What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are known in clinical and dental terms as the third set of molars. On average, humans have four wisdom teeth, few individuals only develop one or two wisdom teeth, however, in certain cases they may never develop, and sometimes they are missing.
They are the last teeth to erupt, and they come through at the back of the mouth, behind the last standing teeth. These teeth were named for the time at which they make their appearance at the very back of the mouth, which is usually between the ages of 17 and 25 when a young person might be pursuing wisdom with higher education.
Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?
Not everyone has wisdom teeth. A study shows that up to 35% of people have missing wisdom teeth. There are two main reasons why some individuals have no wisdom teeth:
- They are present but still haven’t erupted yet. Wisdom teeth may never erupt if they are impacted (not enough space for them to grow) and may remain dormant in the jawbone for many years.
- The lack of wisdom teeth is related to genes. A study carried out at Princeton University shows evolution has a large role to play in the absence of wisdom teeth. The study shows that the expanding brain size over hundreds and thousands of years meant that the head was no longer large enough to accommodate a larger brain and an extra set of teeth.
Therefore, a gradual shift in jaw engineering doesn’t allow a third molar to form correctly as they are no longer needed because we mainly rely on our first and second molars to do the chewing, so the lack of the third set won’t prevent you from eating without difficulty.
Another study carried out by the University of Pennsylvania discovered a chromosomal mutation called MYH16. This mutation is explained as an evolutionary trait that has allowed modern humans to grow larger brains and also means humans have less need of and room for wisdom teeth.
Opponents of evolution place greater weight on the dietary shift that has occurred in humans and dental hygiene in lessening our reliance on wisdom teeth, discounting the role of our evolving jaws and brains. However, with a simple comparison of ancient bones placing a prehistoric jaw and a modern jaw next to each other, the space is visibly smaller.
Should People Be Worried If They Have No Wisdom Teeth?
What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Should People Have Their Wisdom Teeth Extracted?
If they are causing issues and impacting the surrounding teeth, it is best to have the affected teeth removed by a dental specialist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon. After the oral surgery, there are a few guidelines you need to follow, including eating softer foods, taking pain relievers, and making sure to get some rest.
One also needs to ensure a clot is formed over the extraction site. Post an extraction, your dentist will give you a piece of gauze to bite on. Try to bite down and keep it in place at the site for at least an hour afterward. There’s a looming danger of dry socket formation if you fail to follow the oral surgeon’s instructions.
Concerned about your wisdom teeth? Enquire today.