Do Wisdom Teeth Cause Crooked Teeth?

Wisdom teeth is a name given to your third molars — the hindmost teeth that typically start protruding during early adulthood. It is a common belief that wisdom teeth cause crowding, which may lead to crooked teeth as they can sometimes emerge rapidly. It is possible to fix this crowding through teeth straightening treatments such as braces and Invisalign.

Some reviews for Invisalign will tell you just how effective, clear aligners are for improving your smile. Though the treatment of crooked teeth takes time, it is a relatively simple procedure for most patients.

But do wisdom teeth really cause crowding?

The Theory

The common theory about wisdom teeth and crowding is that they push the other teeth as they erupt. The lower front teeth are the most affected by the crowding, which may cause bite problems over time.

Wisdom teeth used to serve a very specific function — they were meant to grind down dense plant matter back when humans still primarily ate raw food. As people began switching to a softer diet brought about by cooking and food preparation, the wisdom teeth became less necessary for survival.

Due to the softer diet, succeeding generations of people developed smaller jaws that could only hold up to 28 teeth. The growth of wisdom teeth raises the count up to 32 teeth. Since the jaw is not big enough to accommodate the wisdom teeth, they may become impacted and require removal.

But do wisdom teeth truly crowd the other teeth?

The Conclusion

There are many studies that attempt to determine if they crowd the teeth or not. The results are mostly inconclusive — the results are contradictory, as some studies confirm that wisdom teeth cause crooked teeth, while others say that they do not. There are those that believe that wisdom teeth cannot produce the necessary pressure to move teeth.

One thing is clear, however: there are many reasons why teeth could become crooked. Tooth crown size, dental arch length, jaw growth, age and gender all play a role in dental crowding.

It will likely take a few more studies to determine whether wisdom teeth cause crowding or not. Until then, it is best to consult with a dentist to determine the proper course of treatment for it.