Wisdom Teeth are Dumb

shutterstock_96792061-300x200Most of us have a story about having our wisdom teeth out because just about everyone has to have them out. Question is, why? If wisdom teeth are so smart, why do we need the dentists at Gentle Dental to take them out?

What are they?

Anthropologists believe wisdom teeth, known as the third set of molars, are a leftover of evolution. Our ancestors needed them because they didn’t watch Food Network or eat sushi. They ate leaves, roots, nuts, and really tough meats. This required more chewing power and led to excessive tooth wear.

Now we eat softer foods, and have these marvels of technology known as knives and forks to make smaller bites. So, we no longer need the extra set of molars. They are classified as vestigial organs, or body parts that have become functionless due to evolution.

Why are they so late?

Wisdom teeth get their name because they erupt later, when we are supposedly more wise. The first molars erupt around age six, the second around age 12. Wisdom teeth begin forming around age 10 and don’t erupt until the ages of 17 to 25.

Un-Wise Problems

Wisdom teeth cause serious dental issues for most people. Because our jaws aren’t as long as they used to be when saber-toothed tigers were chasing us around, we don’t have room for a third set of molars anymore. So, when they try to come in they are usually impacted, or blocked, by the other teeth around them. They crowd the other teeth, which can cause problems. Plus, when they do partially erupt, food gets trapped in the gum tissue leading to bacteria growth and infection.

Get them out

Once x-rays start showing the wisdom teeth, it’s usually time to start thinking of getting them out. The best time to get them out is when their roots are only two-thirds formed, when a person is between the ages of 15 and 18.

So don’t let wisdom teeth become an issue. Have the dentists at Gentle Dental take them out. Call us at (732) 549-5660 for an appointment.

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