Why do wisdom teeth come out so late?

Extraction of wisdom teeth is common for many people in their late teens and early thirties. But why do these teeth not come together with the rest of our permanent teeth in childhood?

The answer is related to the child’s development. There is not enough space in the child’s jaw for wisdom teeth to grow. But as the child grows, his jaw also grows and space is provided for the wisdom teeth to grow. In most cases, however, the jaws of modern humans are not large enough for wisdom teeth to grow smoothly. For this reason, it is common for wisdom teeth to be extracted.

Ancient humans ate a diet rich in plant nuts, raw vegetables, game meat, and other solid foods. Julia Bogner, an anthropologist at the University of Saskatchewan Medical College in Canada, wrote on The Conversation website that following this diet at an early age can lead to greater jaw growth. But as people in industrialized countries tend to eat softer foods, the jaw does not grow as much as possible.

Another reason that wisdom teeth erupt at a young age is that they have not been needed until then. When ancient humans lost their mill teeth due to eating hard foods, wisdom teeth replaced them. “They act as a backup for someone who may have lost another large molars,” said Steven Kopferman, an oral surgeon at Seeders-Saina Medical Center in Los Angeles.

But since most people do not lose their large mill teeth in childhood, wisdom teeth wait to grow into adulthood. In other words, if you lose your big mill teeth as a child or teenager, your wisdom teeth are programmed to fill the gap.

The first set of large permanent molars or teeth behind the mouth designed to grind food first appear around the age of six, when the baby’s deciduous teeth begin to fall out. Around the age of 12, the teeth of the second large mill appear and act as support for the teeth of the 6-year-old mill in the event of decay. Teeth of the third mill or wisdom teeth appear around the age of 17 to 21.

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Nowadays, dentists often extract wisdom teeth because their eruption can cause pain in a crowded mouth. Even if a person is not in pain, extracting wisdom teeth at a young age can prevent further health problems such as gum infection.

Dentists and oral surgeons usually do not remove wisdom teeth after the age of 27 as a preventative measure; Because the risk of complications such as damage to nearby nerves increases. However, people after this age may also have to have their wisdom teeth extracted due to problems such as pain.

Most people have 32 teeth, including four wisdom teeth. But some have more or less, and some may not have wisdom teeth at all. Others may have a fourth large mill tooth called a paramolar behind each wisdom tooth. There is almost never enough space for paramolars in the mouths of modern humans, so they always come out of the mouth at the same time as wisdom teeth.

Not all people brush their wisdom teeth. “Even today, when people brush their teeth for orthodontic treatment (orthodontic treatment), they often preserve their wisdom teeth because there is enough space for them,” Kopferman said.

However, preserving wisdom teeth can lead to problems in the future. Not all wisdom teeth come out of the gums in late adolescence or early third decade of life. But as a person gets older and their gums recede, his wisdom teeth may come out. In this case, the wisdom teeth protrude only partially from the gums, so they are prone to decay and must be extracted. Cooperman said:

Some people claim that surgeons want to make money by extracting wisdom teeth, but if you know a teenager and have seen a few radiographs of these teeth, you know that there is a good reason to extract the teeth of the third large mill.

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