Wisdom teeth removal is an extremely common procedure. But, if so many people need wisdom teeth removal sooner or later, why do we even have them? What are wisdom teeth for if they just end up having to be taken out? As providers of wisdom teeth removal and a wide range of other general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry services, Parkcrest Dental Group can explain.
The Evolutionary Purpose of Our Teeth
Over millions of years, our teeth have changed and adapted depending on our diet and environment. Of course, we don’t really notice any changes in our own teeth since it happens slowly over a long period of time, but a look at our own teeth can show the evidence.
Our incisors, the front teeth in your mouth, were originally for tearing into meat. Canines, the small, slightly fang-like teeth next to them, were to hold it in place. Molars, the flatter teeth at the back, were for grinding and chewing. The pronounced shape of teeth like canines reduced over time as we started to cook food which does not require the same tearing action as meat.
What Wisdom Teeth Were For
So what about wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth are an additional, larger set of molars that grow in later. These extra teeth are strong, firmly-set in the back of the human jaw that was once larger to accommodate them. This meant more room for more teeth, less of a need for wisdom teeth removal, and a higher chance of survival when it came to eating raw meat, roots, and leaves.
Much like the way that our canine teeth became less pronounced over time, the human jaw became smaller. This is why wisdom teeth will cause pain and discomfort and usually need to be removed.
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Do They Have To Be Removed?
Not everyone needs to undergo wisdom teeth removal. Depending on the size and shape of your jaw and the condition and arrangement of your teeth, they may grow in with no issues. People who have had many teeth removed sometimes have no need for their wisdom teeth to be extracted.
In fact, some people are born without wisdom teeth, while others may have them in their jaw, but they never actually grow in. This could be a sign of our genes gradually adapting to phase out our wisdom teeth altogether. For now though, if you have wisdom teeth but don’t feel any current discomfort, it’s a good idea to see your dentist regularly. Wisdom teeth that appear fine can increase the chances of issues later in life.
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Looking for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
If you need wisdom teeth removal, we can help. Contact Parkcrest Dental Group about having your wisdom teeth removed or for any other dentistry services you may need.