They say with age comes wisdom. However, does that guarantee wisdom teeth as well?
The eruption of wisdom teeth is different from one person to another. For some, wisdom teeth don’t show up at all. If this happens to you, should you be worried? Does it mean that something is wrong with your oral health?
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are known in clinical and dental terms as third molars. On average humans have four wisdom teeth, one for each quarter of the mouth, however in certain cases the wisdom teeth may never develop and are sometimes missing. They are the last teeth to erupt and they come through at the back of the mouth, behind the last standing teeth. These teeth were named for the time at which they make their appearance at the very back of the mouth, which is usually between the ages of 17 and 25, when a young person might be pursuing wisdom with higher education.
A study shows that up to 35% of people have missing wisdom teeth.
Why do some people lack wisdom teeth?
Not everyone has wisdom teeth. In fact, a study shows that up to 35% of people have missing wisdom teeth. There are three main reasons why wisdom teeth may be lacking inside the mouth:
- They are present but still haven’t erupted yet. Wisdom teeth may never erupt if they are impacted (not enough space for them to grow) and may remain dormant in the jaw bone for many years.
- The lack of wisdom teeth related to genes. A study recently carried out in Princeton University shows evolution has a large role to play in the absence of wisdom teeth. The study shows that the expanding brain size over hundreds and thousands of years, meant that the head was no longer large enough to accommodate a larger brain and an extra set of teeth, therefore a gradual shift in jaw engineering doesn’t allow a third molar to form correctly as they are no longer needed because we mainly rely on our first and second molars to do the chewing, so the lack of the third set won’t prevent you from eating without difficulty.