What are Wisdom Teeth For?

wisdom-teethYou’ve probably heard several tales of people getting their wisdom teeth removed and probably wondered, “what are wisdom teeth for  anyway?” They seem rather useless if their only purpose is to get removed. Perhaps the better question isn’t what they are used for, but rather what they were used for. Honestly, in this day and age, we no longer need wisdom teeth like our ancestors did centuries and centuries ago.

Wisdom teeth had more of a purpose when the human diet consisted of rough, tougher foods, like leaves, nuts and meat. Humans of long ago didn’t have the utensils and soft foods we do now, so wisdom teeth gave them the chewing power they needed to consume those hefty and raw foods. These days we have different cooking techniques, forks and knives to assist us in our eating habits. We don’t need the tough teeth anymore.

Why do They Cause so Many Problems Now? 

As the human lifestyle changes over the centuries, so do our bodies. Our jaws are a bit smaller than people from long ago and, in result, our wisdom teeth don’t have as much room to come in properly. They may be blocked by other teeth, or become impacted, by coming in at an odd angle. It is possible for wisdom teeth to come in without any complication and be functional teeth. But, wisdom teeth will usually need to come out for one reason or another, as they can also affect the position of other teeth and cause headaches.

Fun Fact:

Wisdom teeth usually come in between seventeen and twenty-five years of age. This is about the age people are thought to become wise, thus giving wisdom teeth their name.