Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

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Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Anyone who has ever suffered through the pain of erupting wisdom teeth has most likely wondered what they are for and why we even have them if they get removed as soon as they show up. Although wisdom teeth appear relatively useless now, they actually used to serve a very important purpose.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

What Are Wisdom Teeth For?

Human beings grow a third set of molars that are known as wisdom teeth. This typically happens during a person’s late teens or their early twenties. Wisdom teeth are the final teeth to develop and they are situated in the very back of your mouth. 

A majority of adults have their wisdom teeth taken out due to the level of pain that they cause. When wisdom teeth grow in at an incorrect angle or you do not have enough space in your mouth to accommodate them. In both of these cases, your wisdom teeth will have to be extracted by a dental professional. 

What Purpose Do They Serve?

As surprising as it may sound, once upon a time they actually served a specific purpose. Centuries ago, our ancestors relied on their wisdom teeth to thoroughly chew tough, raw plants. They actually needed these extra teeth in order to survive.

As human beings evolved, however, and as they discovered ways to make their food softer before they ate it, such as cooking, the necessity of the third molars vanished. In due course, the human mouth also evolved to accommodate a more modern diet by becoming smaller. 

As our wisdom teeth slowly became obsolete, some human beings actually stopped growing them. Close to 50% of all adults still grow at least one of their third molars, but most adults are missing one or more. 

Not everyone has to have their wisdom teeth pulled. A lot of adults have plenty of space in their mouths for their wisdom teeth to grow the same as all their other teeth. For other people, however, the eruption of their wisdom teeth means excruciating pain and a visit to their dental professional.

At McBride Dental, we want to help you and your family do everything possible to have and preserve healthy teeth and gums. By scheduling regular appointments with your California family dentist and practicing the oral care techniques we teach you, your whole family will easily maintain teeth that are healthy, strong, and effective.

The San Marcos offices of Dr. Michael McBride are staffed with reputable, professional San Diego dentists that are ready to address any concerns you may have regarding common dental procedures, as well as preventative, cosmetic, or restorative dentistry. We also provide sedation dentistry treatments as an option for our patients with severe dental anxiety.

It is our job to help you and your family establish healthy dental habits to make sure that your teeth will always be there when you need them and your smile will always look great.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a San Marcos dentist, please give us a call at (760) 471-1003 and speak with a trained member of our dental staff today.


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