Wisdom teeth personalities

By Caroline Liu

Wisdom Teeth Personalities (aka all the different ways wisdom teeth can grow in)

Erupted (aka the Guy/Girl Next Door). Your wisdom tooth grew out perfectly. Your other teeth are glad it's around to help out with the chewing, and you won't need a surgery to remove it!

Partial eruption/impaction (aka the Clutz). Your wisdom tooth was doing just fine, until it got distracted by a particularly cute piece of plaque* and ran into the adjacent tooth. Now it can't move, and there's a flap of gum tissue over it, under which everything you eat stays for a few weeks to decay. (*Just a joke. Plaque doesn't affect how your wisdom teeth grow out.)

Vertical impaction (aka Grandpa). Wise enough to grow in vertically, but due to bad eyesight, he came a bit too close and got himself stuck beside your other molar.

Horizontal impaction (aka the Slacker). Your wisdom tooth is so lazy that it laid down. Sadly for you, its laziness causes pain to the molar beside it, so you'll be needing an extraction soon.

Mesial impaction (aka the Clinger). Your wisdom tooth grows in at an angle towards your other teeth. Its crush on the adjacent molar is going to cost you some pain, however.

Distal impaction (aka the Adventurer). Your wisdom tooth is heading for the back of your mouth. Is it out to get you, or is it just curious? Well, at least it's not hurting all your other teeth.

Also, for all types of impaction (including partial), they can be one of two types:

Bony impactions, in which your tooth is a good hide and seek player and thus is completely hidden in your jawbone. Your oral surgeon won't be pleased with it, which means it wins.


Soft tissue impactions, in which your tooth has gotten tired of hiding in your jawbone and thus has emerged into your gums a bit. Note that it hasn't erupted yet (you can't see it in the mirror), and it's still mostly in your jawbone. Conclusion? Your oral surgeon will still hate it.

Making this was actually quite fun. I enjoyed giving them all characters, and this will probably be the one of the few times I’ll see teeth as cute. I have horizontally impacted wisdom teeth, and the irony is that they’re far from the lazy bits of bone I depicted. I only began to feel their existence last Thursday or Friday, and it wasn’t even remotely painful then. Now, less than a week later, my wisdom teeth are sending me intermittent stretches of distracting achy sensations that I expect will escalate into full-blown please-kill-me-now kind of pain within this month.

I can’t believe my appointment to rip them out of my mouth is probably going to be in late September. I want to evict my wisdom teeth now. If only it was as easy as handing them a piece of written legalese to do so.


  1. Animated-Teeth.com
  2. Consumer Reports
  3. Columbia University Dental Associates
  4. National Health Service (NHS) of England
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