What Do You Know About Wisdom Teeth?
We get a lot of questions about wisdom teeth here at Dr. Hudson’s office. One of the most popular patient questions we hear is, "Does everyone have wisdom teeth?" Read on to find out the answer to this question and other frequently asked question we field about wisdom teeth.
1. What are wisdom teeth? Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars. They are the last teeth that we get, and come in (usually) at the very back of the mouth, furthest away from the front.
2. What is the function of wisdom teeth? Many scientists believe that wisdom teeth developed in our ancestors as a result of diet. Ancient populations ate hard foods like shelled nuts or tough foods like raw meat. As our diets became softer, the need for these teeth decreased.
3. Do all people have wisdom teeth? While most people have their wisdom teeth, some patients may not have any at all. Other patients may have only one or two. Most patients have all four. Wisdom teeth typically erupt between the ages of eighteen to twenty-five. Lack of wisdom teeth has nothing to do with lacking wisdom, either!
4. Why do some people get them and some people don’t? One of the theories behind missing wisdom teeth is a genetic mutation called MYH16. Another theory is that bigger brain development occurred during human evolution. As a result of bigger brains, there was less room for the third set of molars. Additionally, some patients actually do have wisdom teeth, but they never erupt.
5. Do I have to have my wisdom teeth out? Not everyone has to have their wisdom teeth out. Wisdom teeth have to be extracted if they are impacted, or are blocked by other teeth from erupting. Impacted teeth can result in infection, tooth decay, and even cavities. Wisdom teeth may also have to be extracted if they are causing other teeth to be crowded and shift out of place. You may have some that erupt and others that are impacted. Wisdom teeth that erupt may fit perfectly in your mouth along with your other teeth. Every patient is different, and each wisdom tooth situation is different.
If you have additional questions about wisdom teeth or wisdom tooth extraction, give Dr. Hudson a call today at 1.888.724.7986. He would love to hear from you!