Wisdom teeth—the third molars in the very back of your mouth that don’t come in until the
latter teenage years—are a nuisance for many people. Although not everyone will need to have
their wisdom teeth removed, many people experience impacted wisdom teeth that are painful
and cause problems.
Do we really need our wisdom teeth when so many people are getting them removed? Here’s
why those third molars in the back of your mouth are largely unnecessary.
Not Needed for Modern Food
Wisdom teeth were needed in the days of our ancestors, where tough foods like meat and
roots were a large part of the diet and necessitated these big teeth.
Although roots and meat are still a part of our modern diet, these teeth aren’t necessary for the
majority of the foods we consume today. Our existing teeth are perfectly able to eat fruits,
vegetables, meats, and other protein sources without these huge molars.
Wisdom teeth are speculated to be an evolutionary aspect of our mouths but are no longer
needed for modern day life.
Our Jaws Are Smaller
For many people today, the jaw is much smaller than those of our ancestors. Eons ago, there
was not only plenty of room for these wisdom teeth, but they were used. Today, not only are
our jaws shorter and smaller than they were back then, but these teeth are also not used being
so far back in our smaller mouths.
Many people need to have their wisdom teeth removed because they’re impacted as the result
of the jaw not having enough room to accommodate the teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth may
come in at odd angles—sometimes even sideways—and are often painful and have the
potential to get infected as they push against the other teeth and struggle to erupt through the
What to Do with Your Wisdom Teeth
Some people may not need to have their wisdom teeth removed. A simple x-ray can tell where
your wisdom teeth are and if they are impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth will likely need to be
removed, as they can cause many problems with the mouth and are often painful.
A visit to your dentist can tell you whether or not your wisdom teeth will need to be removed.
Wisdom tooth removal is very common and is often a simple procedure that only requires a
couple days of recovery time. If your wisdom teeth don’t need to be removed, your dentist can keep an eye on them as they come through the gumline to ensure they erupt properly and stay healthy.
Although wisdom teeth had their use many years ago, today, wisdom teeth are largely
unnecessary for most people. Although not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth
removed, getting your wisdom teeth evaluated can help you determine whether they are
healthy or if you may need to consider removal!