What Purpose Do Wisdom Teeth Serve?

wisdom teeth Chicago, IL

Wisdom teeth once played an important role, but as humans evolved the role of our third molars became less significant. A common question that many dentists receive is in regard to the purpose of wisdom teeth. Read on to find out more about the purpose of wisdom teeth.

About wisdom teeth and their purpose

Many think that wisdom teeth are the molars in the back of the mouth that erupt late and are there to cause trouble and require removal. However, this was not always the case. Although wisdom teeth serve less of a purpose now, they once were used far more often and relied upon each day. The following is a review of the current and former purpose wisdom teeth serve.

The history of wisdom teeth

Through studies conducted by paleontologists and other science professionals, it is now common belief that humans once utilized the often infamous third molar more often than we currently do. Scientists believe that the human jaw used to be larger, providing more room for wisdom teeth to grow in naturally. The third molars were used for tearing, crushing and chewing food. However, as we began to cook food and soften it and use forks, spoons and knives, many believe that the human jaw became smaller, and the role of wisdom teeth became less significant.

Are wisdom teeth useful today?

Wisdom teeth play less of a role in the life of humans today. As mentioned, this is because we have different ways of breaking our food up and softening it before we eat. However, those who have enough space in their mouth for wisdom teeth to grow in properly without affecting adjacent teeth or increasing the risk of an oral health concern may find use out of their extra set of molars. Unfortunately, however, wisdom teeth often cause more problems than they solve.

When should wisdom teeth be removed?

Wisdom teeth should be removed if they increase the risk of an oral health concern, push up against other teeth or are impacted. Since there is often not enough space inside the mouth for third molars, they can grow in sideways or never break through the gums at all, which can increase the risk of teeth shifting, as well as oral infection and cavities. Dentists may recommend removing them if they cause concern, although wisdom teeth that grow in properly do not need removal.

How does wisdom teeth removal work?

Wisdom tooth extraction involves minor surgery, but it is generally safe for patients. A sedative will most likely be provided to ensure the patient feels as little discomfort as possible. Through a series of steps, they will then access the wisdom teeth and carefully remove them. After the surgery, there will be some discomfort that can be managed through good at-home oral care and over-the-counter pain relievers.

Talk to a dental professional about wisdom teeth removal

If you are having issues with your wisdom teeth and want to learn more about wisdom teeth removal, then get in touch with us today to arrange a time for a consultation visit.

Request an appointment here: https://smilesonmichigan.com or call Smiles On Michigan at (312) 509-9492 for an appointment in our Chicago office.

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