When man didn’t have the luxury of using knives to cut and prepare his food and eating uncooked meat was a norm, chewing these tough, coarse foods required a broader jaw and strong molars. This is widely believed to be why our ancestors needed ‘wisdom teeth’, a third set of molars.
Also, nowadays, with our stomachs being used to cooked food, raw meat and unwashed vegetables could send you straight to the hospital. This is why it is imperative to have an affordable medical plan at your disposal.
Wisdom teeth are believed to be “evolutionary relics,” according to crest.com. These molars assisted ancient ancestors in chewing harsher foods. They provided replacements for teeth that wore down or fell out, however changes in diets and how we eat render these molars unnecessary, but they still grow in. Our mouths can hold 28 teeth, but once our wisdom teeth come in, we have 32 teeth, overcrowding our mouths. This is what leads to modern day wisdom teeth problems and removals.
Dental experts say we don’t even need our wisdom teeth which is why they often move to remove them. The site stated: “Anthropologists believe that wisdom teeth were evolution’s response to our ancestors’ early diet of rough foods such as roots, nuts, and meats that require serious chewing power. Since our diets today consist of softer foods, evolutionary biologists have classified wisdom teeth as functionless due to evolution.”
Our ancestors had larger jaws, which accommodated all 32 teeth. However, human jaws have become smaller throughout evolutionary history, now when wisdom teeth form they often become impacted, or blocked, by the other teeth around them. This leads to complications and even damage and pain for the person.
But why do we need wisdom teeth today? Well, we don’t necessarily need them. The way we prepare and consume foods have changed. Our foods are cut, diced, chopped, boiled, steamed, and baked. Due to how food is prepared and consumed, experts believe that our jaw line has become less broad and smaller over the years; this means less room for extra molars.
Wisdom teeth typically appear between 17 and 21 years old; this is how they became known as “wisdom” teeth, which was likely attached to the notion that “with age comes wisdom.”
While it is possible for wisdom teeth to not cause problems, there are common issues associated with these molars. Know when to get your wisdom teeth removed.