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Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

It’s kind of amazing how new teeth suddenly grow in the back of our mouths around the age of twenty, when all of our adult teeth come in years before. Eighty to eighty-five percent of the time, they need to be extracted because they are causing or could realistically potentially cause pain or damage. If wisdom teeth need to be removed this often, why do we even have them?

Wisdom teeth are kind of like a reminder of the past. Back when we lived in caves and had no dentists, we weren’t able to properly cook or eat our food. This meant that our teeth were tearing apart a lot of semi-cooked meet and other difficult things to chew. This lead to a lot of broken and worn down teeth, which made eating even harder. To make it easier on them, the jaw would sprout up four new molars as added reinforcement.

Today, the wisdom teeth aren’t really needed. We know how to cook our food, and we use forks and knives to break it down into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Our back molars don’t suffer as much damage as they used to, but the wisdom teeth still come in. For some patients, there is enough room in their jaw, and they come in perfectly straight, so there is no need to remove these extra molars. But for most, one complication or another occurs, and the result is pain and discomfort.

Wisdom teeth removal is usually a very easy process. Patients are completely sedated during the procedure, and require only about a week to recover.

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