Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

Most of us that have been in contact with someone who has grown wisdom teeth are only aware of the pain and suffering they can cause. Have you met anyone that is over the age of 25 and still has their wisdom teeth intact? Are you reaching the teenage years where your friends are starting to grow painful wisdom teeth?

Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

Humans used to have much wider jaws to suit their needs for eating coarser, chewier, foods. Third molars, also known as “wisdom teeth,” were an integral part of evolution that our ancestors’ bodies needed to grow to help them munch on their food sufficiently.


Of course, today in the 21st century we have the use of cooking equipment to produce softer food choices as well as utensils to assist us with eating our food. Throughout the evolution of man and modern-day cooking and eating tools, we have made the use of wisdom teeth almost worthless.


Do We Need Wisdom Teeth?


Wisdom teeth are no longer a necessary part of the human body needed to help break down tough and raw foods. Because we no longer require wisdom teeth, they could one day, perhaps many years into the future, become completely obsolete with the progress of human evolution.


Our wisdom teeth typically grow when we are between the ages of 15 and 25, yet not everyone is born with or develops wisdom teeth in their lifetime. Because wisdom teeth don’t serve a primary purpose, it’s normal and absolutely fine to not grow them at all.


Some people may have wisdom teeth hiding beneath the gums but never have an issue with them emerging or causing any pain. If this is the case, they may show up in x-rays, but dentists might recommend leaving them to avoid having to undergo any anesthetic procedures.


Should I Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?


Because wisdom teeth no longer provide a purpose, most people opt for having them removed.


Generally, our mouths have enough room for 28 teeth and are already too crowded without wisdom teeth. The pain that wisdom teeth cause when growing and trying to push aside your current teeth is enough to justify having them removed. But just because you have wisdom teeth, doesn’t mean you should get them removed.


Sometimes wisdom teeth can grow alongside your other teeth and cause no serious issues other than some growing pain. If this is the case, you might not even consider having them removed and use this opportunity to gloat about it to friends who have had to have theirs removed. Though we don’t advise gloating, we can advise that leaving your wisdom teeth intact is absolutely fine if you’re not in any pain and if they aren’t altering your ability to chew and speak.


After performing x-rays and examinations to determine that the wisdom teeth are not going to cause you any concerns, many dentists may actually recommend leaving your third molars in.


Check in with Gentle Care Dentistry if you’re experiencing one or more of the following concerns:


  • Swelling in the jaw

  • Pain in the jaw and around your mouth, gums, and teeth

  • Headaches caused by toothache

  • Difficulty chewing and/or talking

  • Shifting teeth

  • Bad breath

After a check-up with your local Hornsby dentist, we can help to determine if third molars are the cause of your problems and make the appropriate recommendations for the present and future health of your teeth.

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