Updated on February 1, 2024
2 min read

Can Wisdom Teeth Grow Back?

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Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the teeth that develop in the back of the mouth and often emerge during early adulthood. Most people have all four wisdom teeth, but many have fewer than four. Some have no wisdom teeth at all or have extra wisdom teeth.1, 2

Many people don’t have jaws big enough to accommodate their wisdom teeth. Because of this lack of space, wisdom teeth often become impacted. This means they can’t emerge fully. 

This can put uncomfortable pressure on the surrounding teeth. It can also provide a convenient place for bacteria and food debris to accumulate.

As a result, it’s common for people to have their wisdom teeth removed, usually in their late teens or early twenties.

Do Wisdom Teeth Grow Back After Removal?

No, wisdom teeth (and teeth in general) don’t grow back after removal. However, it is possible to have more than four wisdom teeth.

Extra teeth, or supernumerary teeth, can appear anywhere in the mouth. This includes behind your second molars (where the wisdom teeth typically are). These teeth can emerge after removal, making it seem like they grew back.

Another possibility is the development of bone spurs. Rather than extra teeth, these are bits of bone that can grow into the spaces where your wisdom teeth were. Bone spurs generally aren’t anything to worry about. They can, however, be removed if they cause pain.

Supernumerary teeth are rare, occurring in around 2 to 3% of people.4, 5 Bone spurs are even rarer. One study found they occurred in less than 1% of cases.6

Why are Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

Because our mouths don’t have much space for wisdom teeth, these teeth often can’t emerge fully. They become impacted, putting us at risk for:

  • Tooth decay (also known as cavities)
  • Operculitis (inflammation of the gum flap above a partially impacted wisdom tooth)
  • Chronic pain and discomfort

Wisdom teeth are often removed as a precaution before they cause any of these problems.11 Recovery can be more difficult if wisdom teeth are removed later in life.

Some experts recommend more conservative treatments if wisdom teeth aren’t causing any pain and there is enough room in the jaw to accommodate them.12 One treatment option is removing the surrounding gum flap (operculum).


Most adults have at least one wisdom tooth, but there are usually four. Because our jaws often can’t accommodate our wisdom teeth, they may be removed.

While wisdom teeth won’t grow back after removal, it is possible to have more than four wisdom teeth. It’s also possible to develop a bone spur after wisdom tooth extraction.

Talk to your dentist if you have concerns about wisdom teeth, possible extra teeth, or bone spurs.

Last updated on February 1, 2024
12 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 1, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Scheiwiller, Maya, et al. “Third molar agenesis in modern humans with and without agenesis of other teeth.” PeerJ, 2020.
  2. Singh, Nisha, et al. “A radiographic survey of agenesis of the third molar: A panoramic study.” Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences, 2017.
  3. Soesilawati, Pratiwi, et al. “Diet as a Partial Explanation for Wisdom Teeth Problem.” e-GiGi, 2022.
  4. Demiriz, Levent, et al. “Prevalence and characteristics of supernumerary teeth: A survey on 7348 people.” Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry, 2015.
  5. Parolia, Abhishek, et al. “Management of supernumerary teeth.” Journal of Conservative Dentistry, 2011.
  6. Alves-Pereira, Daniela, et al. “Sharp mandibular bone irregularities after lower third molar extraction: incidence, clinical features and risk factors.” Medicina Oral, Patología Oral y Cirugía Bucal, 2013.
  7. von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen. “Global human mandibular variation reflects differences in agricultural and hunter-gatherer subsistence strategies.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011.
  8. Lundberg, H.E., et al. “Effect on bone anabolic markers of daily cheese intake with and without vitamin K2: a randomised clinical trial.” BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, 2022.
  9. Gordeladze, Jan Oxholm, et al. “Vitamin K2 and its Impact on Tooth Epigenetics.” Vitamin K2: Vital for Health and Wellbeing, 2017.
  10. Trakinienė, Giedrė, et al. “Effect of Genetic and Environmental Factors on the Impaction of Lower Third Molars.” Applied Sciences, 2021.
  11. Ouassime, Kerdoud, et al. “The wisdom behind the third molars removal: A prospective study of 106 cases.” Annals of Medicine and Surgery, 2021.
  12. Normando, David. “Third molars: To extract or not to extract?” Dental Press Journal of Orthodontics, 2015.
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