Wisdom Teeth: Our Surprising Loss to Evolution
Young adults dread getting their wisdom teeth removed. Going to the oral surgeon to get these suckers out has become commonplace in the America culture. But why are wisdom teeth “extra”?
THE ANSWER LIES IN EVOLUTION.
At one point, our jaws were bigger and had space for wisdom teeth. Want proof? Go to any museum and take a look at the skulls of our ancestors. Their jaws were HUGE with plenty of room. Their jaws were actually healthier than ours today (larger jaws lead to better breathing). Researchers point out that our diets and habits back then were the cause.
We have become accustomed to eating soft and processed foods unfortunately, whereas back in the day humans chewed more which resulted in more jaw strength and size.
Not all wisdom teeth need to get removed. If they erupt in the correct position, they can aid in your chewing capacity! The problem lies when they erupt in awkward positions. This can create pockets where infections can develop and can also irreparably damage perfectly healthy teeth next to them. This is serious and needs to be attended to immediately.
At Tenafly Dental Associates, we will evaluate your wisdom teeth and refer you when necessary to an oral surgeon.