Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

August 28, 2020

Wisdom teeth on X-rayThe extra molars that start growing in during your teen and young adult years are commonly known as your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are the cause of thousands of surgeries annually and if they do grow in they can cause a great deal of damage.

I’m sure you’ve wondered why we have wisdom teeth if they’re constantly being removed?

What’s The Purpose of Wisdom Teeth?

Soft foods that we consume every day are a newer luxury. Our ancestors were forced to hunt and gather their food. We believe their diet consisted of harder foods than we’re used to.

We believe this because your jaw is similar to all other muscles in the body. When you exercise your muscles also grow. The hard food diet would explain why our ancestors had much larger jaws than we have now. This allowed for extra space for their wisdom teeth to grow in and be put to use on the harder food.

Today, we aren’t exercising our jaw muscles nearly as much for it to grow the size it once was. This results in having no space or need for our wisdom teeth to grow in.

Wisdom Tooth Pain

If you experience pain in the back of your mouth or you see a tooth poking through your gums, you should definitely contact your local dentist! In some cases, wisdom teeth can shift your pre-existing teeth if there isn’t enough space. Other times, they can grow in sideways, and in rare cases, they grow perfectly fine! The best way to find out is to get X-rays and discuss your options with your dentist.