The Fascinating World Of Wisdom Teeth: Have They Lost Their Purpose?

By Francis Tunwase

So, you know those pesky wisdom teeth that cause all sorts of problems for many of us? It turns out that for hundreds of thousands of years, they have served no meaningful purpose. Back in the day, our prehistoric ancestors needed them to chomp down on raw meat and tough roots, but nowadays, we prefer our food a bit softer, and our cooking tools do the hard work for us.

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But don’t worry; evolution may eventually sort this problem out for us. Apparently, over time, humans might stop developing wisdom teeth altogether. It might take centuries, but hey, at least we can hope!

It is interesting to note that people have different numbers of wisdom teeth. Some people have as many as four or even none at all. And get this: some people even have extra wisdom teeth. They call these the supernumerary teeth!

It seems that your jaw size and genetics can determine how many wisdom teeth you end up with. As for when your wisdom teeth might make an appearance, well, that’s anyone’s guess. A whopping 94 years old was the record-holder for the oldest age at which a wisdom tooth emerged!

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Interestingly, a dentist once had a 65-year-old patient whose wisdom tooth started to poke through their gums.

Finally, let’s talk about impacted teeth. You know, the ones that get stuck in your jaw and don’t come out properly. Turns out, this isn’t a new problem caused by modern diets. In a woman’s skeleton that was discovered 15,000 years ago, the oldest instance of an impacted tooth was documented.

Thus, in a sense, we have been addressing this problem for quite some time.