Wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure. In fact, most people’s wisdom teeth cause sufficient problems to the extent that they must be removed. So if wisdom teeth are usually removed, why do we get them in the first place? No one is really sure, but there are some theories.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth is a term used to refer to the very last set of molars, which usually arrive when we are in our late teens or early twenties. Because they arrive later in life, the teeth earned their unique nickname.
Unfortunately, by the time these teeth arrive, we usually don’t have sufficient room for them. The teeth commonly become impacted, which leads to infection, crowding, and other problems. [pullquote]Unfortunately, by the time these teeth arrive, we usually don’t have sufficient room for them. The teeth commonly become impacted, which leads to infection, crowding, and other problems.[/pullquote]
If the teeth cause any of these problems, wisdom teeth removal becomes necessary. Sometimes they can be extracted in your dentist’s office, but other times they must be removed by an oral surgeon. If your wisdom teeth become uncomfortable, or if there are any signs of infection, talk to your dentist as soon as possible.
What Purpose Do Wisdom Teeth Serve?
For modern humans, wisdom teeth actually serve little to no purpose. There is rarely enough room in the jaw for them to erupt properly. However, some scientists have theorized that they had a purpose at an earlier time in our evolution. They are considered a vestigial organ, which is a bodily structure that has, essentially, outlived its usefulness from an evolutionary standpoint.
It’s thought that, at one time, humans needed their wisdom teeth. By the time they came in during early adulthood, primitive humans had probably lost at least some of their teeth to wear and tear, trauma, or decay. This tooth loss made extra room in the mouth, so the last set of molars could emerge without difficulty. They would take the place of missing teeth, making it easier to eat and thereby possibly extending the lifespan of early man. Today, however, we keep our teeth much longer, so there is no real need for this last set of molars.
To evaluate your set of molars, call 972-307-7777 to schedule an appointment with the friendly team at Bliss Dental.