wisdom teeth

Why We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Why Call Them ‘Wisdom Teeth?’

Wisdom teeth refer to the names of protrusions that start to appear in the back of the mouth around the age of 18-24. Your dentist may call it the third molar. Ever wondered how these teeth develop such a lofty reputation? 

Like many other words, we inherited this word from the ancient Greeks. These writers actually took three names for these late-flowering teeth, but the name inherited by the British was “sóphronistér”. This refers to temperance and teaching behaviors-abilities that the ancient Greeks thought were only in their later years. Therefore, at least in the eyes of the ancients, when you start to become wise, you will gain wisdom teeth. 

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Your teeth arrive in an orderly manner, and the molars appear last. Usually, the first set of molars appear around 6 years old, and the second set of molars appear around 12 years old. The last group-wisdom teeth are much longer than the others, and about one in five adults will never get them. Your ancestors played a role in this. Tasmanians almost never have wise teeth, while indigenous Mexicans almost always have wise teeth. This seems to be due to a genetic mutation that first appeared in China 300,000 years ago.

Scientists believe that changes in eating patterns have also changed the shape and function of our mouths. In the age of our ancient ancestors, humans lived on many foods that needed to be chewed vigorously. It is believed that foods such as roots, nuts, leaves, and meat accounted for a large part of our diet at that time. Nowadays, most of our food has become soft, and we have knives and forks that can do a lot of “chewing” for us. 

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Normally, your wisdom teeth will not pop out of the gum line the way they should. Sometimes, wisdom teeth buckle and grow close to or away from other teeth, which are called “impinging” teeth. Estimates of how often new wisdom teeth are affected vary widely. Some commented that more than 70% of all new third molars were affected, while others said less than 40%. This problem can sometimes cause pain, inflammation, and infection, although not always. 

A study showed that about 12% of the affected wisdom teeth contained more severe symptoms. Traditionally, it is believed that the affected wisdom teeth will squeeze other teeth and make them out of alignment. However, some people believe that because wisdom teeth grow from the spongy tissue near the jaw without strong support, they cannot anchor and destroy other teeth with stronger roots. 


When wisdom teeth break out, even if they break out partially, they are prone to coronary heart disease. This is the name for gum pain and infection found in 6% to 10% of wisdom teeth germination. Usually, when wisdom teeth erupt naturally, this is not a problem. It tends to appear in teeth that are pulled very slowly from the gum line (usually lower wisdom teeth). 

Cysts and Tumors 

Wisdom teeth are particularly prone to cysts and tumors. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop on the jawbone. They can cause the loss of your mandible. Tumors are abnormal tissue growth and rarely become cancerous. 

Cysts and tumors can become enlarged and painful. If left untreated and they may cause oral problems. If a cyst or tumor causes pain and other problems around your wisdom teeth, your dentist may recommend you to remove that teeth. Fortunately, they are rare. Two studies found that they were present in only 2.5% of the removed wisdom teeth. 

Other Issues

In addition to periodontitis, cysts, and tumors, wisdom teeth may also show signs of other problems. Other issues include: 

  • Bone loss near the root
  • Damage to adjacent teeth
  • Cavity
  • There is no room for brushing and flossing around the teeth 

Should You Remove Them Just in Case? 

In the United States and other countries, the affected wisdom teeth have been the driving force for the preventive removal of most wisdom teeth. However, not all health organizations consider this to be necessary, and not all countries regularly extract wisdom teeth for preventive reasons. 

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