Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars or 8s. They first start to appear on a dental x-ray at about 5-7 years of age, with calcification beginning around 12 years of age. Wisdom teeth erupt usually between 17-25 years of age. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw. Others may not develop their wisdom teeth at all and can be missing one or more of them.
It was once thought that pressure from erupting wisdom teeth was the main cause of crowding of the lower front teeth. However, studies now show that wisdom teeth play may play some role in this process.
Crowding of the lower front teeth is due to a number of factors, with wisdom teeth being just one of them. Therefore, the routine removal of wisdom teeth simply to prevent crowding is not recommended.
Instead, the removal of wisdom teeth should be based on whether they are likely to cause you other problems.