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Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Woman smiling

Between the ages of 17 and 24, humans develop a third set of molars in the back of their jaws. These molars are known as wisdom teeth. While they don’t serve any specific purpose for modern humans (they were useful for early humans), their growth can be painful, and sometimes, these teeth can grow impacted, thus affecting the surrounding teeth.    

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Our earliest ancestors ate a diet of raw meat, leaves, berries, and nuts. Chewing raw food was difficult, and therefore, they needed stronger teeth. Our ancestors also had wider jaws to accommodate a third set of molars.

Do We Need Wisdom Teeth Today?

We don’t need wisdom teeth today, and it has much to do with what we eat. Most of our food is cooked, boiled, fried, or grilled, and we don’t need to chew as hard as our ancestors did. However, several experts believe that impacted wisdom teeth are a product of eating cooked food and taking smaller bites.

They also believe that the human jawline has become smaller with time due to how we eat and prepare food. Smaller jaws cannot accommodate wisdom teeth, so they grow in impacted. As a result, people have to invest in wisdom teeth extractions. 

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Problematic?

As humans evolved, their jaws became smaller, to the point where they could not house the extra teeth our early ancestors had. Because other teeth block them, some wisdom teeth cannot grow at all. Some people don’t have wisdom teeth, and for some, they don’t erupt beyond the surface. Here are some of the reasons why this happens.

  • Root development and tooth angle.
  • Size of the wisdom tooth.
  • Space in the jawbone.

Final Word

If you need an impacted wisdom tooth removal or impacted wisdom removal in Portsmouth, you have come to just the place. At Coastal Periodontics, we offer Portsmouth's finest periodontic services. To benefit from our services, please visit us online or call 603-427-8383.

Posted on Aug 28, 2023
Image Credit:

File ID 17513064 | © Ggprophoto | Dreamstime.com

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