Wisdom Teeth: Why Do We Have Them?

Wisdom Teeth: Why Do We Have Them?

Many people get them removed because wisdom teeth are going to cause dental problems down the road. We so often hear about people getting their wisdom teeth removed that you can’t help but wonder why we even have them at all?

Many people agree that wisdom teeth have ancient roots that stretch back to our ancestors. Since their diet consisted of harder to chew foods like roots, rough plants, and raw meat, these additional molars were necessary. Our ancestors also had wider jaws to accommodate these larger teeth.

Through the years, human’s diets changed to include softer foods and our jaws have gotten smaller, meaning the third molar is not always necessary and doesn’t always fit well. When there is not enough space for the wisdom teeth to emerge, many dental issues can arise. For some, wisdom teeth can start erupting at 45-degree angles and, in very bad situations, horizontally.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

So when is removal the right decision? It is different for each person depending on many different factors. We treat each wisdom teeth case individually by analyzing all the factors. Wisdom teeth are the actually the only teeth that do not form during fetal development, so it is not until late adolescence and the early teen years that a decision can be made about what their impact can be.
Wisdom teeth removal is a likely recommendation for the following issues:

  • Wisdom teeth emerging at bad angles
  • Wisdom teeth crowding other teeth
  • Wisdom teeth impacted below the gums
  • Wisdom teeth cause unsafe oral hygiene conditions

It is best to get your wisdom teeth treated before larger issues occur, so it is important to share any pain or discomfort you experience with your dentists. While it sounds like a difficult process, wisdom teeth removal has become a very common and standard procedure… that also gives you an excuse to eat lots of ice cream!

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