have them taken out, the one had a huge cavity between the that tooth and the other tooth and it was infected. It’s been heavenly having them out. (I also have a big mouth and big teeth) lol

    April 4th, 2013 7:24 pm Reply
  • Beatrice Margarita Lapa via Facebook

    I only had mine removed because they were hurting like crazy (the impaction was so weird). I was happy for it because my dentist was very efficient and had a light hand. No trauma at all. But my sister’s wisdom teeth grew into their places. Our dentist is our aunt. She would not touch wisdom teeth if they aren’t causing trouble.

    April 4th, 2013 7:21 pm Reply
  • Ronald Francis Robinson via Facebook

    I still have 3 of my 4 wisdom teeth.

    April 4th, 2013 7:19 pm Reply
  • Michelle Oberg via Facebook

    I wish I never had to have mine removed, I have had some problems in my mouth ever since. Unfortunately they ruptured and were causing me a terrible amount of pain

    April 4th, 2013 7:06 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth Proctor via Facebook

    Having had 2 impacted wisdoms, I’d have to disagree with you, unless you enjoy being in near constant pain. I didn’t and I don’t regret having the impacted wisdoms and their partners removed… not one bit!

    April 4th, 2013 6:58 pm Reply
  • Amelia Owca Hinote via Facebook

    I agree and disagree with this. If they are impacted, in time, they will most likely cause a problem. Crowding other teeth, push teeth in a different direction, etc. If they are only partially erupted, it’s a bigger problem, because gum issue arise. They are hard to clean in a smaller mouth. If you have a large mouth, with plenty of room for growth, leave them be.

    April 4th, 2013 6:58 pm Reply
  • Melissa Walker Carter via Facebook

    I had my first set of wisdom teeth removed at about 18 or 19. Bottom only because there were none on the top. Not even in x-rays. By the time I was 21, my second set had grown in on the bottom. I knew they were coming. My dentist/oral surgeon showed them to me on the x-rays. He chose to remove set #1 so I didn’t have issues with the others that would eventually come in behind/beneath them. The first set seemed innocuous enough and he would have left them if not for the ones waiting in line. When the second set started moving in, they were in a different position (mesioangular nonimpacted) and grew *almost* straight at the backs of my other teeth. My dentist told me when the first set came out, that the second set may cause me a little discomfort as they grew in and settled but that the damage to the rest of my teeth would be minimal. So little crowding that he would just leave them alone. 34 and they’re still there, in a weird position at the back of my jaw.

    April 4th, 2013 6:57 pm Reply
  • Jillian Ross via Facebook

    Thanks for replying Edie, I had teeth removed when I was a teen specifically to allow space for my wisdom teeth to come in properly. Which they did and have not caused any significant movement of other teeth in my mouth. All is well there. I just have noticed that there are small cavities popping up on them and am pretty sure that it will eventually cause a necessary extraction. I most likely will not require surgery to have them removed, it would be a simple pull. Ugh, I do take care of my teeth and floss regularly but they surely are hard to reach for both properly brushing and flossing.

    April 4th, 2013 6:57 pm Reply
  • Bryce J. Gillie via Facebook

    Do you TRULY regret it? Does it REALLY haunt your every day life?

    April 4th, 2013 6:53 pm Reply
  • Bryce J. Gillie via Facebook

    And usually if they do it, it’s a preventative measure. Get over it

    April 4th, 2013 6:52 pm Reply
  • Bryce J. Gillie via Facebook

    They only do it if it IS necessary. Mine has never asked me if I want mine removed or recommended it, because they had room to grow in.

    April 4th, 2013 6:51 pm Reply
  • Dawn Lester Colyer via Facebook

    I wasn’t aware that wisdom teeth removal was routine. In my experience it’s only done when it is deemed medical necessary.

    April 4th, 2013 6:45 pm Reply
  • Jeanette Lopatka via Facebook

    A man who lives here in San Diego at 24 years old just died from a routine wisdom teeth extraction. Pretty sad

    April 4th, 2013 6:39 pm Reply
  • Nancy Tomasetti Rapko via Facebook

    They should be removed simply because they are hard to reach (brushing & flossing). Most dentist remove them for this reason. But, for braces, they normally will be removed to make space in the mouth. :)

    April 4th, 2013 6:38 pm Reply
  • Kathleen Betz via Facebook

    I have all of mine, at almost 50, and no trouble at all. My teeth are perfect and I haven’t seen a dentist since 1983! One (top right) isn’t (still) fully out but tries occasionally. They don’t bother me and I take good care of my teeth, so at times I think even having a dentist isn’t necessary!

    April 4th, 2013 6:37 pm Reply
  • Karla Wiersma via Facebook

    Ive got mine, but I had to fight to keep them. The military was (dont know if this is still the case) very fond of making its members have them removed. Part of the reasoning is that the older you are, it becomes a more complicated procedure to take them out.

    April 4th, 2013 6:34 pm Reply
  • April

    Oh, this article is so timely for my family! My husband has wisdom teeth that are recommended for removal, but they only ache once in a blue moon, and it’s such a big procedure! He’s been putting it off for years. Now, does anybody know how necessary it is for my 9-year-old to get corrective procedures for his front teeth not coming together from sucking his thumb?

    April 4th, 2013 6:33 pm Reply
  • Katya Galley via Facebook

    I did need one of mine removed (bottom right) but they also recommended removing the top one too ‘because it no longer has a surface to chew against’ … then the 2 on the other side ‘so your mouth chews evenly’ ??? What??? It’s not like a rodents teeth that will keep growing if it does naw on something! And the other 2 were perfectly fine! I didn’t have any of them removed, only the one that absolutely had to be. If I hadsaid yes they would have removed 3 perfectly healthy useful teeth.

    April 4th, 2013 6:33 pm Reply
  • Larry Underwood via Facebook

    Same reason I got mine out at 16.

    April 4th, 2013 6:32 pm Reply
  • Edie ‘Watson’ DeLorme via Facebook

    @Jillian Ross, if they are decaying they DO need to come out. Hopefully they are not so far decayed that they require surgical removal and not just a simple pulling. My husband had all four of his wisdom teeth until about 3 months ago. One of his wisdom teeth had developed a large cavity. The filling had fallen out and it had gotten worse. Our dentist recommended that he have it pulled. Just the one that was decaying. It was intact enough to just be pulled. No fuss, no muss. He’s so glad he had it pulled. The other 3 are healthy. He’s never had a dentist try to remove them all. I on the other hand had no room at all for my wisdom teeth. They were all four bone impacted. They would try to erupt, but there was no room. They’d cause a lot of swelling and pain. I had to have all four surgically extracted at 19. I’m soooooo glad I no longer have them!

    April 4th, 2013 6:31 pm Reply
  • Celia Poehls via Facebook

    My experience was like many. Pain and TMJ after. First son did really need them out and I did alot of research and found an oral surgeon who does a minimally invasive procedure. Second son we are taking a wait and see posture and may not need them out. Ask your oral surgeon how they do the procedure if you must have this done.

    April 4th, 2013 6:30 pm Reply
  • Sarah Moyer via Facebook

    I’ve always wondered about this “routine” procedure… Thanks for another great article!

    April 4th, 2013 6:22 pm Reply
  • Alicia Cousineau-Ingram via Facebook

    I had all four impacted removed so I could get braces. It was an awful experience however I am so glad I don’t have them with all the horror stories I hear :(

    April 4th, 2013 6:21 pm Reply
  • Camille Surovy via Facebook

    I have all 4 of mine and not only did they cause no problems, they actually FIXED the gap I had when I was younger. :)

    April 4th, 2013 6:20 pm Reply
  • Mandy Lancaster via Facebook

    My husband is a dentist and I still have all four of my wisdom teeth. He does not do unnecessary surgery or other work. Find a conservative dentist.

    April 4th, 2013 6:17 pm Reply
  • Jillian Ross via Facebook

    Of course, I have all 4 of mine and they have all fully grown in and are not impacted. My concern is that I can see them rapidly decaying, even as I oil pull, and eat a clean diet. I have no pain per se, but have other symptoms that could be caused by the bacteria they are harboring. So I was just wondering what the thoughts are about them decaying? Obviously any dentist I see has or will mention that they should be removed because the bacteria could enter the bloodstream causing various issues.
    I do not want them to be taken out, much less the fact that I have no insurance so after reading this posting I was hoping maybe there was some light shed about the decaying factor.

    April 4th, 2013 6:17 pm Reply
  • Rhea Jussen-Jongema via Facebook

    Got all four wisdom teeth removed at the same time when I was 19. Ended up with an IV in my hand for two weeks, going twice a day to the hospital to get antibiotics for the infection.

    April 4th, 2013 6:13 pm Reply
  • Katie Halloran Jacobson via Facebook

    I was JUST wondering about this today! I was thinking that so many things that I always thought were necessary, like circumcision, are simply promoted by the medical field to line pockets. So I figured I will have to research wisdom teeth in case that’s the same story. This is so typical!

    April 4th, 2013 6:13 pm Reply
  • Shannon McNamar via Facebook

    I got mine removed because they were wrecking 3 years of braces. The uppers came out at age 21 with no problems. The lowers came out at age 38 AFTER my bottom teeth got all crooked again. My gums were beginning to get irritated as they broke thru the surface so I really had no choice. I had zero problems with either extractions and am glad I did.

    April 4th, 2013 6:10 pm Reply
  • Laura Graves Atterbury via Facebook

    My daughter just had her braces removed and the dentist said to remove her wisdom teeth so the other teeth don’t get messed up and ruin the $ we spent for braces.

    April 4th, 2013 6:08 pm Reply
  • Marisol Garcia Correa via Facebook

    The wisdom is that of the businessman, then.

    April 4th, 2013 6:08 pm Reply
  • Erin Cessac via Facebook

    I still have all of mine, despite being urged to have them removed since I was 18. I never saw the point. If they weren’t giving me any trouble and God put them there, why should they be removed? I love the appendix analogy.

    April 4th, 2013 6:08 pm Reply
  • Debi Hart via Facebook

    I have all of mine age 49 no problems

    April 4th, 2013 6:04 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Sofia Grogan I feel the same. My surgery caused quite a bit of a problem and it never even needed to be done in the first place!

    April 4th, 2013 6:04 pm Reply
  • Joanna Marhalik via Facebook

    I still have all if mine and never had a problem or any pain.

    April 4th, 2013 6:04 pm Reply
  • Hanna Frew Erion via Facebook

    I have mine! God put them there, so I’ll leave them in. I’ll remove them only if they cause pain or are infected.

    April 4th, 2013 6:03 pm Reply
  • Charles Clark Peebles via Facebook

    My dentist wanted to remove mine because, “They’re harder to clean…” What a racket.

    April 4th, 2013 6:03 pm Reply
  • Laura Graves Atterbury via Facebook

    I also still have mine.

    April 4th, 2013 6:02 pm Reply
  • Laura Graves Atterbury via Facebook

    Thanks for sharing. I was just beginning to research this very topic.

    April 4th, 2013 6:02 pm Reply
  • Deborah De Block via Facebook

    I was told i needed mine out because the will never come up. My fathers will also never come up but he has neverr had them taken out and no issues. death is also a rare but possible consequence.

    April 4th, 2013 6:02 pm Reply
  • Marci Blubaugh via Facebook

    I was told by one dentist that all 4 of mine were really bad and coming in crooked and needed to come out. I chose not to do anything. About 10 years later another dentist told me I was one of the few people he had ever seen that had room for their wisdom teeth and that they all came in straight.

    April 4th, 2013 6:01 pm Reply
  • Thea Steggall via Facebook

    I agree with you! I regret it.

    April 4th, 2013 6:00 pm Reply
  • Rita Lounder via Facebook

    I refused to have mine removed..they have caused no trouble for 56 years!

    April 4th, 2013 5:59 pm Reply
  • Meagan Louise Garneau via Facebook

    I had mine extracted 3 days ago. I am experiencing extreme pain. Other than that no side effects. I am happy I got them taken out because they were causing a fair amount of discomfort in my mouth.

    April 4th, 2013 5:59 pm Reply
  • Sara Campbell via Facebook

    Heather Weikel

    April 4th, 2013 5:58 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Jillian Ross A second opinion is always a good idea before surgery which always carries at least some risk.

    April 4th, 2013 5:58 pm Reply
  • Adele Stockham Culp via Facebook

    I still have mine.

    April 4th, 2013 5:57 pm Reply
  • Sofia Grogan via Facebook

    This is depressing. Even though I knew nothing of alternative health when I got mine removed, they made a huge deal because they were impacted. :-( Wish I would have known I could have gone without it.

    April 4th, 2013 5:57 pm Reply
  • Jillian Ross via Facebook

    Ok, but what if they are decaying? Cavity filled?

    April 4th, 2013 5:55 pm Reply
  • Sara Wolf via Facebook

    I heard this after I got mine out but I’m still glad I did as I think they were the cause of my jaw locking often

    April 4th, 2013 5:55 pm Reply
  • Jessica

    Okay here is my situation. I have all four of my wisdom teeth. All four of them are impacted, two are peaking through the gum. Occasionally the gums will hurt but not always. For about three years I have been having pain in a tooth that is not the wisdom tooth and the pain will come and go. Can Wisdom teeth affect other teeth that are not touching the wisdom tooth? Also I have two crowns and those teeth hurt occasionally too. I have made an appointment with the oral surgeon to get my wisdom teeth removed early April. I am not sure if I am making a mistake or not but I am scared for the surgery. I just want relief from the random tooth pain that the dentists can’t seem to find a problem with. I am hoping that it is just the wisdom teeth. Any advise?

    March 26th, 2013 1:43 am Reply
  • Lorenz Cruz

    About myth #3… A couple of years ago my frontal lower teeth was in the proper position. But after my wisdom tooth erupted, in a span of weeks or months (i am not very sure) my front teeth moved and is now overlapping… so it may not be a myth after all (i am no dentist so i dunno for sure) but in my case that’s what happened…

    February 17th, 2013 6:41 am Reply
  • Carole Heath

    I had two teeth rmoved about 2 weeks ago as two of my crowns fell out and when the dentist gave me a checkup he said the crowns could not be put back as the remaining teeth underneath were decayed and that could cause infection. Or maybe abscess which i had in the past and that was horrible. I had the treatment extractions and cleaning but about a few days later my mouth and gums swelled up and the gums were so sore. The worst part was that i felt so tired and depressed i have never experienced these symptoms before after going to the dentist. I think i had a gum infection and really i should have gone back for antibiotics most likely.I won’t be leaving my checkup so long again i think maybe the crowns could have been saved if i had gone earlier and saved me the problem of extractions most likely.

    February 16th, 2013 6:21 pm Reply
  • Emily

    What about the people who don’t have anterior teeth with straight vertical roots? My anterior teeth roots are all sorts of crooked..

    February 4th, 2013 11:54 pm Reply
  • Iulia

    And one more thing. They were almost entirely covered with gum for years but they worked their way to the surface, so it might take some patience as well.

    January 30th, 2013 8:51 pm Reply
  • Iulia

    My lower ones are partially impacted (a good part of the crown is out though) and my dentist has repeatedly told me I should have them taken out. I didn’t. Both of them developed small cavities and I convinced another dentist to fill them like they would with any other teeth. I’m 26 now and I’ve had wisdom teeth since I was 19-20. They have never hurt me and the rest of my teeth are perfectly fine. I decided to keep them after looking at my X-rays and reading some stuff about the risks, which seemed both improbable and worth taking. The way things are looking up to now, I have no reason to regret having thought with my own brain.

    January 30th, 2013 8:43 pm Reply
  • NotAFan

    I went to see my dentist 4 months ago (after I noticed an unusual presence of teeth growing on both sides of my bottom jaw), he recommended that I get a 3D Cone Beam scan, which I did. I am currently viewing my scans, and they clearly show that there is NO room for growth.

    One tooth has partially erupted and the other tooth has virtually no space to pop up and is still covered by gum (and is growing at 45 degrees against another molar). My teeth have always been crowded in my small jaw. However It has been 4 months now, and there hasn’t been much pain at all. (Just the occasional itches of little annoying pains here and there which quickly disappears in day or two, but it’s totally not bothering me now). I think I had one infection when they first erupted. Since then I have always ensured that I keep my teeth clean and have used an anti-bacterial solution to clean my mouth. (I brush twice a day, once in the morning after breakfast, and once at night just before going to bed). It can get annoying when food gets stuck in your wisdom teeth (especially popcorn grrr), but a casual chewing gum will do the trick followed by thorough brushing of the area. It costs almost a grand to get ONE tooth removed under local anaesthesia (4 needles in the gum!) That’s the equivalent of 5440 chewies!

    I have my extraction procedure booked within a few days (after two consultations, one with my Dentist and an Oral Surgeon). I am thinking of putting it off. The surgeon said some people put it off for 20 years until they can’t take it any more. o.O He also said it’s easier the younger your are. Any suggestions?

    January 28th, 2013 12:02 pm Reply
  • Sophia

    All 4 of my wisdom teeth first showed up on an X-ray of mine when I was about 14 or so, the orthodontist told us that they were fully developed and because they were impacted at a 90 degree I should have them removed as soon as possible. The thing is this; over the next several years I went through having a device called an “herbst” in my mouth, which was used to fix my underbite by bringing my jaw forward, after that was removed I had braces on for about 3 years. By the time I was 18 all the orthodontic work was done on my mouth, and because I still had not had my wisdom teeth removed the dentist (a different one than the first one) said that I should have them removed before they start to cause problems.

    I have never had any problems with my wisdom teeth before. No pain, no aches, no movement, no nothing. I am 21 now and it’s been about 7 years since they first started showing up on X-rays. If they were going to come in shouldn’t they have come in by now? That’s my thought, and since they’ve never been a problem before now I don’t see why I should have them removed at all. I would like to hear some thoughts on this. Thanks. :)

    January 3rd, 2013 10:15 am Reply
  • Maja Miljković via Facebook

    That’s what I’m saying for years..

    How it looks without wisdom teeth, right- nicely formed jaw with. (this pic is of something else but comparison is good). The jaw grows while wisdom teeth grow and one gets more adult look. Smaller jaw is the natural look of kids.

    December 21st, 2012 2:40 am Reply
  • Charlene Boyer via Facebook

    But if you do need to have them extracted, don’t put it off. It’s harder on you when you’re older.

    December 21st, 2012 12:12 am Reply
  • Diane Thomas via Facebook

    “People don’t realize that dental disease can cause serious illness,” said Dr. Irvin Silverstein, a dentist at the University of California at San Diego. “The problems are not just cosmetic. Many people die from dental disease.”

    December 21st, 2012 12:10 am Reply
  • Diane Thomas via Facebook

    people in our office volunteer (use their own money)to go to other countries to provide dental care so they don’t have to die from their teeth and mouths

    December 21st, 2012 12:10 am Reply
  • Spook Hetherington via Facebook

    You’d trust someone who feeds kids Sodium Fluoride Tablets ????!

    December 20th, 2012 4:45 pm Reply
  • Blanca Villanueva Perez via Facebook

    I too have mine and, I’m fine w/’em.

    December 20th, 2012 3:58 pm Reply
  • Janice Hovis via Facebook

    I still have all four wisdom teeth at age 50. One of them is turned sideways. My dentist says that surgery is an option, and to let him know if it hurts or gives me any trouble (it doesn’t). I know in some cases the surgery is necessary, but many don’t need it.

    December 20th, 2012 2:41 pm Reply
  • Maryann Tia Engel Goldman via Facebook

    Mine came in just fine despite my dentist trying to tell me to get them removed. I had one infection around the gum and the dentist did a minor procedure to trim the gum back where it flapped on top of one of the wisdom teeth. I have been fine for over 20 years now. I can’t imagine why she wanted to remove them!

    December 20th, 2012 2:17 pm Reply
  • Kathy Pilarcik Deutsch via Facebook

    DON’T DO IT. I got an infection that still gives me trouble-over 10 years ago.

    December 20th, 2012 1:37 pm Reply
  • Egle Fuller via Facebook

    I have never heard of such a practice till came to USA.. In my country people would laugh at the doctor is he would recomend to remove healthy teeth that do not cause any trouble. I feel people do not have common sense over here, they eat garbage and argue that food makes no difference on someone’s health then they remove healthy teeth and gall bladders as they are some unnecessary parts..! Where is God in all of this?? We may not know the necessary of things but to claim that they are unnecessary is beyond reason…

    December 20th, 2012 1:30 pm Reply
  • Mari Redder via Facebook

    I reallllly wish I had seen this over a year ago. My surgery was terrible. My jaw got infected.

    December 20th, 2012 1:23 pm Reply
  • Alishia Maria Klynstra via Facebook

    My husband waiting and ended up in so much pain because his were growing in sideways… Ugh def make sure but don’t assume you can keep them :)

    December 20th, 2012 1:01 pm Reply
  • Pamela Salerno-Bell via Facebook

    Mine were coming in at an angle and causing a lot of pain. They pushed the rest if my teeth out of alignment. I wanted until I had proof it needed to be done, but it clearly needed to happen. I later ended up with Invisalign to correct the mess they made of my mouth.

    December 20th, 2012 12:29 pm Reply
  • Melinda Nelson via Facebook

    Yes, Keep your wisdom teeth, they help the orofacial muscles and the facial structure. Very important if you don’t want to snore or have sleep apnea, not that that is the only cause. Over breathing andpoor swallow are also causes.

    December 20th, 2012 12:26 pm Reply
  • Holly Delahaye via Facebook

    I had to have two of mine removed since they were growing in sideways and were causing much pain.

    December 20th, 2012 12:18 pm Reply
  • Ali Wright via Facebook

    I so wish I never got all four wisdom teeth out! Traumatic experience with long-term effects – horrible head/jaw/neck pain, couldn’t eat solid food for six weeks, TMJ, and eventually turned into chronic headaches/migraines/dizziness. I was forced to take a few years off from college. It’s been a long journey – 7 years from this January and I’m still not completely healed. All this to say, please avoid this surgery if you can!

    December 20th, 2012 12:18 pm Reply
  • Ashley Trueman via Facebook

    My dentists says I’m more “evolved” (jokingly) because I don’t have any wisdom teeth at all. They just never developed and there’s no sign if them coming.

    December 20th, 2012 12:03 pm Reply
  • Lisa Ristuccia via Facebook

    My husband had his removed at the nice old age of 40…he was supposed to have had them out when he was in his late 20’s and back when we had double dental insurance. But he waited, his bottom teeth shifted as the teeth came in, his jaws ached all the time and we ended up with a big dental bill to boot. His jaw is no longer aching and he recovered fairly well for an old person (40 being old for the surgery.) Now my mom is having pain from her wisdome teeth but she is on blood thinner and 64. Nobody will perform the surgery on her as she is too risky so she gets to live in daily pain. She wishes she had had it done when she was healthy. So not sure this is always a good idea. Easy to say if you are young(er) and not in any pain.

    December 20th, 2012 11:53 am Reply
  • Debbie Pavloff via Facebook

    I had all 4 of mine out years ago but there wasn’t room in my mouth to get them clean as they should be and there were full of cavities. Of course, that was before I was into healthy eating and reading about all that goes on in the medical profession. I was ignorant.

    December 20th, 2012 11:37 am Reply
  • Lori Lamb via Facebook

    I’ve often wondered why God gives us 32 teeth and then we are told that 4 of them need to be removed. Crazy It was bad enough that I had those 4 removed but then they filled 13 of my teeth with mercury fillings that later cost me 2500 to have removed because of toxic levels of mercury in my body. More and more I think unless necessary the further you can stay away from Dr’s and Dentists the better for your health.

    December 20th, 2012 11:36 am Reply
  • Mamatha Balasubramanian via Facebook

    Thanks so much for this post! Every time I go for a dental check up, my dentist tells me I need to have my wisdom teeth extracted as they may cause problems in the future but I’ve been postponing for various reasons (TTC, pregnancy, breast feeding…). Now I know better.

    December 20th, 2012 11:23 am Reply
  • Tiffani Beckman-McNeil via Facebook

    still have all 4 of mine, even though they aren’t completely erupted. and i’m 38! I have to convince them everytime I want to keep my teeth until there is a problem.

    December 20th, 2012 11:03 am Reply
  • Edeline Hubregtse via Facebook

    I’m 52 and glad to say I’ve got all my wisdom teeth still in my jaw.

    December 20th, 2012 11:02 am Reply
  • Cindy Townes Ritchey via Facebook

    I had a dentist who told me every visit to get them out. He finally gave up because only if I’m having problems would I even consider it. And I only have three and a couple don’t have roots.

    December 20th, 2012 11:01 am Reply
  • Joselyn Hoffman Schutz via Facebook

    Cavities in any teeth are a sign to increase K2 (grassfed butter, fermented cod liver oil, etc.) dramatically & reduce grains & sugars extremely, stat. Doing that stopped the cavities in every member of my family immediately. No pain, no progression for five years.

    December 20th, 2012 10:53 am Reply
  • Amy Davidson Heaton via Facebook

    My oldest daughter’s dental x-rays shows that she doesn’t even have wisdom teeth. I thought that was strange. I had mine out when I was 16 as a standard procedure, but my husband never did have his out. I’m glad that I read this. I will watch to see if my other kids have them and not instantly jump to have them removed unnecessarily.

    December 20th, 2012 10:50 am Reply
  • Dara Weaver via Facebook

    What about when they get cavities (I’m in my mid-30s)… are they worth filling?

    December 20th, 2012 10:38 am Reply
  • Amanda Torres via Facebook

    I wish I had never had mine taken out. I was 16. No symptoms. I remember them using the argument that we’d spent so many years and so much money straightening my teeth with braces, it’d be a shame to ruin it with the wisdom teeth crowding the others out. Ugh. I had a HORRIBLE recovery, I couldn’t eat solid food for more than a week, I was in so much pain. I could barely even open my mouth to speak for several days after! And my face swelled up like a chipmunk and was black and blue all over. It was one of the most miserable experiences of my life.

    December 20th, 2012 10:25 am Reply
  • Elizabeth Bivens via Facebook

    Mine had roots imbedded in my jaw bone. They HAD to come out. The pain was unbearable!!

    December 20th, 2012 10:23 am Reply
  • Heidi Mills via Facebook

    I’m 31 and I did not have my wisdom teeth removed. However, now all four of them have cavities that I’m actively working on trying to heal.

    December 20th, 2012 10:23 am Reply
  • Catherine Conrady via Facebook

    When my older son was 18 his orthodondist told him he should have his wisdom teeth removed but his dentist at the time recommended not to do it because he judged that there was enough room and that those teeth could come in handy some day in the future as strong posts for other missing teeth. We didn’t do it and he is just fine. My younger son 22 also kept his wisdom teeth even though he keeps getting pressured into having them removed. I kept mine and they are the healthiest 33 year old teeth I have in my mouth.

    December 20th, 2012 10:17 am Reply
  • Joselyn Hoffman Schutz via Facebook

    I actually heard my dentist tell a 35 year old patient his should be removed. He said there was not any problem, but if he had them removed, it would be easier to brush the rest and he’d be less likely to get cavities in them … b/c they wouldn’t be there.

    That was the last time I ever went to that dentist.

    December 20th, 2012 10:06 am Reply
  • Marnie Mellish via Facebook

    I still have three of mine left plus a fifth one lying sideways under where the fourth one, once removed, sits.

    December 20th, 2012 10:00 am Reply
  • Rebecca Kiesz-Meyer via Facebook

    I had a hairline fracture in my cheekbone as a result of my oral extractions. It was so painful!

    December 20th, 2012 9:59 am Reply
  • Dee Plough Karnes via Facebook

    I still have one of mine and I’m 66 yrs old!

    December 20th, 2012 9:57 am Reply
  • Chrissy Cordon via Facebook

    If I’m in pain I schedule an appointment but we also eat whole foods, pastures meats and lots of veggies. Sugar/flour binds with minerals and nutrients to aid digestion. If the diet is lacking in these it pulls it from existing tissues and bone (teeth). Weston A. Price DDS

    December 20th, 2012 9:56 am Reply
  • Bev Wittkop via Facebook

    Must add, my experience as an oral surgery tech was in the Air Force. Young patient population. There was a steady stream of kids with pericoronitis (inflammation around the crown) of teeth that were partially erupted, with the front of the tooth caught underneath the tooth in front. No amount of wishful thinking was going to fix such a problem. Debride, then pull.

    December 20th, 2012 9:53 am Reply
  • Chrissy Cordon via Facebook

    I’m so glad I didn’t have mine removed! 3 of the 4 are all the way in and my current dentist says they’re doing great great. Normally they recommend having them removed to prevent possible future problems. I’d been told to do this many times before but didn’t thankfully.

    December 20th, 2012 9:53 am Reply
  • Denise Howard via Facebook

    spring break my freshman year spent in agony recovering from that stupid surgery. I wasn’t having problems with my wisdom teeth either. What a waste, huh?

    December 20th, 2012 9:49 am Reply
  • Brittany Blankenship via Facebook

    I should add, even though mine were painful and needed to come out… I have TMJ b/c of the surgery :(

    December 20th, 2012 9:49 am Reply
  • Megan Wray Canfield via Facebook

    I was supposed to have mine out at 18… my parents forgot to schedule the surgery! And my dentist now says I don’t need the surgery… 10 years later… because they haven’t moved from where they were 10 years ago! So glad I didn’t remind my parents to schedule it :) also, my husband and I haven’t been to the dentist in those 10 years bc we didn’t have insurance. We eat mostly whole foods. How did our first visit go after so long? Some plaque… and not that much. But they still want to see me in 6 months…??? I think I’ll eat good food and come back in 10 years since all they want to do is take unecessary x-rays twice a year!

    December 20th, 2012 9:49 am Reply
  • Tony Goldenberg via Facebook

    Had mine done and my lower lip has been partially numb since that day in 1974. What was I thinking. No dentist, and I saw a bunch of them as a kid, ever said anything about needing this in the future.

    December 20th, 2012 9:49 am Reply
  • Dia Giordano via Facebook

    Most Dentists unfortunately have become surgery-happy like most orthopedic docs. We’ve had multiple cases of ‘mandatory’ oral surgery diagnoses that ‘miraculously’ resolved themselves once we decided not to do it. Impacted teeth ( 2 diff dentists’ diagnosis), root canals, wisdom teeth, etc. Let’s use our heads people. Surgery is a violation not to be undertaken lightly. “You’ll ruin your child’s teeth if you don’t act now” was said OFTEN. Ugh.
    Thanks to sites like this for bringing a little common sense to the argument.

    December 20th, 2012 9:47 am Reply
  • Dia Giordano via Facebook

    Most Dentists unfortunately have become surgery-happy like most orthopedic docs. We’ve had multiple cases of ‘mandatory’ oral surgery diagnoses that ‘miraculously’ resolved themselves once we decided not to do it. Impacted teeth ( 2 diff dentists’ diagnosis), root canals, wisdom teeth, etc. Let’s use our heads people. Surgery is a violation not to be undertaken lightly. “You’ll ruin your child’s teeth if you don’t act now” was said OFTEN. Ugh.
    Thanks to sites like this for bringing a little common sense to the argument.

    December 20th, 2012 9:47 am Reply
  • Bev Wittkop via Facebook

    Poor nutrition in the past century has created faces with short mandibles and not enough space for adult teeth to develop properly. I worked for an oral surgeon for years and can’t remember him pulling teeth that weren’t impacted, usually the bottom. If you pull those, you must pull the top, as there will be nothing to oppose them and they will continue to erupt into the space.

    December 20th, 2012 9:45 am Reply
  • Cindi Klemm via Facebook

    the girl twin is getting hers out, boy twin does not need them out. depends on the situation

    December 20th, 2012 9:45 am Reply
  • Brittany Jenkins Herring via Facebook

    My husband still has his at 24 and every time he goes to the dentist they try to have him make an appointment to have them out but we haven’t had any issues whatsoever. Not planning to have them removed unless something suddenly comes up! I had mine out and all were impacted in my tiny little mouth but I would have loved to have gone without my bruised cheeks for two weeks afterwards!

    December 20th, 2012 9:45 am Reply
  • Heidi Engwert Bott via Facebook

    My wisdom teeth didn’t come in until I started having kids! With each pregnancy (4) they would come in a little more. Thankfully my dentist took a very hands off approach to things like wisdom teeth and cavities.

    December 20th, 2012 9:44 am Reply
  • Linford Martha Glick via Facebook

    still have all of mine at 43 :)

    December 20th, 2012 9:44 am Reply
  • Sarah Reddick via Facebook

    I was being pressured to have my out in high school but ignored them….that was 10 years ago and I have never had a single issue!!!

    December 20th, 2012 9:42 am Reply
  • Jeremy Blankenship via Facebook

    I have certainly heard this surgery does cause permanent paresthesia. I hope everyone takes this to heart and only has them removed if it’s absolutely necessary.

    December 20th, 2012 9:39 am Reply
  • Brittany Blankenship via Facebook

    I think this is dead on in most cases. My wisdom teeth were the exception I believe, there was no room in my mouth. I’d already had 8 permanent teeth taken out due to lack of room. My teeth were so crowded it was painful. My wisdom teeth would cut through and go back down under the gums. It went on for 5 years before we had it looked at and half the wisdom tooth was under (more like tilted into) my back molar, and wouldn’t let it come through.

    It was a painful surgery and I HATED it. I would never put someone through that without knowing they ABSOLUTELY needed it. Good article :)

    December 20th, 2012 9:39 am Reply
  • Janice Fuentes via Facebook

    What I find odd is how this became a common thing. How did people come upon this idea that just because some people have problems means it should be standard across the board. And how it seems as if you are guaranteed to need them pulled. Like as if humans have always had dentists pulling them out since the beginning of time. Lol. I had this idea too when I was younger. But mine needed to come out. I waited until I was 21 and then one got infected and one was embedded and I couldn’t open my mouth even large enough for a French fry and I lived off what I could get from a straw until I could get it done. But my 3rd one is still there to this day. I never had a 4th. Never formed.

    December 20th, 2012 9:37 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    I wish I had never had mine out. They definitely did not need to be removed.

    December 20th, 2012 9:37 am Reply
  • Jeremy Blankenship via Facebook

    I was part of the 1/3 that answered yes to all of those questions and needed this surgery. Mine did crowd and push all my teeth and I now need braces.

    December 20th, 2012 9:37 am Reply
  • Jerica

    I had mentioned to my previous dentist that I always felt like i had a lot of pressure on my teeth & piercing sinus pains. I questioned him about getting my wisdoms out and he kept saying that I didn’t need to get them out.
    Finally after switching dentists, they took new x-rays and noticed that all four wisdoms were impacted. They were pushing so much on my other teeth that the upper central incisors were slowly starting to go inwards (kind of like this: ^). Finally after having them removed I couldn’t be any happier! No more sinus pain and pressure, such a great relief.

    December 19th, 2012 9:56 am Reply
  • Kate

    Most dentists are just like doctors. They don’t care about your health; they only care about the money they are brainwashing you into giving them. Doctors give you harmful chemical filled prescriptions to cover up the problems only because they want your money. Most dentists con you into thinking you need your wisdom teeth out when the only reason is so they can steal your money. It’s absolutely sickening.

    December 2nd, 2012 6:36 pm Reply
  • Amanda W.

    I am 29 and have had both top wisdom teeth pulled in the past due to cavities and pain. I recently went to the dentist for my bottom left wisdom tooth. It had a large cavity and was starting to hurt on a regular basis. So I had it pulled. Everything went fine during the extraction. Four days later, I went back to get a molar on the top right pulled, due to decay and the dentist told me that the remaining wisdom tooth had some bad roots and he suggested removal. I agreed and so while he was pulling and twisting I heard a bunch of cracking and then felt a large chunk o tooth fly from my mouth, into my hair! I thought everything was okay cause no one said otherwise. He then pulled the top molar, which hurt like hell and had to be dug and drilled on. When I got home, I changed my gauze and looked at the wisdom tooth site. I was shocked and pissed to find that the molar in front of the now extracted wisdom tooth was broken. There was a huge chunk taken from the back of the tooth. And it is sharp as hell which is tearing into the under side of my tongue. I also ended up getting a dry socket in the left wisdom tooth site. And that is very painful. So beware of who does the surgery and speak your mind because they are your teeth. That molar WAS cavity and break free until now. Good Luck!!

    November 23rd, 2012 6:54 pm Reply
  • Alissa

    i only have two on the lower jaw, i can see only a little bit of both. Im 30, no pain, but my dentist wants some dollars. I told her, only get the fudge outta there!

    October 30th, 2012 2:19 am Reply
  • Debra Busker Patrick via Facebook

    We canceled our daughters appt to have her wisdom teeth removed. The dentist recommended it, but after questioning the surgeon he said she had plenty of room in her mouth for them and no pain or sensitivity. And after seeing her Xrays myself, I could see her wisdoms were growing in straight. One was actually still very deep and they said they would have to work to get that one out. After discussing it as a family and reading material you recommended, we chose not to have her go through it. If things change in the future, then we will take a look again. But for now we are all so glad we didn’t allow them to guilt us into an unnessecary procedure for our daughter. Thank you for your infomative reports!!

    October 26th, 2012 2:43 pm Reply
  • Serry Sue

    Believe it or not I actually want mine taken out. I only have two on the upper set, and one of them is impacted and causing me a shit load of pain. I figure I’d rather have it out and gone instead of dealing with it. However, the one of my left side isn’t causing any issue, and I plan to have a talk with the orthodontist during the consultation to ask him if he really honestly thinks it’s necessary for that one to go, since it seems to be just fine. However, the one of my right side is making it painful for me to eat, so I do need that out. It’s also pushing the molar next to it outwards, so yes, I’d rather have that gone.

    October 25th, 2012 6:44 pm Reply
  • Metta Morphose via Facebook

    I had mine removed when mine were impacted and caused an infection. I remember feeling pain once and it subsided, and so I didn’t think much of it until 6 months later and a few days after that an infection set in, the right side of my face/jaw were swollen ..severe pain!. I can say that the Oral Surgeon who removed my wisdom teeth was fantastic..I’ve heard other people have problems afterwards (nerve issues) when this is not done correctly

    October 25th, 2012 4:24 pm Reply
  • Rachel Greenfield via Facebook

    I had to have mine out despite having intended not to, they came in when I was 25 and were crooked. The bottom two were impacted and one of those came up facing forwards in the gum space of the molar in front of it making a big open hole down to the bone. One on top was sideways and cut my inner cheek which got infected so I had to remove them… I had the fourth unerupted one taken out at the same time because if it came through it would face my cheek. The bottom ones hurt like hell to get out and I would not recommend removing wisdom teeth unless you NEED to. I know someone who has all his and they’re just fine. There’s a reason we have them…

    October 25th, 2012 11:48 am Reply
  • Gabriella Iacobone via Facebook

    Mine were recommended to be removed since there wasn’t enough room for them to come in fully (thanks, European sugar lovin’ genes) and they were decayed and causing gingivitis. I went through hell with the one dry socket, but it’s worth it if my oral health is better

    October 25th, 2012 10:24 am Reply
  • Jaye Procure via Facebook

    Our new dentist congratulated our daughter for still having all her (functional) wisdom teeth.

    October 25th, 2012 10:22 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Yes .. do that or try perhaps a second opinion.

    October 25th, 2012 9:36 am Reply
  • Rachael Resendiz via Facebook

    so if the orthodontist tells a parent their kid needs his wisdom teeth out what should they do? decline and just keep on with the braces?

    October 25th, 2012 8:46 am Reply
  • Rachael Resendiz via Facebook

    so if the orthodontist tells a parent their kid needs his wisdom teeth out what should they do? decline and just keep on with the braces?

    October 25th, 2012 8:46 am Reply
  • Sarah

    I’m 33 and have been told by dentists since I was a teenager that my wisdom teeth would have to be pulled. I was given many reasons before they started to come in and after that I’ve heard this: “well they are healthy now but they will turn into cavities because they are so far back in the mouth which make them harder to clean” I still have them and I don’t think they are hard to clean. Eating a natural whole food diet probably helps though. I’m just happy that from a young age I stuck to my guns on it. It has always seemed crazy to me to take perfectly good teeth out of my mouth.

    October 25th, 2012 8:39 am Reply
  • Rachael Resendiz via Facebook

    still have mine and no problems. the orthodontist told my brother he needed his out because he didn’t have room. hmm i guess if I ever want braces I would too but Im good.

    October 25th, 2012 8:37 am Reply
  • Janelle Hoxie via Facebook

    I have 3 wisdom teeth that are in, one that has lots of space, one that caused a couple infections because it had a flap of gum over it but now it is in all the way, and one that is slightly off to the side. I wouldn’t consider getting this surgery unless there were major problems.

    October 25th, 2012 7:56 am Reply
  • Genny Boughan Carter via Facebook

    Sadly I had a LOT of problems with mine and was happy to have them out. But now I have one that never filled in (11 years later) and is constantly abscessed. My daughter has been having lots of pain from hers and is scheduled to get 3 of them out in 2 weeks. Praying she doesn’t have the after issues I do.

    October 25th, 2012 6:43 am Reply
  • Cecelia Garnham via Facebook

    I was pleasantly surprised when the oral surgeon talked my daughter out of having her wisdom teeth extracted. One year later when they started causing her problems, she and he were both happy to have them removed.

    October 25th, 2012 6:23 am Reply
  • Jessica Niehaus via Facebook

    Mine are removed and I have no problems… Don’t think it was unnecessary since I had tmj like symptoms before and was better after. My boyfriends getting his removed this month. He has had multiple opinions even from holistic dentist and they all agreed it needs to go. Sometimes you need to trust your doctors and dentists… Sometimes you don’t. I really think its case by case and we still need to have trained professionals providing diagnosis overall.

    October 25th, 2012 1:12 am Reply
  • Charles Clark Peebles via Facebook

    Still got all 4 of mine…

    October 25th, 2012 12:56 am Reply
  • Lillian Hardabura-Dar via Facebook

    SO true! :((

    October 25th, 2012 12:49 am Reply
  • Guerda Merilien via Facebook

    I though your wisdom tooth mess up the the rest of the row

    October 25th, 2012 12:17 am Reply
  • Kathleen Lawson Roberts via Facebook

    Mine were removed thanks to the military. No issues, just standard procedure.

    October 25th, 2012 12:01 am Reply
  • Tammy ‘Simpson’ Walter via Facebook

    I am a dental hygienist and I’ve been saying for years that the whole wisdom teeth thing is simply a money maker. Most people have no need to have them removed. I have all four of mine and I’m feeling very wise.

    October 24th, 2012 11:54 pm Reply
  • Sherry Garton Rapp via Facebook

    I had one extracted, got a dry socket, it took almost a year for the hole to close up. Now I have been told that I have bone loss in the bone where the tooth was. My dentist said that one day I may have to have a bone graft. Not happening!

    October 24th, 2012 11:45 pm Reply
  • Kathy Pilarcik Deutsch via Facebook

    do not do it. I had mine removed one one side on the doctor’s insistence, now I always have trouble in that spot.

    October 24th, 2012 11:39 pm Reply
  • Lyndsey Gillespie via Facebook

    Oh how I wish I had known about this years ago! I had a horrific experience both with the surgery (waking up before they were finished) and then the recovery (dry socket in both sides on the bottom, nasty clove packing, then a dr deciding my stitches needed removed despite the fact that they were supposed to dissolve, thus re-opening the wound and causing more trauma to the area.) Thank you for posting this!

    October 24th, 2012 11:30 pm Reply
  • Lyssa Drummond Holbrook via Facebook

    I ignored my dentist at age 18 when he told me i needed to remove mine. i still have em and am fine. he also told me I had some cavities. I don’t think I’ve been back since then and it’s been over ten years and i haven’t had any probs with either my “cavities” or wisdom teeth.

    October 24th, 2012 11:26 pm Reply
  • Blanca Villanueva Perez via Facebook

    I still have all four…I lost a molar tho; I hope they can move that tooth to the molar site…would be great! I gotta get the silver junk outta my mouth first. I found a holistic & biological dentist. =)

    October 24th, 2012 11:24 pm Reply
  • Mandy Robinson via Facebook

    Mine were becoming impacted and were so painful that I had them pulled. However, my husband still has his…lucky duck. 😛

    October 24th, 2012 11:23 pm Reply
  • Mandy Robinson via Facebook

    Mine were becoming impacted and were so painful that I had them pulled. However, my husband still has his…lucky duck. 😛

    October 24th, 2012 11:23 pm Reply
  • Maria Phillips via Facebook

    No oral surgery needed with the Damon System. My oldest was having problems with wisdom teeth and the braces allowed space for them without the need for extraction. My kids had extremely narrow arches like dad and youngest had 10 impacted teeth. There is no need to pull teeth with this and my middle child had a beautiful smile within months. We could not believe that they straightened out so quickly with no need for extracting 3-4 teeth as suggested by an ignorant ortho. The arches have expanded very nicely with mimimal discomfort and all teeth have came in and/or straightened…some very happy kids! There is a 30% risk of nerve damage if wisdom teeth are removed that have not erupted due to space constrant.

    October 24th, 2012 11:13 pm Reply
  • Marissa Marlin Arnold via Facebook

    I still have mine! :)

    October 24th, 2012 11:12 pm Reply
  • Marissa Marlin Arnold via Facebook

    I still have mine! :)

    October 24th, 2012 11:12 pm Reply
  • Marissa Marlin Arnold via Facebook

    I still have mine! :)

    October 24th, 2012 11:12 pm Reply
  • Nicki Morin Black via Facebook

    As a teen and into my early 20s, all four of mine were impacted, growing horizontally inward. My dentist repeatedly told my parents that I needed to have them removed. Because they were quoted $2k a tooth, and said there was a chance I could incur nerve damage, we put it off. Now 20-some years later, all four are now straight. I’m not sure how it happened, but I’m glad it did and that we never went through the oral surgery.

    October 24th, 2012 11:12 pm Reply
  • Lydia Giza via Facebook

    A couple of mine have poked through, but once I was done “teething” they’ve never given me any trouble. The dentist I was going to a couple years ago said they had cavities and all needed to be removed…don’t know what was up with her b/c when I went back to my old dentist (he is so worth the extra drive) he said there wasn’t a thing wrong with them. Capped them so I wouldn’t get cavities (everyone in my fam has deep grooves in their teeth that tend to cause problems, especially when you can barely reach them to brush). He agrees 100% that there is no need to remove them unless I start having problems. Plus he hasn’t said a word about my refusing X-rays the past couple years. He’s the best!!!

    October 24th, 2012 11:06 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    I don’t intend to even consider having them removed in my children. If they have issues, then fine, but otherwise – impacted or not they are a nonissue.

    October 24th, 2012 11:01 pm Reply
  • Suzin Lee via Facebook

    i got it when i was 18 but i had to have the surgery notthat i loved it at the time, i only had two days to survive that surgery and take medicine that was the strongest i had ever had, i am glad i got it done but if i did not have to i would not have.

    October 24th, 2012 10:57 pm Reply
  • Peggy Hass Grimins via Facebook

    All four of my wisdom teeth were horizontally impacted and infected. It was so painful and the surgery and recovery were horrible too.

    October 24th, 2012 10:56 pm Reply
  • Michaela Vodvarka via Facebook

    I don’t have bottom ones… I’ve had X-rays and they’re just not there!! Haha

    October 24th, 2012 10:56 pm Reply
  • Michaela Vodvarka via Facebook

    I got mine when I was 15-16 and I only got my top ones… I still have them they didn’t shift my teeth or anything. No problems with them at all

    October 24th, 2012 10:55 pm Reply
  • Alternative Health Solutions via Facebook

    wish I had never had them taken out when I was 22.

    October 24th, 2012 10:53 pm Reply
  • Ann Hibbard via Facebook

    My parents sent me money to have all four removed. I only had the two that hurt removed and used the money for something else. Funny now. Not to mention that the two remaining wisdom teeth are some of the only ones that actually chew food today.

    October 24th, 2012 10:49 pm Reply
  • Tijana OCeallaigh via Facebook

    Well I only had one of my wisdom teeth erupt pretty late, started to come out around age 28 or so. It only partially erupted and then stopped and hasn’t made any more progress in 5 years or so. My other two teeth will likely never erupt since they are still (at age 34) up above the jaw bone (the fourth one is missing all together). Anyway I went to the dentist a few months ago after a long hiatus and she recommended removing it, because it was only half out and apparently that can cause big problems with infections down the line and it’s only a matter of time and so on and she said if it were to get infected it could infect the whole jaw and the brain and blah blah blah – it all sounded pretty scary. I went ahead and did it, if it had been all the way out I would’ve just left it there, but she made it sound so scary! So I am wondering if those myths and facts still apply with partially erupted teeth?

    October 24th, 2012 10:49 pm Reply
  • Samantha Wikander via Facebook

    I <3 my wisdom teeth!

    October 24th, 2012 10:48 pm Reply
  • Samantha Wikander via Facebook

    I <3 my wisdom teeth!

    October 24th, 2012 10:48 pm Reply
  • Julie Cox via Facebook

    I, too, had no room for my wisdom teeth, despite having lost 4 adult teeth in orthodontia. I hadn’t really thought about them, as they weren’t troubling me. I would have kept them if they didn’t, very suddenly, lock my jaw up completely, making my unable to open my jaw whatsoever to even force feed myself. Locked my jaw up on a Friday, chiropractor couldn’t relieve it Saturday and recommended visiting the dentist. Saw the dentist Monday and went straight from there to the oral surgeon. Got all 4 removed and was able to eat stir-fry that evening with no pain whatsoever. At check-ups, the surgeon was shocked at how easily, effortlessly, and painlessly I could open my mouth to the fullest extent.
    My body had decided I had to get them removed.

    I’m hoping things will be different for my kids, as their prenatal health and childhood health and diets are very different than mine.

    October 24th, 2012 10:47 pm Reply
  • Christina Cardwell via Facebook

    Love this post! I have all 4 of mine. They have come in 1 at a time over the last few years. My mom thought I was crazy when I told her I wasn’t letting someone cut teeth out of my mouth for no good reason. 😉

    October 24th, 2012 10:46 pm Reply
  • Kammie Whitten via Facebook

    I work in a dental office. I have seen a lot of situations where an extraction is beneficial. They become a problem when there isnt enough room to completely erupt. If they are only out partway they become a collect all, resulting in cavities. Also I have patiens that have them and in most cases they are very hard for them to reah and tend to have the problems first.

    October 24th, 2012 10:45 pm Reply
  • Annie Tuttle via Facebook

    I’m thirty and mine are all “impacted,” but haven’t moved in the last 10 years (according to x-rays) and don’t hurt. No signs of abscess or root damage. I’m waiting for them to dissolve on their own.

    October 24th, 2012 10:45 pm Reply
  • Shawna Marie via Facebook

    in my case if they wouldve seen it earlier it would have saved my back teeth.

    October 24th, 2012 10:45 pm Reply
  • Joselyn Hoffman Schutz via Facebook

    Lorri, wisdom teeth are normal. Jaws so narrow that wisdom teeth (and for some four more) don’t fit are not. They’re a modern perq of our nutrient-deficient diet. Weston Price nailed it.

    October 24th, 2012 10:45 pm Reply
  • Andrea Haegele via Facebook

    Had to have all 4 removed, they were forward facing, 2 never going to erupt,

    October 24th, 2012 10:43 pm Reply
  • Shawna Marie via Facebook

    my back top teeth were pulled from the damage of the wisdoms coming in wrong. Im still angry!!!

    October 24th, 2012 10:43 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Dr. Friedman states that only 12% of wisdom teeth actually require removal.

    October 24th, 2012 10:43 pm Reply
  • Joselyn Hoffman Schutz via Facebook

    I heard my dentist talking a guy into it. The guy was in his 30s and asked why. DDS said he should get it done b/c it’s hard to reach back there and it would be easier to take care of his other teeth w/o having to worry about the wisdom teeth. The dude had no cavities and no impaction! (If impactful can be a word, so can impactful! :) )

    October 24th, 2012 10:43 pm Reply
  • Ivy Clinger via Facebook

    I waited until I was ready to rip them out myself with a pair of pliers! It was more painful having them grow in than having them removed in my case.

    October 24th, 2012 10:42 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    My wisdom teeth removal was completely and utterly unnecessary.

    October 24th, 2012 10:42 pm Reply
  • Shawna Marie via Facebook

    my dentist told me i had none, so late in my 20s I had jaw pain pressure and headaches and they had came in upside down impacted or whatever and ruined all my back teeth in front of it.

    October 24th, 2012 10:42 pm Reply
  • Lorri Salcido Navarette via Facebook

    I’ve always wondered why we even have wisdom teeth. Everyone gets them removed when they get braces it seems.

    October 24th, 2012 10:40 pm Reply
  • Tamara St John via Facebook

    I wish I would have known that back then.

    October 24th, 2012 10:39 pm Reply
  • Lani Axman via Facebook

    I’ve still got mine. 32 years old and no problems so far.

    October 24th, 2012 10:38 pm Reply
  • Lindsey Morrison via Facebook

    My last dentist and the oral surgeon I had to visit to get a different tooth extracted (no root canal for me, thanks) were both amazed that I have all 4 of my wisdom teeth and that they’re all out and available for chewing. I am almost 35 years old.

    October 24th, 2012 10:37 pm Reply
  • Tonja Field via Facebook

    mine was absolutely necessary! my jaw is small and my teeth are HUGE. those suckers just weren’t gonna fit! haha

    October 24th, 2012 10:37 pm Reply
  • Dental Care

    One reason why wisdom tooth has to be extracted is because it can be hard to clean that far back into the jaw. As a result, food gets lodged there and develop cavities that cause problems. So, I do agree that pulling it out is not necessary, but you do have to make an effort to brush and clean your teeth, especially when it’s further back.

    September 20th, 2012 10:33 pm Reply
  • Bryan

    I am 22 and my first wisdom tooth is coming in the bottom left, I see the very beginnings of the bottom right one as well, but that is an issue a few more years from now.

    Can a doctor tell if the wisdom tooth is going to come in without problems WITHOUT an xray? I have a couple reasons for being against them, but that isnt the issue. Can’t he just tell by seeing it?

    Or should I just wait for the tooth to come in and go from there? I am experiencing very minor discomfort, but it isn’t anything too bad.

    September 1st, 2012 12:22 pm Reply
  • jo

    Lies, lies, lies

    2 wisdom teeth impacted on bottom and they crowded all of my bottom teeth together into a crooked mess.
    1 wisdom tooth on top caused months and months of migraine head aches from the pain and pressure
    Now at 34, the 1 last wisdom tooth in the top has moved down and is moving itself directly into the roots of the adjacent molar. Ouch doesn’t cover it.

    If I had had all 4 taken out at once I could have avoided all the severe headaches and pain these stupid teeth have caused me.

    August 22nd, 2012 2:26 pm Reply
  • Stephanie

    I just had one taken out today, bottom right. I kept the bottom left, as there is no medical reason to remove it, and I never had uppers and never will. The tooth that was pulled was partially impacted. That alone was not a big deal, but it was largely covered by the gum (and infested with bacteria because of it) and was sitting on a nerve in way that give me a chronic for a month from the time it emerged from the time earlier today that it was extracted. Some of us definitely need this surgery. The headache was too much and easilty solved by extraction.

    August 20th, 2012 8:59 pm Reply
    • Stephanie

      Sorry for the typos.

      August 20th, 2012 9:00 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    I’m almost done with braces and my orthodontist keeps telling me to remove my wisdom teeth. They haven’t emerged from the gums yet. I am not feeling any pain but the orthodontists says that my teeth might be impacted and the wisdom teeth will make my other teeth crooked. I really don’t want to take them out, what should I do?

    August 16th, 2012 1:42 pm Reply
    • luispihormiguero

      If they aren’t painful, keep them.

      August 20th, 2012 10:57 am Reply
    • jim

      get em out .. i had my braces removed and my lower wisdoms made my lower teeth crookd again and i had to get them out.

      January 7th, 2014 11:22 pm Reply
  • Marc

    Had x-rays when I was 15. Dentist said I had no sign of wizzys along the bottom but the top ones had to come out. Decided against the surgery but only because I hate going to the dentist. Just turned 30 a week ago and in that 15 years I’ve had no problems. My top two wisdom teeth are now fully emerged. They came with a little soreness in the gums but nothing I couldn’t tolerate. I had my braces off at 17, wore a retainer at night and had a few cavities filled. Other than that, I go in for a cleaning once a year and listen to the same dentist tell me all the reasons why I should have my wisdom teeth removed. Why can’t dentists do more to assist with the process of wisdom teeth coming in rather then jumping to the conclusion to rip them out? If I go to the doctor with a sore wrist, they don’t immediately say “you’re now at the age to have that hand removed.”

    August 7th, 2012 4:14 pm Reply
  • Rachael

    I’m 19 and a wisdom tooth started erupting earlier this summer. Caused some discomfort for a couple months, but it’s absolutely fine now, untreated. Interesting article + comments.

    August 6th, 2012 6:56 pm Reply
  • GC

    I had 6 wisdom teeth. I had an extra set on the top. All had to come out because of pain and impaction. After having a total of 13 teeth removed, I still had a full mouth with no gaps.

    I’ve wondered that if my mom had been on WAPF (or other healthy WOE), would my mouth have formed to be large enough to hold the 30-some teeth I had? There’s no way of knowing for sure, but it couldn’t have hurt. I’ll be eating the best I can (going back to healthy eating starting today) so hopefully any kids that might appear might not have the same issues.

    August 1st, 2012 11:52 am Reply
  • Jacki

    I just had my wisdom teeth removed yesterday, and not a moment too soon. I’ve been having migraines and jaw pain caused by the pressure from my top two teeth erupting out toward my shoulders and my bottom two growing directly into the bottom of the molars in front of them. This article is absolutely no replacement for advice from a good dentist. I have a really hard time believing only 12% of people experience problems with their wisdom teeth. My dentist advised that I get my wisdom teeth out in my senior year of high school, but for financial reasons, I was unable to. Considering everything I went through, I wish I could have had my teeth pulled/removed sooner; my mouth is small, and my already-crooked teeth got worse. It’s now even harder to brush some of my teeth than it was in January. Some people just do have space in their jaws for the extra teeth, but you can see in an x-ray which ones will be problematic. And I can understand getting them out before they interfere with the alignment of teeth already straightened by braces.

    August 1st, 2012 8:30 am Reply
  • Amir

    Hi Sarah at the Healthy Home Econonmist,

    I’m almost 32 and now experiencing pain and discomfort in the lower right wisdom tooth. Saw the x ray and can clearly see the wisdom tooth just under the gum. It is totally straight and not touching any other tooth. It has been sore on and off for years, but never come out. In the past few days it has been more uncomfortable than before. What would happen if I left the tooth in? Could I use it as another molar? Is the fact that it looks perfectly straight in the xray a reason not to pull it out? I agree with you on the money grab aspect of dentists and “standard” procedures. Thanks.

    July 28th, 2012 2:18 am Reply
  • PMK

    I’m always one that questions things that everyone seems “inevitable”, but I actually was ecstatic about being able to remove my wisdom teeth. My top two grew in straight, but moved and angled my teeth because there was not enough room. My bottom two grew in completely horizontal. The bottom right one finally began to come up, and it seemed to take turns with the bottom left. One month it’d be the right side that hurt, the next, the left. It made it terribly painful to eat. Eventually, my right one would be the one that caused the constant issues. It seemed like there was a flap of gum that was lifted and swollen because the tooth was in limbo on what it wanted to do. I had food stuck in it, it became inflamed and cleaning my impacted teeth and the affected gum was impossible. The dentist told me I could either pay 200+ for a periodontal cleaning for just my two bottom wisdom teeth, or pay 300 to get all four removed. At this point, my teeth had made it hard for me to eat, talk, smile for two years! I spoke with my other coworkers about it, and all of them currently have issues similar, if not identical to mine or have had them taken out because of the same reason. So, the 12% seems unlikely for me. Even my neighbors and my husband have all had issues with their wisdom teeth. If anything, it’s more of a rarity for me to find someone who hasn’t had issues with their wisdom teeth. If my future kids don’t complain about their wisdom teeth, then great. If they take after me, the anxiety will get to them before the dentist even comes in the room. I wouldn’t want to put them through anything like that. But, if it does cause problems, sucking it up for half an hour to remove the teeth is better than the pain that can be caused by it.

    July 20th, 2012 5:31 pm Reply
  • GComper

    Umm.. I don’t think people should trust you. Show me your degree and which dental school you came from.

    July 13th, 2012 3:07 pm Reply
  • anon

    Mine hurt like hell before they were pulled(at 19) and were getting cavities and infecting tissue because they could only get halfway out of the gum. Additionally, having the teeth push my others at a 45 degree angle did affect my alignment, before my molars were more or less straight and now my 12 yr molar is wedged partly under my 6 year molar and rotated. I’m not saying to pull out wisdom teeth that aren’t causing problems, but neither should you have to delay pulling ones that are.

    July 7th, 2012 2:09 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Bartlett

    Ugh, I envy those of you who get to keep your wisdom teeth. My grandmother, my mother, and I have all had to get our wisdom teeth removed. We all have incredibly small jaws and the wisdom teeth were causing my jaw to click and even lock in place once while growing in and they were all growing towards my jaw (away from the teeth) and causing me extreme amounts of pain and only two had broke the gums. I went to the dentist and saw the X Rays and was shocked when my upper wisdom teeth were almost growing out sideways! I was feeling the side of my tooth breaking the gums! I got them removed last tuesday with no problems although I turned into a sobbing baby after I was woke up (emotional issues after the knock out drugs) Anything anyone said had me in tears or cursing at them X) Oops. But its not too bad, I got to spend a week sleeping on the couch and eating icecream untill I was thouroughly sick of it. I think if you have a family history of bad dental health and the past couple generations have had the problem you probably will too. I waited untill I was 18 to get them removed even though they started getting incredibly painful around 17. I wish I hadnt waited. I could have lived without choking on a sandwhich in highschool when it brushed against my wisdoms (through the gums) and caused me to gasp from the pain thereby inhaling in that dang PB&J bite, most embarassing moment of my life. Half the cafeteria crowded around me, not to help but watch me cough and gag up the inhaled bits… Tons of fun..

    April 18th, 2012 4:25 am Reply
  • antonis

    I tend to believe that also braces are often unnecessary. 6 years ago my dentist suggested I should visit an orthodontist for health reasons (mainly for the future possibility of gingivitis due to my teeth placement).
    I also had 2 of my wisdom teeth following his suggestion.
    I believe that maybe I could have avoided both (braces lasted for about 2 years and costed significantly)

    February 13th, 2012 8:20 am Reply
  • watchmom3

    Hey, quick question… my post-braces 16 year old daughter is having some wisdom tooth pain and of course, her dentist wants to pull them. I want to wait and see, but in the mean time, does anyone have any natural/homeopathic pain relieving suggestions that worked for you? I would appreciate it. She is not miserable, just uncomfortable. So timely Sarah! Thanks!

    February 11th, 2012 11:03 am Reply
    • anon

      Are they still bothering her? If they are, I’d say pull them. Also make sure she’s wearing her retainer or you might as well flush the money you spent on braces down the toilet.

      September 22nd, 2012 3:38 pm Reply
  • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

    Just me, but mild inflammation on occasion that resolves itself does not warrant surgery to have them out.

    February 4th, 2012 11:53 pm Reply
  • Robyn Kershner

    So true….from an X dental assistant !!! and Grandmother of 8. Been telling people this for years.

    February 1st, 2012 11:53 am Reply
  • renee

    Hi Sarah
    I spotted an article about pink eye on your site, but never got a chance to read it. Now that I am looking for it, I can not find it. Let me know which category it is listed under.

    January 31st, 2012 5:09 pm Reply
  • Laura N.

    After 3 years of braces, they X-rayed me and found that my wisdom teeth were impacted and I was sent to the surgeon to have all 4 removed. I was a teenager and the decision was made for me. I was left with permanent paresthesia (right half of tongue is numb) and a feeling of constant inflammation in the sockets where the teeth were.

    When I asked them (out of curiosity) to show me my teeth afterward, they said I couldn’t see them because they were crushed into little bits. Apparently, they crush the teeth while they’re still inside and remove the pieces. Is it any wonder that so many patients suffer permanent damage?

    It’s been 20 years. This makes me so angry. :-( Fortunately (?), I am so used to my numb tongue that I don’t think about it much any more, but I do wonder if I should do something about the feeling of inflammation, and if so, what would I do?

    January 29th, 2012 11:54 pm Reply
  • Ruby Cortes via Facebook

    my sister and my dad both have wisdom teeth that never came out and never bothered them.. unfortunately, I had mine come out and they hurt and they made my teeth really crooked. My dad and sister where lucky I think… They also h ave naturally straight teeth. Oh well.

    January 29th, 2012 4:29 pm Reply
  • JP

    WOW! I can’t believe that 99% of you had their wisdom teeth pulled out. Why? I’ve never understood that and I still don’t. I was born and raised in Israel, and I’ve never heard of people pulling their wisdom teeth until I came to the USA …Also growing up in Israel as a child I’ve never seen anyone with braces until I moved to the USA(I remember asking someone “what’s that metal thing on ppls teeth) everyone had perfectly straight teeth.

    January 29th, 2012 3:40 am Reply
  • Liz

    Thank you Sarah! I had two of mine taken out when I was 18 as they were comin in. Recently I was surprised when my dentist suggested that I have the other 2 removed. These teeth aren’t bothering me at all and I haven’t had any inclination to remove them, especially when I am the primary caregiver to two very young children!

    January 28th, 2012 10:08 am Reply
  • Mary

    I have all 4 of my wisdom teeth that came in when I was 16. I never had any problems, even when they came in. All the dentists and hygienists are SOOO impressed that I have them and no one has told me to take them out.
    However, when my husband joined the army, he had to have his taken out. Apparently they do this no matter what. He didn’t have any problems and went swimming that afternoon.
    My brother was sick forever after having to have his pulled out under anesthesia.
    My daughters wisdom teeth are ready to pop and the orthodontist keeps telling us to take them out or it will ruin her teeth. That ain’t happening.
    My son has crowded teeth and probably should have braces, but we can’t afford it. Any ideas?
    Have you all read Rami Nagel’s bookCure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, 2nd Edition?

    January 28th, 2012 12:02 am Reply
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  • Fiona

    Interesting! I also had my wisdom teeth extracted when I was younger. I think it was 5 days before my 23rd birthday, so needless to say my birthday was still somewhat miserable, as I couldn’t eat solid food for two weeks!!

    I now wonder whether I should have had it done. On the positive side, it was covered under my parents’ health insurance at the time (I had it done in hospital under general anesthetic), but on the other side… they hadn’t caused me any problems.

    My dentist had decided to give me an X Ray to look at them (none had actually sprouted up through the gums yet) and they were all impacted (agreed, they were sitting at a funny angle) BUT as they hadn’t actually tried to erupt, they’d caused no problems. So in retrospect, I wonder whether I should just have left them? Maybe they would have caused problems years down the track, I don’t know (I do know my father’s became problematic when he was in his 40s or 50s).

    January 27th, 2012 5:52 am Reply
  • iDebbie (@iDebbi)

    “@GetBetterDiet: over two-thirds of cases of wisdom tooth extractions are completely unnecessary” Too late 4 my 3 kids

    January 27th, 2012 5:49 am Reply
  • Michael Acanfora (@BayonneChiro) (@BayonneChiro)

    Skip That Surgery: Most Wisdom Tooth Extractions Unnecessary – The Healthy Home Economist

    January 27th, 2012 12:15 am Reply
  • Harmony

    You are welcome Sarah! I think your blog is awesome.

    January 26th, 2012 9:25 pm Reply
  • Desiree L. Rover

    There is more to extractions of (wisdom) teeth than meets the eye.
    Listen to my radio interview with Hal Huggins DDS, he explains in detail the danger of not correctly executed extractions.
    On go to February 6, 2011
    While you are at it, you also may want to listen to dr. Thomas Levy on vitamin C.
    Both subjects are clearly interrelated.

    January 26th, 2012 9:19 pm Reply
  • Harmony

    Peggy, all your points seem valid to me. Don’t be discouraged because the WAPF diet didn’t fix the alignment problems in your children’s teeth. It would have probably helped more if you had followed the diet even before conception, during pregnancy, etc. But take heart that it has probably prevented your children from serious decay, or any decay in their teeth.

    January 26th, 2012 9:01 pm Reply
  • Lisa B.

    I recently got mine in after getting pregnant. I’m guessing all of those growth hormones made them start coming in at 30. They are only partially emerged on the bottom. No sign of entry on the top. If anything I do feel some crowding, but other than the pain from them coming in no problems to be had.

    January 26th, 2012 8:45 pm Reply
  • Jason

    I had eight (yes, 8!) wisdom teeth removed when I was about 18. Four removed on the left one week then four on the right the next week, none of them erupted. It was the most physically painful experience I have ever had. Local anesthetic (I was fully conscious) and not enough laughing gas. Each visit was about 2 hours in the chair. And they gave no real good reason other than “preventative”. I later learned that in my state, dentist (DDS) often cannot legally prescribe “the shot” to put you out, but oral surgeons can. If I had to have my wisdom teeth removed again, I’d go to an oral surgeon. As for the “preventative crowding” issue, I have large spaces in my gums where the wisdom teeth would be should I still have them.

    Our kids will certainly not be getting them removed, unless of course they really need it.

    January 26th, 2012 8:24 pm Reply
    • Fiona

      Err 8? Did you actually grow 4 extra teeth! I haven’t heard of that happening before.

      January 27th, 2012 5:54 am Reply
  • Sara

    I was fortunate to be born without wisdom teeth so I never had a problem but my husband’s wisdom teeth were all lying flat and pushing his other teeth forward. He had them taken out this last year and he suffered first dry socket, then an infection after that and 7 months of sinus infections. He is infection free at this point but he lost so much weight in the process, and hasn’t been able to gain it back, that it’s disturbing.

    January 26th, 2012 7:25 pm Reply
  • Peggy

    ALL of my children (so far 3 of the 6) have had their wisdom teeth come in sideways and started to misalign teeth that had been corrected previously with braces. I don’t see any way to avoid having them out. Two years on a strict WAPF diet hasn’t changed the condition of the jaw or teeth at all.

    My husband went the other route. His parents couldn’t afford braces for him, and the horrible overlapping and misalignment worsened after his wisdom teeth erupted. He was left with massive cavities, infections and problems. He has had four permanent teeth removed, three root canals and needs much more work.

    I will absolutely take my children on a case-by-case basis, but I will not hesitate to remove wisdom teeth that threaten their dental health as much as my husband’s have been a problem for him.

    January 26th, 2012 7:18 pm Reply
    • Daniel

      Peggy’s experience gets at precisely the issue I was wondering about as I read these comments: Have people following the Weston Price approach experienced any amelioration in their children’s dental bridge width?

      One of Price’s key points in his researches was that people living in traditional societies on traditional diets had wide bridges and all of their wisdom teeth had room to come in normally. It would be interesting, and certainly provide compelling evidence, if modern day followers of Price were experiencing improved dental bridge width and complete integration of wisdom teeth among their children.

      If people are not experiencing that improvement among their children, it will also be interesting to know why not? Is there a kind of Pottenger’s Cat problem among those of us who come from families that followed bad diets for many generations, whereby it cannot even be fixed in one generation?

      As for my own experience, an impacted wisdom tooth was causing chronic inflammation from a periodontal pocket that I couldn’t clean. The surgeon actually removed just the portion of that one wisdom tooth that was causing the problem (not the whole tooth), thereby not disturbing the root and avoiding the danger of damaging the nerve that the wisdom tooth was almost pushing up against.

      It was a very thoughtful and tailored approach that also solved the problem. Neither my dentist nor the surgeon suggested doing anything else with my other three wisdom teeth. So, my own experience gave me a lot of respect for the professionalism and judgment of the dentists I dealt with, and I would tend to think their are many others out there like them.

      January 26th, 2012 9:17 pm Reply
      • Beth

        Yes, there are families being impacted in this way, with the children benefiting from the parents’ awakening to the importance of real foods. I will never forget an article from one of the Wise Traditions journals a few years back describing one family’s transition to traditional food and how they budget their food dollars. The older children raised on a typical SAD diet had crooked teeth, and the younger trad food kids did not. There was a picture in the original article and you could see their broad, beaming smiles!

        Here’s a quote regarding facial structure from that article::

        “As a follower of Dr. Price, I have been interested to see the difference in the development of facial structures between my two older children who were raised on typical American diets for their first eight years and my two younger children, especially my youngest who was nourished primarily with a nutrient-dense diet. Both the older children have had orthodontic care and showed the typical crowding of teeth. Neither of the younger children may need it. If we do not have to provide orthodontic care for the younger children, we will be saving enough money to buy grass-fed meat for many years!”

        I highly recommend the rest of the article for anyone trying to navigate a transition to real food while maintaining a budget. It’s called Healthy Eating Shouldn’t Cost an Arm and a Leg, by Anne M. A. Sergeant, PhD

        January 27th, 2012 6:48 am Reply
        • Daniel

          Thanks! That’s great.

          January 27th, 2012 7:20 am Reply
    • Fiona

      It is my understanding that even if you follow the WAPF diet, you won’t fix tooth misalignment that has already occurred.

      The only way the diet could prevent such problems would be if you were following it prior to the conception of your children.

      It seems that following the recommendations of Weston Price can save teeth with cavities, but it can’t change your basic dental structure once it’s already in place.

      January 27th, 2012 5:58 am Reply
  • Naomi K. Fournier via Facebook

    I’m 23 and I’ve still got all my wisdom teeth. Three of the four are in, although not completely. Thankfully they fit quite nicely in my mouth, after one or two of my other teeth shifted a little (but my teeth are still nice and straight).

    January 26th, 2012 6:59 pm Reply
  • Sheila S

    We waited for my middle son to remove his wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, his lower teeth shifted awfully! That was after braces. Ugh! Turns out the wisdom teeth on the lower jaw were actually facing the sides of the roots of the teeth in front of them and shoving them forward in the mouth. I hope this is not the case with my other children. :(

    January 26th, 2012 6:58 pm Reply
  • Harmony

    Hi Kristina, not always ridiculous. It is called supraeruption. When back teeth occlude (bite together) and one is missing, either the upper or the lower, the one that is not missing will continue to erupt and grow out with its root, because the opposing tooth is not there to stop it. But I think you what you are trying to say is that your upper wisdom teeth didn’t occlude with your lower. You made the right decision about extracting a wisdom tooth with a cavity instead of trying to fill it. A filling would have been expensive, and the outcome very guarded, because it is difficult to place a good strong filling so far back, and because those teeth are so hard to take care of back there. Of course, you could have also tried to remineralize, but I don’t know how far or infected that tooth was.

    January 26th, 2012 6:38 pm Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    So many of the surgeries done are for the purpose of making money, not helping the patient.
    Routinely removing the wisdom teeth is a huge source of dental income, and usually does more harm than good. Every part of our body is there for a purpose, often multiple purposes, and removing anything is a mistake, unless absolutely necessary.

    January 26th, 2012 6:38 pm Reply
  • Kristina

    I got my lower wisdom teeth out because they were crowding other teeth and hurting but I didn’t see any reason to get my uppers out. Of course, they were concerned that they would grown too long without my lowers in place. Ridiculous! My uppers aren’t even lined up over my lowers and besides, I’m almost thirty and they’ve haven’t grown yet. I did end up getting them out I guess because I had a cavity in one and they weren’t going to fix it because they just wanted to pull the teeth. And I worried. Oh well.

    January 26th, 2012 6:07 pm Reply
  • Harmony

    If the wisdom teeth are in good shape and not causing any trouble, then they can be left alone, and usually nothing will come of it. We make the patient aware that they have the option to take them out when they are young though, because they are much more easily removed. They don’t have complete roots out, and usually just roll out. The surgery is much more difficult in an older person, the bone around it has become more dense and compact. Sometimes we see wisdom teeth in very awkward angles (in x-ray) or erupting completely malpositioned and causing patient inflammation, and pain, sometimes affecting even the opposing arch. That’s a situation where offering extraction is reasonable. In my own case, I only had two upper wisdom teeth, and had those removed in dental school because I couldn’t clean well back there, and was developing deep periodontal pockets around those teeth. I had local anesthesia, had the surgery done by a friend in about 20 min, and was back in clinical rotations afterwards. So, I agree with what Sarah says in that wisdom teeth don’t have to be removed just because they are wisdom teeth. The patient has to have indications justifying the surgery. One of the courses in my dental conference last year explained precisely this point. I think the lecturer was from California. About it being profitable, hmmmmm, I guess it depends in how easy it was remove. Sometimes you come across a hard one, sweat for an hour, and get paid a fraction of what you get paid for something like prosthodontics (crowns).

    January 26th, 2012 5:49 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Thanks for chiming in Harmony :)

      January 26th, 2012 6:37 pm Reply
  • OraWellness

    We agree that for the most part, keeping wisdom teeth in the mouth is wise! :)

    The only issue around keeping wisdom teeth is to keep the area clean. Given that the bad bugs that are implicated with gum disease get their best foothold around the molars, having more molars just adds to the attention required to maintain great oral health. That said, we think it’s much better to keep body parts attached to the body! :)

    Routine removal of wisdom teeth is a 3 billion dollar per year industry! Again, the basic rule to any mystery novel applies… Cui bono? Who benefits? Watch the money trail and the ‘controversy’ becomes much clearer.

    To your health!

    January 26th, 2012 5:43 pm Reply
  • marina

    I also had my wizdom teeth removed while in university years ago! I looked like a chipmunk for days, but have not had any problems since.
    Off topic – one funny thing is, my husband, who is in his thirties, has 1 baby tooth left. The dentists can’t understand why :)

    January 26th, 2012 5:40 pm Reply
  • Megan@WifeMommaHomemaker

    Wish I would of known some of these things a lot sooner! I’m thankful that I was blessed with a easy surgery and recovery, but still why go through all of it when it unnecessary?! I find myself questioning anything that mainstream says is common or “normal.”

    January 26th, 2012 4:58 pm Reply
  • Tammy Wittig

    This makes sense. I had all 4 wisdom teeth out when I was 16 (20 years ago). I don’t know why – the dentist told my parents to get it done and we didn’t question it. (!?) I had a terrible time after surgery with pain and dry sockets. The frustrating thing is that now, I have 4 spots of “gum” where the teeth are supposed to be. When I eat crunchy or hard items, it hurts and inflames the gums. Duh, there are supposed to be teeth there! So frustrating.

    January 26th, 2012 4:50 pm Reply
  • kristin konvolinka

    I personally did have impacted painful wisdom teeth, but my brother did not. So mine are gone, his are still there – good call Mom! Even back then, I think I was 20, I recognized that my situation was very rare and that ALL of my peers were having surgeries (and very lengthy recoveries) for absolutely no reason at all. I have wondered why perfectly healthy young people should have surgery on perfectly healthy teeth that are, after all, totally normal! It’s considered a rite of passage than no one thinks twice about. I think there’s something else going on here too. So many folks here are commenting on having crowded, impacted and problematic teeth…Do I even need to bring up Dr. Price’s research here? I think we’re veered so far from nutritious food, our bodies are unable to form proper, wide enough jaws to hold all the teeth we need.

    January 26th, 2012 3:38 pm Reply
  • Nerissa

    I’ve had all four removed, the bottom 2 surgically as they were growing towards my teeth rather than up and out. I had had braces and 4 other molars removed as well as I have a small mouth. I’m not sure anymore why the top 2 were removed as there seems to be room there, but since they’ve been out I’ve had sinus infections constantly. I had never had one before. They were removed when I was about 21. The root of one of the bottom ones was right next to my nerve so I was sent to a specialist. Seeing how common nerve damage can be I’m sure thankful! I did have a LOT of pain with the healing of the bottom ones. They got infected and I kept squeezing out a waxy substance. It took a long time to heal.

    January 26th, 2012 4:18 pm Reply
  • mashuna

    where i come from (Uganda) i had never heard of people pulling their wisdom teeth until i came here in the US and the dentist was telling me take mine out i told him they aren’t bothering me (they only hurt when they were popping out and seeing i am 30 and still growing my third..lols..hubby says me and the baby are both still growing) anyway all my teeth are well aligned and i kinda prefer to leave it that way..oh the hygienist who suggested said they were so far back they couldn’t reach them with the tools!!! but they have no cavities/decay…time will tell for now they are doing a good job for my steak…sweeet

    January 26th, 2012 3:46 pm Reply
  • Angela Costanzo

    Thank you so much, Sarah. I feel so alone when it comes to dental ideals. I haven’t let my dentist remove my wisdom teeth simply because it feels wrong to me. I’m glad to have some sense behind my emotions! Thank you for this article!

    January 26th, 2012 3:27 pm Reply
  • Octavian @ Full Fat Nutrition

    I used to have problems with my wisdom teeth every 3-4 months or so when I got popcorn stuck in my gums. The problems went away once I adopted a Primal diet. Haven’t had an infection in over a year. My dentist is a good guy too, he said to only get them removed if they get infected often (once a month or more).

    January 26th, 2012 2:23 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      That dentist is a keeper :)

      January 26th, 2012 7:38 pm Reply
  • Kelli

    I’m in my early 20s and I have a partly erupted wisdom tooth on one side but not the other. It’s not causing me any problems so thats why I don’t want to go to a conventional dentist (because I know what they will say). Though it can be difficult to brush back there.

    January 26th, 2012 3:16 pm Reply
  • Ian Rusnak via Facebook

    I still have my wisdom teeth, they are a little hard to clean sometimes by that’s the only problem I have

    January 26th, 2012 3:12 pm Reply
  • Kathie

    Just another reason why I am so relieved to find an holistic dentist in out area for my kids – one who doesn’t use fluoride & doesn’t advocate unnecessary procedures! However, I’ve had out 2 sets of wisdom teeth – if you can believe it??? I was in extreme agony from the first set that we’re all impacted & causing plenty of pain, when they did an X-ray they discovered another set pushing up from underneath!!! Apparently it’s very rare but my second set caused a few painful issues as well and had another 2 removed. Anyway, I am assuming that this was all true, however, I was a teenager, so, who really knows if it was right for it to be done??? Thankfully, I’ve not had any problems or pain since.

    January 26th, 2012 3:08 pm Reply
  • Sarah Kinney Wilbur via Facebook

    I only have 2 wisdom teeth, and dentists told me I would have to consider having them removed…but when I asked why, because there was no pain, no reason, they just said it could push other teeth together causing more dental issues…at the time I was not as informed as I am now, so I was like, “oh, ok.”…and never did anything about it. Now I know! Great article.

    January 26th, 2012 2:56 pm Reply
  • Wellness Mama (@TheWellnessMama) (@TheWellnessMama)

    Skip That Surgery: Most Wisdom Tooth Extractions Unnecessary – The Healthy Home Economist

    January 26th, 2012 2:32 pm Reply
  • Mallory

    I am so glad you wrote about this. I still have my wisdom teeth but my husband had his removed and now I will be very mindful about our children’s teeth. I really enjoy your blog, thank you!

    January 26th, 2012 2:18 pm Reply
  • Suzanne

    Over-crowding has been a life-long issue for me. Not only did I have all 4 wisdom teeth out, but also 2 upper and 2 lower adult cuspids to create room. I have a recessed lower jaw and a laundry list of dental issues. I’ve worn braces 4 times….(yes, I said 4.) Once as a teen and 3 times as an adult. Even without the 4 removed teeth, the remaining teeth STILL crowded and shifted continually to the point of needing braces again and again.

    Now, I have upper and lower permanent retainers and I ALSO wear a removeable upper and lower retainer every other night. I have more fillings and root canals than I can shake a stick at. Without a doubt, I have been cursed with poor dental genetics. I wonder just how much my situation would have been different with a better diet. I have no doubt that I am the 12% and although things might have been different with a better diet, I am convinced the genetics would still have won out over diet in the end.

    With palate expanders and braces going on kids at a younger and younger age, they all seem to come out of it with that beautiful wide and white hollywood smile. (the one I can only get via caps, crowns, and cosmetic dentistry).

    January 26th, 2012 2:15 pm Reply
  • Renita Krahe Balent via Facebook

    Well, I was one of the 12%. My 3 wisdom teeth were impacted or growing horizontally, and growing towards my other teeth sideways instead of growing up. It was a horrible experience! The doctor came in and said it was time to do the surgery…. in behind him came 3 bouncing, giggling nurses saying “We want to help you put her under!!” AAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGG! Scary!

    January 26th, 2012 2:00 pm Reply
  • Tracylea Slinkard via Facebook

    I still have mine and I am 45. One is sideways and the other two all the way in. I have one that never came to to gum. I take extra care with them and they give me no trouble. If they do, I will go from there.

    January 26th, 2012 1:59 pm Reply
  • michelle waite

    I had my wisdom teeth removed on three differet occastions since I was too poor to get them out all at once. The second time was an emergency extraction while living in Japan. The tooth broke skin, was shredding the back of my mouth and got infected. It was horrible to have this happen while living abroad, but the actual surgery was quick and easy and I was back to my normal life within 48 hours. It also only cost me $100. The other two times brought on misery that words can never explain as well a great deal of financial hardship. I wonder if those bottom teeth would be minding their own business in my jaw bone now instead of getting dug and drilled out.
    My husband now has great insurance and if I needed any kind of dental work it would only cost us $10. I wish I would have waited (except for that infected one, that was horrible and I am glad it is gone)

    January 26th, 2012 1:31 pm Reply
  • Patricia Lindner via Facebook

    Since when I was a kid I did not take care of my teeth like I do now and had my molars removed when I was in my teens and now use my wisdom teeth to chew with.

    January 26th, 2012 1:29 pm Reply
  • Sherry Franek via Facebook

    I know an 80 yr old that has all his. I had mine out years ago because food was getting trapped under the gums in the area, the skin was growing over the teeth and making the area swell. Im sure if they dont bother people,though they should be left alone.

    January 26th, 2012 1:27 pm Reply
  • Karen Horn

    Hi Sarah!

    I am the conference coordinator for Indianapolis Chapter of Weston Price. We are having a conference on September 15, 2012. Our first conference was in 2007 and we sold out at over 200 people which is the max that the facility could handle. We have a max of 450 for this years one day conference. Are you interested in participating as a speaker?

    The conference will be held in downtown Indy at a trendy urban art center called the Harrison Center. The Harrison shares space with a Presbyterian church that was built in 1902. Both the church and the Harrison work to revitalize and re-inhabit the downtown area. There is a significant following of “foodies” who would attend a conference such as this. We are having our next planning meeting on February 15. I can send you a roster of other speakers we are investigating but our basic theme for this year is Food Heals. I was wondering if you might give demonstration on sourdough, keifer and yogurt, and soaking grains? We have others demonstrating fermented vegetables. Just wondered if you had interest. You are a clear speaker and organized teacher and you would be an asset to our Indianapolis following. This year is an important year as we might begin a campaign to legalize raw milk in Indiana.
    Our Chapter leader is Leslie Gray
    Thank you!
    My name is Karen Horn , 317-846-3521 home phone

    January 26th, 2012 12:24 pm Reply
  • Lauren Weinmeister Harstad via Facebook

    palate widening can make room for all the teeth, right?

    January 26th, 2012 1:12 pm Reply
  • Jamie Mood

    I am 34, and I think when I was about 18 my dentist wanted to take my wisdom teeth out. There was nothing wrong with them (they never even came in), they just told me that later in life the root could grow around my nerve and cause numbness. I went home and told my Dad and he said worry about it when it happens if there is nothing wrong now leave them in. So I did just that. I had a tooth that had to be pulled (second one in from the back) and I thought I would have to pay thousands of dollars to have a false too put there. I was pregnant at the time so there was nothing I could do for about a year, but in that year my last tooth in the back moved to the missing tooth spot and that wisdom tooth on that side has started to come in. Once the wisdom tooth is all the way in it will be like I never lost a tooth! I couldn’t believe I am 34 with a tooth coming in, but I will take it! My Dad saved me from suffering a lot of pain not to have my wisdom teeth taken out, which then led to me saving $$$ on not having to buy a fake tooth b/c that tooth was there when I needed it! Great article I am living proof save your wisdom teeth!!

    January 26th, 2012 1:10 pm Reply
    • Kristin

      Jamie, that is great news. Am 45 and never had my wisdom teeth out. They never came in. They are up in my jaw. I have had 2 root canals over the years. When I had them done, I asked if I could just pull those teeth and move the other molars forward and see if my wisdom tooth would come down. The dentists just looked at me dumbfounded and said probably not.

      January 15th, 2013 4:41 pm Reply
  • joe

    great – thanks for this! i was to have mine removed (apparently all 4 are impacted) so i went, signed up and all. then, when he was going over the Side Effects he mentioned what you did above, the numbness for life and yadda yadda. Left the office and never looked back. And never a shred of pain from it either. Dr.’s, wadda they know ! :-)

    January 26th, 2012 1:09 pm Reply
    • Kristina

      good for you!

      January 26th, 2012 6:31 pm Reply
  • Alicison Lindner via Facebook

    Mine didn’t get a chance to bother me, the Army forced me to remove them….. I’ll never know! I know a few people who had theirs come in and cause all sorts of problems and pain….

    January 26th, 2012 1:09 pm Reply
  • Ann Lindner via Facebook

    I never had them. Not even the nubs that turn into them. JD still has his. They don’t bother him at all.

    January 26th, 2012 1:07 pm Reply
  • Tracy

    Great post! This is precisely why at 35 years of age, I still have all 4 wisdom teeth! My (former) dentist tried to persuade me to get them out my senior year in college. His rationale (“you don’t want to have to get them out before finals…blah blah blah”). My answer? They are not causing a problem, they do not hurt, I’ve never had a cavity, my mouth is fine, I’m keeping my wisdom teeth. I plan to keep them forever! Thanks for bringing light to this issue. I didn’t realize there are so many complications with removing them.

    January 26th, 2012 12:02 pm Reply
  • Amber

    It’s funny but I’ve thought a lot about this lately. I had wisdom teeth removed in high school (back then my parents and I never thought to question the wisdom of our medical practitioners). We were told they would crowd my mouth. Guess what? Now I’m 37 and my teeth are SPREADING. I had a huge gap between two teeth because I have too much room. Teeth naturally “float” a little bit anyway, and now they have fewer teeth to anchor them in. I will NOT have my daughter’s teeth pulled while a teenager. She can make that decision for herself as an adult.

    January 26th, 2012 12:59 pm Reply
  • Josh Swanson via Facebook

    Thanks for the article!

    January 26th, 2012 12:55 pm Reply
  • Lyndsey Stark Stang via Facebook

    And I like that my dentist told me that I don’t need the rest out unless I have pain or my jaw locks. He said to leave them alone and there is no point in taking them out right now.

    January 26th, 2012 12:54 pm Reply
  • Lyndsey Stark Stang via Facebook

    I needed one tooth out because it locked my jaw. The good part was that I lost weight when I couldn’t eat much. LOL

    January 26th, 2012 12:53 pm Reply
  • Gail Baker via Facebook

    I waited until I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. Mine were taken out in emergency the day after Christmas.

    January 26th, 2012 12:52 pm Reply
  • Erin Enwright (@Eamonsmom_)

    Damn I wish I knew this before I got mine out:/

    January 26th, 2012 11:44 am Reply
  • Tracey Stirling

    Thank you Sarah for shedding some light on this issue. Dental health/truth feels like an area where there is just not enough information out there. My son, age 11 has a baby tooth that has not come down yet. His teeth are slightly crowded and right now it doesn’t have enough room to come down. The dentist wanted to have him undergo surgery to have it removed even though it is not causing him any problems. When I asked 2 oral surgeouns what would happen if we just waited till all his baby teeth came out to see what would happen, niether of them could answer my question. Of course they both wanted to remove it anyway but could not find any reason why we should not wait. I’m waiting and givng him plenty of CLO, butter and raw kefir int he meantime!

    January 26th, 2012 12:40 pm Reply
  • Paleo Approved Inc. (@PaleoApproved)

    Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist busts 5 myths on wisdom tooth extractions.

    January 26th, 2012 12:34 pm Reply
  • Jenny

    Your timing is superb. I only have 2 wisdom teeth. One came in when I was about 18 and has never been a problem, except for it’s a little crowded to brush it. The other one never erupted. Now, however, I have gingivitis and the periodontist wants to pull the unerupted tooth and surgerize (my word) all four quadrants. I am looking around for alternatives and if any of you have ideas I am open to them!

    January 26th, 2012 12:24 pm Reply
  • Mrs H

    Thanks for sharing your article and all the research links!

    When I was 17 I had a wisdom tooth that had erupted and was causing me trouble so I went in to have it pulled. When I sat down they began to numb all four corners of my mouth – when I asked why, they said they were going to pull all four! I was confused. “But only one is causing me trouble!” (My teeth were in no way crowded. My other wisdom teeth were normal – not impacted, etc.) The response was, “If we pull one, we just pull them all at the same time. It’s a matter of course.”

    I assumed that sooner or later I’d have to have them all out anyway, so I submitted compliantly.

    In the future, I wonder how these traditions will be changed? For instance, we don’t all have our tonsils out automatically any more. Amazingly, “further research” has uncovered an important role the tonsils play in our health! I have come to the conclusion that the body is fearfully and wonderfully made, and the Creator knew what He was doing when he assembled us!

    January 26th, 2012 12:24 pm Reply
  • Laura

    This is timely for me as well. My dad has crooked lower front teeth, which happened as his wisdom teeth came in (I’m told). The dentist told me, when I was in my teens, that I needed to have them out because my teeth were already going crooked on the bottom and my wisdom teeth would make it worse when they came in. So now, I have six kids and assumed that they would need them out. I don’t want to chance the crooked lower teeth. My oldest has straight teeth right now. I would love to skip all these surgeries! ???? Now, to figure out what to do with the canines that are sticking out the the boys. They play basketball and get injuries often because of these teeth! Any words of wisdom for me? :)

    January 26th, 2012 12:24 pm Reply
    • Helen T.

      I kept my wisdom teeth, and it made my previously some teeth on the lower part crooked.
      I had super straight teeth there before. But I told myself, I’m not a movie star, so who will care……?!!

      January 26th, 2012 6:05 pm Reply
      • Helen T.

        Let me try this again:

        All my teeth were straight. I decided not to get my wisdom teeth pulled. Eventually some of the teeth on the bottom DID become a bit crooked. But, since I wasn’t a movie star, I told myself, well – who is going to care?!

        Anyway, it’s the kind of crooked that’s barely noticable, too…..

        January 26th, 2012 6:10 pm Reply
  • Carma

    I had mine pulled at my own instigation. I have never met anyone who had the same problem I have, so I’d love to hear if anyone else here did! Every month with my cycle one of my wisdom teeth would get inflamed and swollen and very painful. Just one, but one each month, sometimes so painful I couldn’t chew food! Of course I wonder now if I had tried a WAPF style diet that would have gone away. Still I’m not particularly sorry I had it done, but then I had no complications and got rid of a very painful condition! Anyone else ever heard of anyone with this odd problem?

    January 26th, 2012 12:20 pm Reply
    • Leesha

      Yes, I get that problem every now and then with the bottom right one. Only that one though. The rest don’t bother me.

      October 21st, 2012 1:12 am Reply
  • Bonny Busch Reckner via Facebook

    I am 29, and have an appointment in 1 week to have all 4 removed. I REALLY don’t want to, but 28 years of eating SAD has left at least 2 of them pretty decayed. Right now they aren’t causing pain but we’re hoping to get pregnant again soon and I don’t want to have to deal with them (should they further decay and start causing pain) while pregnant. Sigh.

    January 26th, 2012 12:17 pm Reply
    • Alissa

      chukah chukah ?

      October 30th, 2012 2:10 am Reply
  • Kim

    I was told repeatedly by my dentist that I needed my wisdom teeth out in my early twenties. I refused (mainly because I watched what my sister went through and I have an aversion to pain) and I’ve never had a problem. I only have my two bottom wisdom teeth. They both came in fine. No pain, no crowding, no problems.

    January 26th, 2012 12:16 pm Reply
    • Kim

      I have the same exact story. My dentist repeatedly told me I needed them removed throughout my twenties but I watched what my sister went through and this was before I had kids so I thought I couldn’t deal with the pain. My bottom two came in fine and have never bothered me. My top two never made an appearance.

      December 20th, 2012 11:06 am Reply
  • Sue S

    After you’ve had braces, it is recommended you have your wisdom teeth out so that when they come in, it doesn’t shift your straight teeth. In fact, they won’t remove your bottom retainer until you have had them out. I wonder how necessary this is? I had mine removed as a teenager but they had already started coming in and weren’t as far down as they could have been. No digging down to get them and I hardly swelled. I only had laughing gas also. My daughter now has braces and I would love to avoid having her wisdom teeth removed but wonder what I’ll be up against.

    January 26th, 2012 12:14 pm Reply
    • Jennifer

      Just so you know I had braces and I still have all four wisdom teeth. I never had a problem with them making my teeth crooked again. I actually went back to my Orthodontist (my mother worked for him) and had x-rays when my wisdom teeth started pushing up. He could tell by the x-rays that I had plenty of room for them and recommended I not get them removed. I have been surrounded by horror stories with having them removed. That’s why I didn’t do it. I had a friend lose feeling on one side of her face for almost a year. My husband ended up having to have 4 molars removed because of the damage that was caused my the dentist removing his. And my brother has holes on the bottom on both side from where his where. He actually has to clean out the food that gets stuck when he eats.

      January 26th, 2012 2:20 pm Reply
  • Barbara Torrey Centofante via Facebook

    Take your children to a functional dentist to ward off teeth crowding in the first place. I didn’t and I’ve had to have my wisdom teeth taken out, an ALF appliance, braces and crowns due to grinding and clenching my teeth.

    January 26th, 2012 12:12 pm Reply
  • Alicia Raulerson via Facebook

    I know our orthodontists has told my daughter she will need to have hers removed…not quite sure why? I am assuming “no room” but we will see….I have 3 of mine…I had to have one removed from decay…if I had only known then what I know now…. 😉

    January 26th, 2012 12:11 pm Reply
  • Charlotte Lee via Facebook

    I do think they’re not all necessary but I think this is where asking good questions and doing research is essential. Mine were all sideways. I had to have 5 baby teeth and 8 permanent teeth removed (includes wisdom teeth) for my teeth to all fit in my mouth. Either that or break my jaw and stretch. We opted for the wisdom teeth extraction.

    January 26th, 2012 12:10 pm Reply
  • Anna Joy Bennett via Facebook

    Mine are fine, though the dentist freaks out when he sees me. I guess it’s really rare to see a full set of teeth anymore? lol

    January 26th, 2012 12:09 pm Reply
  • A.B.

    Hmmm…from personal experience, I can say that my husband and I both really needed our wisdom teeth removed. The dentist told my mom that I needed mine removed in high school, but my mom declined because of money issues. Later, my lower teeth became crowded and crooked (not terribly, but still noticeable and I never needed braces). Then, around 23, my upper and lower jaw began aching. I had my wisdom teeth removed (no anesthesia, only laughing gas) and the pain disappeared. My husbands teeth are terribly crowded (not just from wisdom teeth) and at 30, he developed severe pains from the teeth somehow rubbing the gums. He had them out and the pain disappeared. So, that really makes me wonder if it’s only 12%.

    January 26th, 2012 12:04 pm Reply
  • Jill Walker-Larson via Facebook

    Mine is compacted, and the dentist told me he was worried it might cause decay in the tooth next to it… I don’t want to have any teeth pulled though. I have gaps because I had baby teeth that never came out, and my jaw was big enough for my adult teeth to come in, next to them. So once I had the baby teeth pulled at 27, I was left with gaps.. I still have all my teeth, but if I get a tooth removed, I worry it will make the gaps bigger and I don’t want that!

    January 26th, 2012 12:03 pm Reply
    • David

      Jill, half the point of wisdom teeth are to keep your teeth close together over your lifetime, or teeth are suppose to shrink as we chew and eat certain foods and our wisdom teeth would be pushing against them all the time to close these would be gaps. With that said, really large gaps are irregular, they might close but it would take years. I wouldn’t get your wisdom teeth removed as you obviously have room, maybe considering a procedure or braces to have everything moved close together and just leave those wisdom teeth there.

      October 11th, 2013 9:41 am Reply
  • Shawn Marie Jones via Facebook

    Mine were all removed when I was 23, they were impacted & showing signs of decay. What I find interesting is that even 7 years after, the scar tissue in my gums will get irratated & feel just like the tooth is still there!

    January 26th, 2012 12:02 pm Reply
  • Marilyn

    We just had this discussion with our dentist last year! By the end of our discussion, we had determined that wisdom teeth are taken out on the outside chance they cause problems down the road. It took 45 minutes for him to admit that, however. He was pretty frustrated, although he tried to hide it. When we asked how to avoid cavaties, he told us brush well and eat a healthy diet. We further asked him what is a healthy diet (we are tired of “professionals” telling us to eat healthy, how vague!) Of course, he told us the food pyramid – and that is all he knew. We were not trying to be rude, but rather informed. Apparently they are not taught reasons of why they do the things they do. I don’t really “blame” him. He is just saying what he learned (or rather did not learn) at school. Kind of reminded me about my first OB/Gyn who knew little about nursing babies and the good they do for mothers.

    January 26th, 2012 12:02 pm Reply
  • Lilian Ramsay Hagenaars via Facebook

    Agreed. My dentist was surprised to see I still have my wisdom teeth, an unfortunate rare occurance.

    January 26th, 2012 12:01 pm Reply
  • Kateri Scott via Facebook

    I personally waited until it was necessary. They were causing me jaw and headaches and crowding out my other teeth. I am a prime example of a poor, modern, American diet growing up affecting my teeth. Thankfully, so far, my children seem to have a good basis for good dental health and growth.

    January 26th, 2012 11:58 am Reply
  • Samantha

    I still have my wisdom teeth and I love them so:)

    January 26th, 2012 11:56 am Reply
    • tin

      This was the funniest statement I’ve read in a long while. Thank you, Samantha, for making me laugh! :)

      January 27th, 2012 12:44 pm Reply
  • Ramona Chiasson via Facebook

    My wisdom teeth would be an oral surgeon’s dream come true. They’re not coming in is actually upside down! Over the space of a year, I feel maybe two weeks of discomfort. It’s not enough to really bother me and doesn’t last. No infection, no crowding or other issues, so I’ve chosen to just leave them be. I’m 34 and have yet to feel that the discomfort is bad enough to warrant extraction.

    January 26th, 2012 11:56 am Reply
    • anon

      How the hell are they UPSIDE DOWN? that would mean the roots are growing in…a weird direction toward your tongue? Impossible.

      March 23rd, 2014 11:52 pm Reply
  • Misty Bow Kitchell via Facebook

    When I was a young teen, I had much pain due to my wisdom teeth – my lower two were extracted via oral surgery and a specialist. I was told that I’d have to have oral surgery for the top two as well. Over a decade later, I’d been having recurring issues with my upper teeth and (then married) worried about paying for surgery. I have a fabulous dentist and he assured me that he could remove them without surgery – he did several years ago. It was the best choice that I could have made – the teeth were malformed and it was no wonder that I had such pain! I’m blessed with a dentist that I trust. After having seen many dentists over the years, he was hard to find.

    January 26th, 2012 11:55 am Reply
  • ashley.roz

    Wow. This couldn’t have come at a better time. My husband is 35 and the new dentist we saw noticed that he still had his wisdom teeth buds and recommended we remove them before they got infected. We were strongly considering doing it but it did seem odd that no one ever seemed to think they were a problem before. I had my wisdom teeth out at 17 and it was awful. I got dry socket and was on all sorts of pain meds and antibiotics for weeks. I actually feel a lot of space back there and I always wonder if I actually had the space for them and was hoodwinked. On a different note, CLO and butter oil plus minerals seem to be getting rid of my hubbies tooth pain. The dentist was also recommending some drilling and we may not have to do it afterall.

    January 26th, 2012 11:55 am Reply
  • Aron Baier via Facebook

    I had a feeling this was the case. I’ve had more than one dentist want to yank my wisdom teeth that are not bothering me in the least. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    January 26th, 2012 11:53 am Reply
  • Amy Love@Real Food Whole Health

    Great! This confirms what we’ve believed as well.

    I only had 3 wisdom teeth to contend with- one was missing. Around 22, one came in and caused issues so I did have to have it removed (with no problems, thankfully). They wanted to do all of them at that time and I said no thanks. Even though one seems to be crooked, the oral surgeon did say there was a possibility it would never even come in. He was really nice and did not pressure me to choose one way or the other, but presented both sides. I would have saved money (assuming I’d have to have the surgery eventually) and I would have only had to go under anesthesia once (a bonus to the liver) but it would have been more traumatic on my body and with 3 removals instead of just 1, that’s a lot more chance for something to go wrong! I am happy with my decision and here we are 8 years later with no further wisdom teeth issues.

    Matt still has all four- he was constantly told to get them out, but it just didn’t set right with us and he’s never had any issues. It was our holistic dentist that did the amalgam removal who finally told him not to bother unless they caused problems, which would be unlikely. YAY for holistic dentists!!

    January 26th, 2012 11:42 am Reply
    • Stan

      So you’re against wisdom teeth removal but not against amalgam removal? Research has shown that while amalgam fillings do release particulates over the course of daily living, its concentrations are nowhere near high enough to be dangerous. It’s like the daily dose of chromium you get from the ground if you live in certain places, not high enough for alarm. Feel free to disagree with me on this point, there’s still much debate. However, it is generally agreed that when you remove the amalgam, you essentially grind it up into tiny particles, partially aerosolize it, and place it in the mouth where you’ll most likely breathe it in, giving yourself a very high dose of mercury in a small period of time. Wouldn’t you find that more dangerous than the minor surgery to remove wisdom teeth? Perhaps a better holistic dentist is in order…

      August 15th, 2012 8:16 am Reply
      • Amber P

        She (AMY LOVE) said that, “Matt still has all four- he was constantly told to get them out, but it just didn’t set right with us and he’s never had any issues.” >> “It was our holistic dentist that did the amalgam removal”….and that “who finally told him not to bother unless they caused problems, which would be unlikely.” <<—Now she is talking about the wisdom teeth removal again. Get it? …Her and her husband were against having his wisdom teeth removed, their dentist did the amalgam removal and that dentist suggested that if the wisdom teeth didn't cause problems–to not bother. Just trying to help, you seemed confused as to what she was saying.

        October 25th, 2012 1:16 am Reply
  • Carol

    I only have two wisdom teeth, the other two don’t exist. At 36 I had one come in, I know why babies are so cranky when they get teeth! At 46 I had it pulled, I had a lot of trouble with it and my mouth was constantly sore as there was no tooth opposing it so it continued to grow and make my bottom gum very sore. The other that Is still in my mouth has never erupted, unless it bothers me it will stay right where it is!
    My husband still has all 4 of his, and they have never been a problem.
    I say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    January 26th, 2012 11:34 am Reply
  • gwen

    I’m 26, and I have a wisdom tooth coming in on one side, no sign on the other. They cause me no discomfort at all, and every dentist I have been to has always just said, if they don’t bother you don’t worry about it. Only one of my friends that I know of has ever had hers out. I wonder if it is becoming less prevalent, or if it’s because two years ago I moved to the UK, where dentistry is much cheaper and so probably less of an “industry”.

    January 26th, 2012 11:29 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Very interesting observation Gwen. You could be onto something there.

      January 26th, 2012 11:31 am Reply
    • aaron

      hi gwen, i think you might be right. i grew up in the uk and only recently moved to canada. my wisdom teeth didn’t cause me any pain and only when i came here did my dentist suggest that i should see an oral surgeon about getting them out. sure enough, took a panoramic x-ray and said, ‘yep, bottom two are impacted, but why not just get all 4 out?’. needless to say i was sceptical myself and tried doing some reasearch to ‘disprove’ the idea that i didn’t want to face – ie. getting them out. fortunately, i have good dental coverage, so the whole thing only cost me just over $100. i was amazed that i didn’t have hardly any swelling and very little pain and the whole thing was over in about an hour – only had to take one day off work. since that time, iv’e also noticed other side benefits such as less joint pain – and much more energy! i can’t believe how good i feel and don’t regret having it done one bit. the other thing is, that they are hard to clean, and why risk getting an infection or other teeth or your gums diseased just because you don’t want to get them out? i had some gum problems too, and it looks like my gums are returning to a pretty normal healthy pink again, with no sign of gingevitis, which i’d had. i guess i’m saying all this because while i was sceptical and yes it’s a big money maker in N. America, perhaps it’s worth the price. but definitely, the uk dentists don’t put the same pressure on ya i think. that’s my 2 cents worth anyways.

      May 4th, 2012 10:29 pm Reply
      • gill

        Liar^^^^ DENTIST^^^^^

        April 20th, 2013 2:41 am Reply
  • Gracie

    I have been telling people for twenty years that pulling wisdom teeth is a scam. At 40 years old I still get flack from the dentist about removing them. Now he wants them out because they are only partially emerged and difficult to keep clean. They don’t have any cavities, just lots of plaque.

    January 26th, 2012 11:24 am Reply

    Now this is weird – we were JUST talking about this this morning. My daughter has a friend who just got her wisdom teeth taken out and she asked why people have to get that done and I had mine out when I was young, but I really could not remember why and wondered if there was indeed a good enough reason or if this is something else that is overdone and perhaps not healthy, like root canals. I wanted to research it, so thank you. How timely!


    January 26th, 2012 11:20 am Reply
  • Magda

    I had my out my senior year in high school. My jaw is narrow and all 4 of my wisdom teeth were impacted (i.e. coming in crooked – we’re talking at a 45 degree angle to my existing teeth). Two were already broken through while two were still under the gum. I clearly saw on the x-rays that they were coming in crooked. I had them all taken out (I do remember the gauze – I tried to change my own and fainted!!) and (fortunately) have not had any problems.
    I wonder if I had been on WAPF diet back then and did some FCLO/BO if they would have straightened out… not sure. Both my kids have beautifully spaced teeth so I’ll be on the lookout to see if their dentist says anything when their wisdom teeth come in.. thanks for the warning!

    January 26th, 2012 11:18 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Hi Magda, even if wisdom teeth come in crooked or are impacted, they are rarely a problem requiring removal.

      January 26th, 2012 11:21 am Reply
      • J. Reece

        Er… Methinks you aren’t in the best position to offer that sort of conclusion. I believe that sort of statement would be best left to the actual dental professionals to make. In the future, you might want to also consider linking to any respondent criticisms when you post scholarly information. There — fixed it for ya.

        January 26th, 2012 4:25 pm Reply
        • Kelli

          Eh, J. Reece, basically that respondent criticism admits that most extractions are done out of connivence.

          January 27th, 2012 10:54 am Reply
        • Joey

          So the only people fit to give advice on the subject just happen to be the people profiting on it huh? That’s pretty safe, check the sources.

          April 22nd, 2013 8:31 pm Reply
        • Chase

          My dentist informed me that my wisdom teeth were starting to come in and that they were impacted and would cause me horrible problems and paid.

          I am now 30 years old, never had the surgery and I am completely fine. They never came in, haven’t caused me any pain or problems.

          If I would have listened to my “dental professional” I would have endured a painful, pointless surgery.

          No thanks!

          August 31st, 2013 2:49 am Reply
      • Magda

        But how can you be sure they would not impact other teeth? If there is no more room in the jaw and it’s narrow, where would they go?? I do believe you should check into this procedure (I mean it’s an actual surgery so definitely not be made light of) but in my case I was okay with having them out. Having had tons of dental issues, including an overbite, I was not ready to deal with having my entire tooth line messed up. JMO.

        January 26th, 2012 4:43 pm Reply
        • Erika

          I had two that were impacted. I waited and waited until they started causing me problems…there was no room for them to come out and they were pushing up against my other teeth. It was also causing me some pain. Sometimes it’s necessary to get hem removed.

          January 26th, 2012 10:37 pm Reply
        • Matthew

          When all four of my wisdom teeth came in, there was hardly any room
          I was biting my cheek and all that jazz
          but slowly my mouth evolved and adapted and made space
          Some how my cheeks and the back of my throat seemed to move out of the way
          they wisdom teeth did not effect any of my other teeth what so ever
          Now I have this beautiful beastly lion jaw haha

          I was pretty amazed with my bodies ability to evolve though!

          September 25th, 2013 6:59 am Reply
    • Jessica

      Yes, dentists told me the same thing, my wisdom teeth were all impacted and wouldn’t be able to come in straight. I saw the same thing you described on my X-ray. I chose to do nothing about it and guess what? All my wisdom teeth came in just fine, even though I was on a SAD vegetarian diet. I found out later that’s just the way wisdom teeth are supposed to be. They come in at a 45 degree angle in order to shift your teeth to fill in any gaps (since in the past that was the whole point of wisdom teeth, to replace missing teeth you were likely to have) and once they come in then they straighten out to be normal.

      March 16th, 2012 3:30 am Reply
      • MotherGinger

        Fascinating, Jessica. I would love to hear a knowledgeable WPF dentist’s response to that.

        December 20th, 2012 10:11 am Reply
  • HealthyHomeEconomist (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon) (@HealthyHomeEcon)

    Skip That Surgery: Most Wisdom Tooth Extractions Unnecessary

    January 26th, 2012 10:28 am Reply
    • Marsha Reid

      i have my bottom wisdom tooth in and it is a little sore but it is growing up and up and my dentist told me last yr it would continue to grow since i dont have a tooth on top to meet it. should i get it removed

      November 4th, 2013 8:43 am Reply
      • KaidenJ

        Sounds like you need since you have no tooth on top to meet it.

        JustSay. . .

        November 6th, 2013 10:50 pm Reply
    • Lena

      This is very bad advice. I took the wait and see method and now my top wisdom teeth have caused my teeth to shift. Where I have always had straight teeth now my front teeth are crooked because I chose to wait and see. In addition, my bottom wisdom teeth damaged my second molars and caused periodontal disease since my wisdom teeth never fully emerged. I listened to my dentist who said there was enough room when, in actuality, there was not enough room. Since you dont actually need your wisdom teeth, it is recommended that getting them removed is a form of prevention just like getting your teeth cleaned. It is much better to get rid of something that is no use to you than hold on to it and wait to see if it is going to be a problem. So what that the dentist make a little money on preventative measures. Its better to give a little money now that play the waiting game and come out the pocket latter for root canals, crowns, bridges and deep cleanings. Not to mention, that when the teeth become a problem, they will have to be pulled in addition to fixing the damaged they have caused.

      January 17th, 2014 4:39 pm Reply
    • Jane

      Thanks for the article; debating my daughter’s surgery for two years now. If considering dental work, or suffering numbness or pain after it, see my story “How a simple dentist appointment can change your life”. Good luck, all!

      February 20th, 2014 12:39 pm Reply

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