Wisdom comes with age, and so do wisdom teeth. The third molars at the back of your mouth got their name because they tend to show up later in life — supposedly when a person is older and smarter. However, while these teeth have an intriguing name, they don’t always do good things for your oral health. Therefore, the question arises, why do we have wisdom teeth? Furthermore, why do so many people get them removed? Your dentist in Sapulpa is here to provide some insight into these fascinating molars.
The Origins of Wisdom Teeth
Scientists postulate that our ancestors’ diet played a role in why we have wisdom teeth. Their idea states that the first humans ate a rough diet that included lots of nuts, meats, leaves, and roots — foods that might require the extra chewing power that a third set of molars provides.
Today, however, wisdom teeth are classified as vestigial organs; from the viewpoint of modern science, they don’t serve a necessary purpose within the body. This is because in today’s world, we tend to eat foods that are easier to munch on. Plus, we have help from forks, knives, and spoons. We simply have no need for wisdom teeth anymore.
Not every person living today develops wisdom teeth, and not everyone who has them has four of them. Some people get only one, while others may be surprised to learn that they have five or more wisdom teeth. Science can’t explain why people have different numbers of wisdom teeth.
Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?
Since wisdom teeth are vestigial, does that mean they should be removed? Not necessarily. Some people can live an entire lifetime without having any problems because of their third molars; these teeth function well and act like normal chompers.
However, there are good reasons to at least consider having your wisdom teeth removed. In many cases, they can cause serious oral health problems. They may only partially erupt from the gum line, increasing the chances that you’ll suffer from an infection. They can also crowd other teeth, pushing them out of alignment and leading to the need for orthodontic intervention.
If you have any pain at the back of your mouth that you think could be because of your wisdom teeth, it’s important that you see your dentist. Your dental care provider will take x-rays and let you know what is going on with your third molars. You might need to undergo wisdom teeth removal in Sapulpa. You might be down for up to a week after the surgery, but in the long run you’ll be glad you got the situation taken care of.
Scientists think that evolution is the reason behind wisdom teeth. Regardless of where they came from, however, they could create problems for modern humans if they aren’t removed.
About Complete Cosmetic Care Dentistry
At Complete Cosmetic Care Dentistry in Glenpool, we’re proud to help our patients achieve gorgeous smiles, but we also want them to have great oral health. If you have any questions or concerns about your wisdom teeth, reach out to our office at 918-216-1000.