Are Wisdom Teeth Genetic? Understanding How Wisdom Teeth Develop

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, usually emerge during our late teens or early 20s, earning their name as they coincide with adulthood. However, it may come as a surprise that not everyone develops wisdom teeth, which bares the question: Are wisdom teeth genetic? Additionally, how common is it for people to lack wisdom teeth? In this article, we will be delving into these questions and help shed light on why you should seek orthodontic care for wisdom teeth-related problems when they arrive.

Are Wisdom Teeth Genetic? Understanding How Wisdom Teeth Develop

Wisdom teeth typically make their appearance between the ages of 17 and 25. Historically, they earned the name "wisdom teeth" because they emerge when people are considered mature. When the wisdom teeth come in aligned, they are used to assist in chewing tougher foods. While some people may experience minor discomfort when their wisdom teeth erupt, at least 60% of people regularly encounter problems with these molars. 

Genetics do play a role in determining whether or not a person will develop wisdom teeth. According to a study published by the Dental Research Journal, approximately 5% to 35% of people may have one or more missing third molars throughout their lifetime. If one or both of your parents didn't have wisdom teeth, then you may likely not develop them as you age. However, genetics is only one of the several factors that can affect the growth of wisdom teeth, as other factors that play into that role include: 


  • Environment: Ethnic backgrounds, cultures, and other environmental factors have been known to influence the development of wisdom teeth. 
  • Evolution: As human jaws have become smaller over the centuries, people who still develop wisdom teeth will often experience pain due to how they develop impacted or incorrectly. 
  • External Factors: Other external factors, such as viruses, medications, and treatments such as chemotherapy, can impact tooth development, including wisdom teeth. 
  • Dental Procedures: Some dental procedures, such as anesthesia injections, have been associated in some studies with the decreased likelihood of developing wisdom teeth.


Children who receive anesthesia injections in their gums between the ages of two and six

may be less likely to develop these molars in the future. 

Get a Tooth Extraction at The Orthodontic Clinic, P.C Today
Today, wisdom teeth have become an unnecessary part of our oral health, especially as human jaws continue to become smaller and the food varieties we eat are more easily digestible and easier to chew. There is a gradual disappearance of wisdom teeth among many cultures and countries, including Korea, Bangladesh, and Mexico. Furthermore, wisdom teeth have been shown to cause various issues, including overcrowding, impaction, gum disease, and even gum cysts. Most dentists will recommend getting your wisdom teeth extracted, especially if the teeth appear impacted and are causing pain, swelling, and mouth sensitivity. 

If you would like to learn more about wisdom teeth or are experiencing tooth problems that may impact your oral health, then visit The Orthodontic Clinic P.C today by calling either of our locations in Bartlett, TN or East Memphis, TN: (901) 377-1744Here's where you can enter in text. Feel free to edit, move, delete, or add a different page element.



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