Illustration of a mouth with erupting wisdom teeth that could be removed at Bellevue Dental Oasis

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

April 17, 2023 8:05 pm
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Wisdom teeth, or the third molars located at the very back of the mouth, are the last teeth to emerge, usually appearing between ages 17-26. More often than not, they need to be removed so they don’t cause problems with your smile.

Wisdom Teeth Over Time

Although wisdom teeth are mostly superfluous in modern times, they were likely quite beneficial for our early ancestors. Ancient humans had a diet that consisted of extremely tough, fibrous foods that required extra chewing power, like roots and raw meat. Over time, the human diet has changed significantly as we began to use utensils to cut food into smaller bites, cook with fire (making food much softer), and devote more time to agriculture instead of hunting and gathering.

Additionally, our ancestors’ skulls were larger and shaped in a way that accommodated these extra molars. Our skulls have since evolved to the size they are today, but we still carry the gene for wisdom teeth. Because our jaws are now so much smaller, the eruption of wisdom teeth can cause serious problems.

When wisdom teeth are unable to properly emerge, they can become impacted, or trapped under the surface of the gums. This can lead to a host of issues, including decay and infection. Even if your wisdom teeth do come in properly, they can cause the rest of your teeth to shift, leading to a crooked smile or misalignment of your bite.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Bellevue, WA

Have you been experiencing mouth or jaw discomfort that you think could be related to your wisdom teeth? Our team at Bellevue Dental Oasis can assess your smile to determine if you would benefit from wisdom teeth removal. If so, we will take good care of you during your procedure. We offer relaxing patient amenities and sedation dentistry to help you feel at ease. We will also give you detailed aftercare instructions to help you have a smooth recovery. Please contact our office today to schedule a consultation!

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