Many people wonder why we have wisdom teeth at all. After all, they are teeth that seemingly serve no purpose, given most people end up getting them pulled. While wisdom teeth have indeed transformed into something that modern humans don’t necessarily use, their actual function among our ancestors was very different. If you have questions about your wisdom teeth issues or pain contact Whittier Square Dentistry.
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Reasons We Get Wisdom Teeth
Our early ancestors primarily consumed a diet that is very different from the modern processed foods we now eat. They mainly ate raw meat, berries, nuts, roots, and leaves. Their utensils were very primitive and did not work like our fork and knife works today for preparing or consuming food. Likewise, cooking meat was simply not an option. Because of this, they required powerful jaws to be able to chew tough and raw meats and other foods thoroughly. Therefore, they had much broader jaws and sharp molars as a result.
Having 3 different sets of molars, including wisdom teeth, allows them to be able to consume the tough foods that they regularly consumed. Therefore, wisdom teeth were essential for their survival. Our early ancestors had much longer jaws, which accommodated the wisdom teeth. Consequently, they didn’t have the same issues that wisdom teeth present in modern times with much shorter jaws. Their longer jaws allowed ample room for the wisdom teeth to grow and fit into the jaw naturally.
Why We Can Go Without Wisdom Teeth In Modern Times
When you skip forward to modern times, things have changed tremendously. When you look at how we prepare our food, and when you look at what we primarily eat, you will notice significant differences that allow us to go without wisdom teeth. You will notice that we cut, chop, dice a lot of foods. Along with this, we either grill, boil, or steam virtually everything that we consume. Therefore, all of the food that we consume today is much easier to chew than in past ages when we consumed food raw as our ancestors did.
Because of this, experts believe that our jawline has narrowed primarily because of these changes. Nowadays, wisdom teeth are not essential to our survival. This has led to an evolution of our jawline, causing it to get smaller. As a result, there is simply little room for wisdom teeth to erupt. Therefore, a majority of people get these teeth extracted.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Become Such An Issue?
As our jawlines changed, we simply did not have the room for the extra teeth to come in. The jawbone narrowed and became much smaller, which meant that 32 teeth would be unable to fit correctly. Therefore, wisdom teeth erupting can cause severe crowding of the teeth, and it can result in many other problems. Because of these structural changes, some wisdom teeth might even become impacted, which means that they are unable to erupt fully due to the lack of room.
That being said, not everyone has wisdom teeth. At the very least, they don’t erupt to the surface. There are plenty of reasons for this, including the lack of space in the jawbone, the overall angle of the wisdom tooth, and it’s root development.
Even if these teeth wouldn’t cause issues with spacing, they are likely to be extracted to prevent any future problems that could result because of them. After all, the teeth are positioned so far in the back of the mouth that it can be challenging to floss and brush these teeth properly.
The wisdom teeth are the last to erupt in the mouth, and they typically come in around ages 17 to 21. Because of this, they are referred to as “wisdom” teeth because it is said that age brings wisdom.