Why Do People Grow Wisdom Teeth?
April 7, 2023
Wisdom teeth are a common thorn in the side of dental patients; they offer essentially nothing in terms of biting force or aesthetics, and needing to have them removed can cause all kinds of headaches.
When you think about it, you might honestly wonder why we even have wisdom teeth in the first place. If you’re interested, here are the leading theories as to why that’s the case.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
There are a few theories about why wisdom teeth were necessary for human ancestors, and why they aren’t anymore. The first has to do with their placement—the wisdom teeth are placed next to the molars, which are designed to be able to grind up crunchy or chewy foods.
This leads some people to believe that wisdom teeth make difficult chewing easier, which was necessary before humans were able to cook and tenderize their food.
Another theory is that dentistry didn’t exist for early humans, so it was much more common for people to have lost many of their teeth by early adulthood. This made growing more teeth as an adult advantageous.
Why Are Wisdom Teeth a Problem Now?
While these are plausible reasons why wisdom teeth could be useful, that isn’t the experience that most people have with them. For the most part, wisdom teeth are either pretty useless or a real problem.
In some cases, wisdom teeth don’t quite fit in the mouth, causing them to get lodged underneath the gumline. This is called impaction, and it can cause serious discomfort and alignment issues over time.
Wisdom teeth are also more prone to infection than other teeth due to the difficulty of flossing them correctly. If this tooth becomes infected, you might experience a fair amount of pain, sensitivity, redness, or bleeding in the area. This could be associated with some other symptoms of infection, like bad breath or a foul taste in your mouth.
If you have a wisdom tooth that becomes impacted or that is especially prone to infection, it’s likely that your dentist will recommend an extraction. Thankfully, while they were useful once upon a time, there’s no real reason to keep these teeth around nowadays.
About Our Practice
At East Islip Dental Care, we believe that dentistry touches every part of people’s lives, which is why we work hard to ensure that the dental care that everyone receives from us is the absolute best that it can be. We want to offer dentistry that can last a lifetime, so if you’re interested in getting a smile that you can feel confident in, we’re happy to offer that to you!
If you have any questions about wisdom teeth, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (631) 581-8600.
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