Advertisement

Why are the third molars called wisdom teeth?

The majority of people have most of their permanent teeth by age 13, followed by the wisdom teeth, which usually erupt or become impacted between the ages 17-21. They are called wisdom teeth because they typically arrive during the time of life when a person gains maturity, and thus wisdom.

 

Most people get their first molars around age 6 and their second molars around age 12. The third molars grow in between age 17 and 21, a period that was considered a time when people become wiser, so the teeth became known as "wisdom teeth."

Continue Learning about Wisdom Teeth

Does everyone have wisdom teeth?
Jerry P. Gordon, DMDJerry P. Gordon, DMD
Most people have wisdom teeth, but not all people's wisdom teeth come into the mouth. In some cases...
More Answers
Is there any way to tell if my wisdom teeth will erupt?
RealAgeRealAge
Unfortunately, there are no good predictors of which third molars will erupt or grow and what that m...
More Answers
What are the complications associated with wisdom teeth removal?
RealAgeRealAge
The most common complications associated with wisdom teeth removal are dry socket and paresthesi...
More Answers
Why do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Wisdom teeth that are healthy and properly positioned can be an asset. Commonly, however, wisdom...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.