Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wisdom teeth.......

I have a background in dentistry, and I type medical reports for oral surgeons, and when I tell people this, I hear the question why are wisdom teeth called wisdom teeth?

So here is the short answer and a little trivia about wisdom teeth.

In the seventeenth century, they were referred to as teeth of wisdom and by the time the nineteenth century rolled around they were simply wisdom teeth.  Technically, they are third molars but wisdom teeth sounds better.

The reason for this is that it is believed that between the ages of 17 and 25 is the point in time that a person reaches adulthood and is wiser than when the other teeth erupted.  Recent studies have shown that the brain reaches full maturity around the age of 25 so that makes sense to me.

Did you know that back in the caveman day, they had four sets of three molars?  The reason for this is because back then, they needed more teeth for grinding their food, foods such as tough meat (gross), leaves, and nuts for example.

As time went on, the human brain began to expand in size which caused the need for the skull to accommodate for this which in turn caused the human jaw bone to become more narrow to accommodate the brain. Thousands of years later due to changes involving the skull and jaw bones, we no longer have enough room in our jawbones for four sets of three molars, and the majority of people today do not have enough room to accommodate the wisdom teeth/third molars.  In fact, around 35% of people will never get wisdom teeth.

In reality, no one needs wisdom teeth.  They can/but not always cause a lot of problems for some people because these meat-mashing molars are cavity-collectors and cause periodontal disease on the tooth/teeth in front of them.

If they are impacted, they can also change/shift your teeth, slowly but surely, and cause issues with your bite.  Not everyone needs their wisdom teeth pulled either, and honestly there is no specific time frame in which to have them pulled if you do.  I had my wisdom teeth out at 27, and I type reports daily about people older than this having their wisdom teeth out.

That is about as exciting as wisdom teeth can get!

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