Why Wisdom Teeth?

Have you ever wondered what the point of that third set of molars is? As they are coming in, more often than not, they wreak havoc on the rest of your mouth. And they don’t arrive until your late teens/early twenties anyway, so why do we get them at all? Is the key to wisdom really in your mouth?

Many in the science community believe that evolution has been the key to the wisdom tooth issue. Early humans were hunters and gatherers. This would mean that they could use the extra power than would come from that back set of molars. The diet of our ancient ancestors would have been much more difficult to chew.

Scientists also concur that our ancient jaws were larger, thereby able to accommodate the extra set of teeth. As we became farmers and our diets became less difficult to chew and digest, our jaws also became smaller. That would explain why this giant set of molars doesn’t fit well in our mouths.

The teeth came to be known as “wisdom teeth” because they generally decide to make themselves known between the ages of 17 and 25, when a young person might be in pursuit of wisdom through higher education.

Very often when the teeth do decide to come through they cause a myriad of issues including impaction (coming in sideways), difficulty in cleaning (resulting in infection), and crowding of teeth (often undoing years spent in aligning teeth beautifully.)

It is wise to have them removed before they come to cause problems, which is why it’s good to go through with the extraction early on in life. The roots are shorter and the healing time faster in a young adult than in someone over the age of 35. Don’t worry, you’re not really removing your wisdom. Talk to your dentist today.