Have you ever wondered why we have wisdom teeth?
In this quick video, Dr. Anderson discusses how evolution may have played a role in eliminating the need for those pesky 3rd molars.
“So another question that we get has to do with wisdom teeth and why do we have them? And while I can't give you the full answer on that because only He above may know that answer, the best guess that we have is from an evolutionary standpoint. We probably at one point had enough wear and tear on our teeth with our very coarse and rough diet that not only did we have wear to the top of the teeth, but we also had wear between the teeth where they come together. And so with that, you also get those teeth getting smaller with time. So the 3rd molars used to be integral in the fact that they probably replaced the 2nd molars at some point, or at least shifted forward. Now we don't need that. Our jaw size is also theoretically different than what it used to be. It was a belief that it was once much larger than what it is now. So those are the two real hypotheses on why we have wisdom teeth and why we really don't need them most of the time. I would say in our practice we see 1 or 2 patients a month that may have wisdom teeth in the proper position and those wisdom teeth are hygienic. Other than that, almost everyone else does not have wisdom teeth that they can keep clean or that will completely erupt and be in a position where they'll be usable.”