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You probably know what wisdom teeth are, and you most likely are familiar with wisdom teeth removal. But that is about the extent of knowledge most people have when it comes to wisdom teeth. Here are five wisdom teeth facts that will teach you more about the last set of teeth many of us get as adults. 

1. Wisdom teeth haven’t served a purpose for thousands of years

Back in the time of prehistoric people, diets consisted of raw meats, roots, leaves, and other foraged foods. Powerful teeth were needed to cut up these tough foods, as well as catch, dismember, and consume the foods. Having these extra teeth were a huge advantage, especially when there was no dentist around to keep teeth healthy. Since then, people have evolved, and now, we have a more refined menu. This means we don’t need these extra teeth to tear apart tough foods and survive. 

2. Wisdom teeth cause problems

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, usually appear between the ages 17 to 25. While it is different from person to person, often these teeth cause problems when they appear. For most people, their jaw is too small, which can cause their wisdom teeth to become impacted and unable to break through their gums. Some people’s wisdom teeth will only partly break through their gums, which can cause a flap in their mouth that traps germs. This can lead to infections and other issues. Impacted teach can cause infections, damage to other teeth, or even cysts. Another problem with wisdom teeth is that they are located so far back, they can be hard to clean. This also increases the risk of tooth decay and infection. By having your wisdom teeth extracted, you can prevent these problems and more. 

3. The number of wisdom teeth varies from person to person

Some people get one wisdom tooth, while others have two, three, four, or none at all. While rare, sometimes a person will get more than four wisdom teeth. In this instance, they call the extra teeth supernumerary teeth. Genetics also play a large factor in how many wisdom teeth you may develop. Studies have shown at least 53% of people have at least one wisdom tooth come in. If you are one of the people who don’t have any wisdom teeth appear, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Sometimes wisdom teeth don’t ever erupt and won’t ever be visible. In this situation, an x-ray can confirm if you have wisdom teeth under your gums.

4. The number of roots each tooth has also varies

Roots are the part of your teeth that form first. They then push the part that’s visible in your mouth, known as the bud, through your gums. Most wisdom teeth have two to three roots, but they can have more. Because of this, if your wisdom teeth need to be removed, it’s easier to do so before the roots start to take hold. However, surgeons do want some roots on the teeth when they remove them. A root gives them something to grasp because removing a tiny tooth bud can be very difficult.

5. Your wisdom teeth can erupt at anytime

In most cases, your wisdom teeth will erupt from the ages 17 to 25. However, according to the  Guinness World Records, the oldest person to grow a wisdom tooth was 94 years old. While wisdom teeth can erupt at any time, they have also been erupting for a long time. The earliest recorded case of impacted wisdom teeth belongs to a 25- to 35-year-old women who died 13,000 to 15,000 years ago. 

Now that you know more about wisdom teeth, you can share your knowledge with others. If you are in need of wisdom teeth removal, visit us at Simply Wisdom Teeth. We are always happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have, so feel free to contact us.