Why Wisdom Teeth Are Still a Thing

By the time many people reach their late teens and early twenties, they’ve already begun to grow their last four molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth. Unlike the other 28 permanent teeth, wisdom teeth are frequently extracted because there’s little room for them to erupt on the dental ridge. Their penchant for causing trouble and the routine manner in which they’re extracted may make you wonder why we grow wisdom teeth in the first place. Coincidentally, you wouldn’t be the first one to question the wisdom of growing third molars, and experts believe the answer lies in how our ancestors used their teeth.

How Our Teeth Have Evolved

The typical adult mouth contains several different kinds of teeth. Incisors and canines tear and rip into food, while bicuspids and molars process food further by grinding and pulverizing it before you swallow. Today, four sets of two molars at the back of the mouth usually suffice to process food; however, our ancestors’ diets were much rougher than anything on most of today’s menus. Raw meat and vegetation required incredible chewing power, which could only have been supplied with the additional set of molars we now call wisdom teeth. With a softer diet, the use of fire to cook our food, and improved eating utensils, wisdom teeth have become obsolete and cause more inconvenience than benefit.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted?

As wisdom teeth try to find their place on your dental ridge, they may become hindered by the limited space, pushing against your second set of molars and damaging nearby teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is often needed to stop the disturbance from destroying a patient’s dental health, and to relieve what can be debilitating discomfort resulting from the impaction. If your wisdom teeth hurt, or if you’re wondering whether or not you should remove your third molars before they have a chance to hurt, then speak with your dentist about your options for wisdom tooth extraction.

Learn More About Troublesome Wisdom Teeth

If you have one or more wisdom teeth that are giving your trouble, then speak with your dentist to find out if you should have them extracted. To schedule a consultation, call Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, today at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities.

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