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Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth

The existence of wisdom teeth is a bit of a mystery to most people, all they know is that when they start coming in they’re in for an unpleasant and painful time. The question many people have is if all we can do about them is have them removed, why do we even get them in the first place? The answer is clear when you consider the life of our ancestors and what they had to face in their day to day living. Today, on the other hand, they’re just a painful and often expensive inconvenience we have to face in our journey to adulthood.

Why We Get Wisdom Teeth

When our ancestors were just barely out of the trees we hadn’t really advanced much in the way of our diet. This meant that these ancient proto-humans were still eating leaves, raw meat, roots, nuts, and berries as part of their standard diet. With no knives to cut with and no fire to cook with there was no way they could make the food they consume easier on their teeth. This made the third molars essential to their survival.

Of course along with those molars they also had larger jaws to accommodate them. While our jaw may have shrunk as our diet changed and we no longer needed the brute strength to mash our food into a digestible state, we still get wisdom teeth. Today we’re able to process our food in a million ways that make it easier to chew, digest, and generally enjoy without the aid of a pair of atom smashers in the back of our mouth.

How Do Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems?

As mentioned above our mouths have changed over the millennia to no longer be able to accommodate these third molars. Unfortunately our DNA hasn’t gotten the message to stop growing them, and that can lead to some serious problems. The most common problem is a condition called “impaction” that is caused by these teeth trying to push in where there’s no room for them to. This can lead to the rest of the teeth being pushed out of alignment, it can also result in cracking and breaking of the other teeth in the mouth.

Not everyone gets wisdom teeth, but those who do almost always have to have them removed. Often a dentist can tell that you have wisdom teeth long before they start to erupt, and will suggest that you have them removed before they have an opportunity to become a problem.

If you think you may be experiencing pain or discomfort as a result of wisdom teeth that are in the process of coming in, contact your dentist today. Experts like Dr. David Pendleton at the Rockdale Smiles Center have been helping patients in the Rockdale, TX area get exceptional preventative care. When serious problems like wisdom teeth impaction start to occur, they’re there to help resolve the issue and alleviate the pain so you can continue enjoying a beautiful smile pain-free. Don’t let your wisdom teeth damage your smile, make a call to the office for an appointment today.

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