For some, wisdom teeth are a mystery.
The purpose they hold and the reason they even form in first place if all they’re going to do is cause discomfort, pain, and spacing problems for most people is often questioned.
Luckily, we’ve got what you want to know regarding wisdom teeth.
So, why do wisdom teeth form, and why do they form later in life?
This is the main question people have in regards to wisdom teeth, and we understand why – It’s complex. The third set of molars, known as your wisdom teeth, are said to form due to an evolutionary factor.
Because our ancestors resorted to eating hard nuts, berries, meat, leaves, and other coarse foods, it’s believed wisdom teeth helped with that consumption. However, with modern cooking, wisdom teeth are not longer necessary for eating as they say.
It is not known why wisdom teeth develop later in life, but what we do know is that teeth do have stages. First, the baby teeth develop, then adult permanent teeth, and lastly, the wisdom teeth. It’s just a part of tooth development and a part of general growth into adulthood.
When do wisdom teeth typically develop, and when should they be removed?
Wisdom teeth typically develop around ages 17-25. Four at the most, sometimes less, develop around this age range.
Every person is different; however, one thing is for sure: Getting your wisdom teeth removed as soon as possible is vital, that is, if crowding or pain is a problem for you. Getting wisdom teeth removal done as soon as possible means less chances of tooth shifting and further oral pain. Your dentist will let you know what should be done about your wisdom teeth and when.
Is it okay to keep my wisdom teeth?
Yes, your wisdom teeth are fine to keep as long as they aren’t problematic for you. A dentist will let you know if they should be removed or if they’re okay to keep.
Swelling, pain, spacing issues, teeth shifting, speech problems, or trouble eating should not be problems for you if your wisdom teeth are perfectly fine to keep. However, keep in mind that around 85% of wisdom teeth do end up having to get removed due to complications in the mouth, but you may but a part of that 15%.
Why do some people never develop wisdom teeth?
A lucky 35% never develop wisdom teeth, and it’s not 100% sure why. Those who follow the evolutionary factor believe those who do not develop wisdom teeth are more evolved in terms of jaw structure, and those who do develop them have a less evolved jaw. Because jaws have become smaller over time, it’s believed this has a playing role in whether or not your jaw is large enough to house wisdom teeth.
Statistics have shown that ethnicity plays a huge role with wisdom tooth development. Almost all indigenous Mexicans are lucky enough not to develop wisdom teeth, but in other ethnicities, nearly all develop wisdom teeth. It’s complicated, but genetic background certainly plays a role with this.