Bad Molars? The origin of Wisdom Teeth


Wisdom teeth are a set of third molars which are usually the last to erupt. People usually get these in the late teens or early twenties. They cause no trouble if they erupt on their own and are healthy. But if it does not develop on its own and causes trouble, then one needs to get it extracted. Because if not extracted, it can cause harm to the adjacent teeth and gums. 

The problem of wisdom teeth has developed with age. The evolution study by the scientist proved that it is an evolutionary legacy. Earlier people never faced any such issue and had all their teeth intact and had no knowledge of wisdom teeth. 

So how did the wisdom teeth evolve? What is the history behind wisdom teeth and what is the legacy behind? 

To know the answer of all these questions let us understand where and when do the wisdom teeth erupt. Just as our permanent teeth erupt in the jaw, the third molar or as it is called wisdom teeth develop in the jawbone. But they evolve very late and are the last to occur in the jaw.  

The second molars usually start to develop at the age of three. The third molars, however, starts forming at the age of nine or sometimes between 7 to 15 years in age. They take a good time to emerge and normally emerge between the age of 17 to 24. During this time the wisdom teeth either erupts completely or partially. 

When this does not erupt properly and gets stuck between the gums then it is called an impacted tooth. There are problems associated with the impacted wisdom teeth such as damage to adjacent teeth, gum diseases or cyst. It can sometimes happen that the wisdom teeth are failing to emerge or rotate at an angle of 20 to 30 degree causing trouble to your gums. 

It is not that having impacted wisdom teeth is bothersome but not taking necessary steps to overcome this will surely cause other problems as discussed. Also, having impacted wisdom teeth is not genetic. This is an evolutionary process and has developed with time. 

One of the major reasons for getting impacted wisdom teeth is lack of space. Because they are the last to erupt, the space in the jawbone is taken by the first or the second molar, as a result, there is no space left for wisdom teeth. They can neither move up or down through the gums.
The evolutionary process has shortened jaw growth. This, therefore, makes it difficult to adjust all the teeth that have emerged or are yet to emerge. Due to this reason kids, today face the problem of crooked teeth more than what it was earlier. So, if space is shortened for even the first and second molars then adjusting the third molar is also a very difficult task. 

But what is really questionable is the jaw size. A decade or two ago people had a longer and broader jawline, however, today the jaw sizes have decreased. One of the most important reason is the type of food we eat. 

Earlier people use to feed on raw food which required chewing such as nuts, raw veggies or hard food. The eating habits of people have changed broadly. They feed on soft food such as peanut butter, pasta, soft bread etc. which do not require much chewing. Since there isn’t any pressure on the jaw, the size of the jaw has reduced and have stopped the growth potential of the jawbones. 

So if your kids are in growing age they urge them to consume crunchy hard food such as raw veggies, nuts for that matter even chapatis. All these require proper chewing in order to push them down to the stomach for further digestion. This will surely help in jaw development and they will then have a stronger and longer jaw to accommodate all the teeth. 

If you have already developed impacted wisdom teeth, then get it extracted as soon as possible else they will be of more harm than good. The process of extraction is quite simple now. The advancement in dentistry has made everything very easy and painless. 

Most of the extraction surgeries today are needleless and are performed with extra care and precision. The dentist today suggests getting the third molar extracted but there are chances that we need not extract it and in that case, they will in time emerge on their own. 

Wisdom teeth are part of our teeth which helps in chewing and helps in nutrition. But not having one will also cause no harm to us. This, however, explains that our diet helps in evolution and add a lot in this process. Wisdom teeth removal today has become a widely known process carried out by the dentist on the people worldwide. 

So, if you are facing the problem of impacted wisdom teeth then look for a dentist near my location and get it extracted.