Do Wisdom Teeth Make Other Teeth Crooked?

impacted wisdom toothIf you are concerned that your wisdom teeth coming in will undermine your orthodontic treatment of wearing braces for a couple of years, you shouldn’t be too concerned. Wisdom teeth will not cause your other teeth to become crooked; however, there are incidences where wisdom teeth coming in can and will cause problems, but crooked teeth is not one of them.

Dr. Michael Stosich of iDentity Orthodontics says, “A common belief is that wisdom teeth push the other teeth to make them crowded. In fact, it is latent mandibular growth and decreased resorption of bone in the anterior mandible that causes anterior crowding of teeth that are not held by retainers.”

Dr. Michael Stosich
Meet Dr. Michael Stosich, Your Local Orthodontist

Dr. Michael Stosich is a board certified orthodontist in Chicagoland with two private practices. Dr. S serves patients of all ages, children, teens, and adults and is the top rated orthodontist in Illinois. He is the director of orthodontics at the University of Chicago Medicine and Comer Children's Hospital, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. Dr. S is awarded for his extensive research in accelerated tooth movement and patient centered care.

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Wisdom teeth are visible via X-ray by the time we are in our early teens. They often emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. There is generally no reason for wisdom tooth extraction if the wisdom teeth come in fully exposed and straight, and if there is enough room in the mouth to accommodate them. If this is your particular case, congratulations, you are in the two percent minority.

If it appears the wisdom teeth become partially exposed, that you have impacted wisdom teeth (trapped in the gums) or they begin to grow horizontally in the jaw, you need to undergo wisdom teeth removal, and generally, the earlier in life that you have wisdom teeth surgery, the better. As we age, bone becomes harder, and the likelihood for complications from wisdom tooth extraction surgery becomes greater. This is one more reason why we should have regular dental checkups in order to monitor, catch, and correct potential problems.

In younger adults and teens, bone is less dense, and the roots of the wisdom teeth will not yet be fully developed. These factors serve to help make the wisdom teeth healing process go much quicker after having them extracted. If you are in the middle of orthodontic treatment and your wisdom teeth are starting to come in, your orthodontist will carefully monitor your braces and wisdom teeth and will be your best guide if it appears you will need to have your wisdom teeth removed while wearing braces.

If you begin to notice wisdom teeth pain or pain in the area where they should erupt, alert your orthodontist to this problem immediately. Conversely, if you have had your braces removed, and you notice pain in the area, the American Dental Association recommends wisdom tooth extraction if you experience any of the following:

  • Pain
  • Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
  • Cysts (fluid-filled sacs)
  • Tumors
  • Damage to nearby teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Extensive tooth decay

Overall, the instance of your wisdom teeth making teeth crooked is not generally what causes this to happen. Crooked teeth after braces can be caused by a number of reasons such as aging, reluctance to wearing retainers, or tooth loss. If you notice that your teeth are shifting or becoming crooked, your orthodontist can help you to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile through applications of orthodontic treatment at any age.

Download the Clinical Research and Science behind Wisdom teeth recommendations:

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AUTHOR: Michael Stosich

Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS, is a specialist orthodontist for children and adults with subspecialty expertise in robotically assisted orthodontics. Dr. Stosich serves as the orthodontic director at the University of Chicago's cleft lip and palate clinic and craniofacial anomalies clinic, which treats complex pediatric craniofacial anomalies.