History Behind Wisdom Teeth
Patients often ask us why we have molars when so often they get removed. Great question! The third molars, also known as “Wisdom Teeth” are the last set of teeth to grow. We don’t really need a third set of teeth anymore, so they usually just cause issues. They are an evolutionary remnant that helps us better understand our history in this world. Read on to find out more.
The role of the third molars dates back to humanity’s early ancestors, and they were key for their survival. During that time, the diet consisted of raw meat, roots, berries, nuts, and different types of leaves. Unlike us, they didn’t have tools like knives to cut food or ovens and microwaves to cook, so they had to chew their way through these tough meals to get all the nutrients they needed.
This process required more teeth and a broader jaw to accommodate them, so wisdom teeth erupted comfortably to carry out their function.
Why Do They Often Get Removed?
Modern humans have a totally different diet, especially in the way food is prepared. Jaw growth seemed to be stimulated by tough foods, but now the food gets cut, boiled, and baked, making it softer and much easier to chew. Over time, this has resulted in a smaller and slimmer jawline, where a third set of molars can’t fit and is basically useless.
This new jaw structure is not large enough to fit 32 teeth, so the roots of the third molars can potentially grow in at wrong angles and alter the shape of surrounding teeth, causing them to become impacted or blocked. Hence, the need to remove them.
Now that you know the evolutionary history of wisdom teeth, be sure to share this fun fact with family and friends!
If you have any questions as to how wisdom teeth impact the development of your child’s teeth and their orthodontic treatments, please let us know, and we will be happy to help.