What is the Purpose of Wisdom Teeth?

What is the Purpose of Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are a dreaded topic for many people, especially since they seem so useless. Do they even have a purpose?

There are so many stressful things about teeth, mouth health, and going to the dentist for many people. Taking care of your teeth and having good oral hygiene is incredibly important, but even with the best routine in the world, you may not be able to save yourself from all dental issues, especially when it comes to wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are a dreaded topic for many people, especially since they seem so useless. Do they even have a purpose?

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

We all know that human teeth come in stages. We are born without any teeth, and our first set (the baby teeth) come in slowly. Many years later, often by the time kids are 7 or 8, the second set of teeth start to grow in and push those baby teeth out. After that, things stay pretty stable till the third set of molars, aka the Wisdom Teeth, start to grow in, typically when people are between 17 and 21 years old. These teeth have grown in on both sides, and on both top and bottom, but they often overcrowd the mouth and/or grow in crooked or sideways. 

Why Do We Have Them?

Wisdom teeth were more than likely an evolutionary trait that benefitted our ancestors, but don’t apply to the world we live in today. Those ancestors had different diets that were harder on their teeth, and they (obviously) didn’t have access to the dental care of today. They’d often wear down or break molars, so those wisdom teeth could have been a very welcome replacement. Today, we cut, chop, and process our foods, and nearly all of the foods we eat are cooked. This is much easier on our teeth than the foods of our ancestors. 

Why Do We Pull Them?

Since our diets and habits have changed, mostly for the better as far as the health of our teeth goes, we no longer need wisdom teeth. The average mouth simply doesn’t have room for four additional teeth, and if they do grow in, they crowd the teeth that are already there, tend to come in at odd angles, and generally cause discomfort. They are also the hardest teeth to care for since they are so far back in our mouths, and they often develop issues if they are allowed to grow in. Most dentists recommend removing them, often in adolescence before they can cause issues.


Whether it’s a regular check-up you need or a tooth extracted, Annapolis Dental Care has the expertise and compassion to work with you on improving your oral health. Your comfort and health are our top priorities, and so we go above and beyond to make our patients happy and give them the highest quality care. To set up an appointment today, please give us a call at 410-571-5014 or visit us online. For more oral health tips for you and your family, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! We are always looking for new patients, so if you live in Arnold, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, MD, come on down!

This entry was posted on Friday, September 4th, 2020 at 3:09 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.