Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

In young adulthood, most people have their wisdom teeth grow in. Typically, this occurs between the ages of 17 and 25. Officially, wisdom teeth are called third molars. They are the last adult teeth to come in, after “wisdom” has occurred. This is why they’ve come to be known as wisdom teeth. Not everyone develops wisdom teeth. Those who do, often have their wisdom teeth removed by a dentist in St. Cloud, MN for one reason or another. So why do we have wisdom teeth at all?

Your Ancestors Needed Wisdom Teeth

Millions of years ago, your ancestors had very different eating habits. They didn’t use the utensils that we do now, and they didn’t cut their food before eating, as is common practice now. They also rarely cooked their food or boiled it down until it was soft and palatable. Instead, they ate very roughly; eating raw meat, raw vegetation and raw fruits. Eating in this manner required very strong jaws and tough teeth, including those third molars. Your ancestors not only relied on third molars to be able to bite and chew; they also had much larger jaws. Those larger jaws easily accommodated the extra third molars at the back of the mouth.

We Don’t Need Wisdom Teeth Today

Today, humans have much smaller jaws, and we have different eating habits. The eating habits that we have today; cooking foods, cutting it, and using utensils like spoons, forks and knives, means that we don’t need those massive third molars.

In addition, because we have much smaller jaws, often our wisdom teeth cause problems. Many people simply don’t have room in the mouth for wisdom teeth, so they are removed by a dentist in St. Cloud, MN.

Your wisdom teeth come from your ancestors. Thousands of years from now, maybe people won’t get wisdom teeth coming in anymore. For now, your St. Cloud dentist can help with any problems with wisdom teeth that you may have.


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