Roughly 85% of people need to have their third set of molars — their wisdom teeth — removed at some point during their life. But since the vast majority of your body parts serve a specific purpose, you might be wondering why you have these teeth in the first place.
Here at Dental Arts of Beverly Hills, Arman Dayan, DDS, aims to not just deliver top-tier wisdom tooth extractions when they’re necessary, but also to help people understand these teeth and why extraction is right for them.
You might be wondering why your body went through the trouble of adding this third set of molars to your mouth in the first place. Let’s find out.
The purpose of wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth developed to help early humans chew through their food. Without plates and knives to make eating easier for us, we relied on broader jaws and all three sets of molars to grind our food down to a swallowable size. When we were primarily hunter-gatherers, we had quite a bit of meat to chew down.
As we moved toward farming and improved our table manners, our teeth had less work to do. As a result, human jaw size has shrunk through the years. We no longer needed broad jaws or three sets of molars to get through our food. We developed silverware and moved toward food preparations that put easier-to-chew meals on our plates.
In short, over the centuries, our wisdom teeth became obsolete.
Why wisdom teeth get removed
Dr. Dayan and other dentists don’t just remove wisdom teeth because they’re no longer useful. Your body has plenty of useless parts with which you can comfortably live.
The problem with wisdom teeth is that, as we’ve mentioned before, human jaw size has gotten smaller over the years. In fact, now, our jaw stops growing at roughly 18 years of age.
That presents a problem because wisdom teeth usually don’t come in for a year or more after that point. By the time they erupt through the gums, they’re usually positioned in a mouth that quite simply doesn’t have the space for them. This can cause a number of problems, including:
- Crowding that pushes your other teeth out of alignment
- Impacted wisdom teeth (i.e., teeth that can’t grow in fully)
- Wisdom teeth that grow in crooked, trapping bacteria and causing infection
- Cysts under your gums near the wisdom tooth
Fortunately, Dr. Dayan can assess a person’s jaw in their late teens or early 20s to determine if they have space for their wisdom teeth. If not, he can perform wisdom tooth extraction, so that person can avoid all of the problems we just listed. With tools like the Magnetic Mallet, he can make this process quicker and more painless than many expect.
To learn more about wisdom teeth and how to get them out as comfortably as possible, call our office, or book an appointment with Dental Arts of Beverly Hills online today.