Be Wisdom tooth Wise!
When our back molars are impacted in our jaw, they don’t seem very wise! They’re the last teeth to come into place, and having them was helpful to our early ancestors who ate tough, uncooked foods that wore away their teeth. But with cooking and making food softer, the size of our jaws has diminished, often with room for the last molars to form in the jaw…but not enough room to erupt. This is why that the wisdom teeth are usually removed, and when they are taken out you look like a chipmunk.
However, there is a lot more to them that that, here are some surprising facts about wisdom teeth:
1. Wisdom teeth got their nickname from the age when they typically grow in. Wisdom teeth are actually called third molars. Most people refer to the third molars as wisdom teeth, but where did they get this name? The third molars do not grow out until the dental arch becomes larger, around the age of 17-25, a time also referred to as the “age of wisdom”.
2. Most have to be removed. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, an estimated 85% of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed. This can be because the teeth are impacted; the area is difficult to reach, thus difficult to clean, leading to bacteria and infection.
3. Studies are being conducted to prevent their growth. Wisdom teeth are the only teeth not formed in the womb. Because most people opt to have surgery to remove their wisdom teeth, researchers are looking into ways to prevent their growth altogether.
4. Wisdom teeth can produce stem cells – Japanese researchers found in 2008 that induced pluripotent stem cells can be harvested from wisdom teeth. Thus, wisdom teeth can be saved for potential need for stem cells later in life. You can now have those stem cells harvested and cryogenically frozen for the day you need them. It surprises most people to hear that the cost of banking your dental stem cells from wisdom teeth is about the same as the price of your daily cup of coffee. For more information please go to:
5. Impacted wisdom teeth are an ancient problem – The oldest known impacted wisdom tooth belonged to an unfortunate European woman who lived roughly 15,000 years ago during the Magdalenian period (13,000-18,000 B.C.). The skeleton of the woman was first discovered in France in 1911 and acquired by the Field Museum in Chicago in 1926. For nearly 100 years, the skeleton was known as the “Magdalenian Girl” because her wisdom teeth had apparently not yet erupted. However, new analysis revealed that her wisdom teeth were actually impacted, meaning that they had stopped growing before they completely broke the surface of the gum line. The “Magdalenian Girl” was actually a Magdalenian woman with some pretty bad jaw pain.
6. Nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. When there isn’t enough room for a tooth to enter the mouth fully, it is called "impacted." If left it may damage neighbouring teeth, or become infected due to the difficulty in reaching and cleaning that area of the mouth and gums.
7. Diet and dental work may be responsible for impacted wisdom teeth. Well according to anthropologists, the early humans suffered from extraordinary wear of the teeth due to a tough diet. The damage allowed for the teeth to drift, which guaranteed plenty of space for the third molar to erupt. Back then, the third molar was able to emerge into the oral cavity at around the same time as the other permanent teeth because of the lack of obstacles. Nowadays, diets have become a lot softer. When you pair that with the amazing advances in dental care we are accustomed to, like braces and retainers, people end up having a much healthier, fuller, and straighter smile. But these don’t leave much room for the third molars to grow out. Impaction and misalignment occur when the dental arch still doesn’t have enough room for the wisdom teeth to fully emerge unchallenged, which for most people is often the case.
8. Humans will evolve past wisdom teeth. A third set of molars helped our larger-jawed ancestors grind up roots, nuts, and leaves. But nowadays, 35% of people are born without wisdom teeth. Most of the rest of us are encouraged to get ours removed—our jaws are too small to have wisdom teeth. When our bodies no longer need an organ or part, it becomes vestigial and eventually disappears. According to scientists, future generations will lack appendices, wisdom teeth, and maybe even little toes.
If you have any concerns about your wisdom teeth, it is best to have them checked; be wisdom tooth wise. WE are a call away, call us on 01923254979 to book an appointment. We are Caspian, we are simply Excellent.
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