Wisdom teeth can be a real pain when they try to squeeze into your mouth. Most people end up getting them removed. So the big question is, why do humans even have these pesky teeth in the first place?
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that normally come in between the ages of 17 and 25. One theory regarding their purpose is that long ago, when people didn’t have the resources to cook, they ate tougher foods that were harder to chew. These people developed wisdom teeth to aid in the grinding of foods. But as time passed, we adapted and our jaws became smaller, therefore leaving less space for wisdom teeth.
Some people don’t get wisdom teeth altogether, if they do come in and you don’t have enough space for them in your mouth, however they will have to be removed. Usually, people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. But you might be surprised to learn that some people can get as many as seven wisdom teeth.
Unremoved wisdom teeth can cause problems if they are unable to grow in properly. If they aren’t taken out people can experience pain and develop infections, tumors, or gum disease. X-rays show if these frustrated chompers have enough space to grow in. If not, the patient will be sent to an oral surgeon to have them removed.
Whether we like it or not, wisdom teeth are a part of our history. And perhaps one day, they will be a problem of the past! But for now, it's best to learn about these frustrating teeth to ensure that we take care of them before it's too late.