According to scientists that study ancient humans, we developed our wisdom teeth so that we could eat a diet of more grains, roots, nuts, and other foods that needed a lot of chewing.
Actually, the way evolution works is that at some time in the far distant past, nearly all of the humans that didn’t have the extra row of molars had to have died out. Most likely from starvation, it would seem, and therefore all of their offspring had that extra molar that we call wisdom teeth.
There must have also been other humans that didn’t go through the same famine so they didn’t ever die off from the lack of the extra tooth.
The two ancient humans from different areas mixed together and us modern humans now struggle with wisdom teeth that come in without enough space in our jawbones to be effective.
A huge percentage of people then end up having to have their wisdom teeth extracted because of crowding and other problems.
How Do You Know You’re Going To Have Wisdom Teeth Problems
Most likely, when you were younger your family dentist will have taken an X-ray and examined your wisdom teeth as they grew. Then he would have shown you the photo and told you that in the future, you’re going to have to have them pulled because there isn’t enough room for them.
On our lower jawbone, there is a limit to how many teeth can fit because the jaw makes a quick curve up after the 12-year molar. Then, when your wisdom teeth emerge, they rise up and hit that part of the jaw only to recede back down. This blockage is called an impacted wisdom tooth. They do this over and over again causing pain, discomfort, and sometimes become infected.
On the upper jaw, the jawbone does just the opposite, it curves away and the wisdom teeth end up aimed towards the back of the throat. This can be less of a problem and sometimes a person will have to get the lower wisdom teeth extracted but can leave the uppers alone. However, at some later date, maybe when they’re 40 years old, those upper wisdom teeth might break through the gums and start causing problems. The actual statistic is that about 85% of all wisdom teeth will eventually have to be removed.
Why It’s Better To Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed At A Younger Age
When it comes to dental work, especially having dental surgery, people tend to like to put it off for as long as possible. Even your dentist might say it’s a good idea to wait to see what happens. However, up until about age 25, we can have dental surgery and recover rather quickly with no problems, fewer infections, less pain, it’s just better.
After 25, the roots of our wisdom teeth are more likely to have grown attached to the jawbone, which makes the surgery more difficult and infection more likely. It’s also possible to have a recovery time of several weeks to a month, instead of just a few days.
If you’re having trouble with your wisdom teeth, you should consult with a dentist right away. Infections of the gums can reach the jawbone and become very serious, causing more tooth loss than what you might expect. And, if you have the extraction surgery before problems arise, your recovery will be much shorter, with less pain, and a far better outcome.