Where Do Wisdom Teeth Come From?

dentalYou have a horrible waking up one morning — an excruciating pain in the jaw. You call in sick, and instead quickly go to your dentist to find out the culprit. The X-ray result shows that two wisdom teeth suddenly erupted and your second molars are blocking the way. As per your dentist’s advice, there is no other way but to remove them ASAP.

This is an unpleasant story many Americans share every year. Some during college, others in their working years. Few unfortunate patients even suffer this fate more than once in their lives.

But, do you wonder why you have to go through this? Why you have to deal with it in the first place? Being a part of the population that seeks relatively comfortable wisdom teeth removal in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, or anywhere in the US, you deserve to know more about the third set of molars you didn’t wish for.

By product of Evolution

A wisdom tooth is a reminder of the first humans' diet and eating habits, which required every bit of chewing power they can have. Over time, the purpose of this set of teeth vanished. Modern diet leaned toward softer food and the use of utensils, which rendered wisdom teeth useless. Now, they’re just technically vestigial organs that continue to exist even after losing their original function in the body.


Put simply, this last set of molars, while they form before puberty, normally erupts sometime around early adulthood—when the person is already “mature”, hence the term wisdom teeth.

Stay or Go

Question is, "Should a wisdom tooth be removed at first sight regardless if it’s causing any problem or not?" It is one of the most debated topics in the world of dentistry until today. Some practitioners feel they should be left untouched as long as they’re not hurting, but others say letting the teeth sit in idle is just postponing the inevitable.

In addition, wisdom teeth may lead to dental problems, like teeth displacement or crowding, even if they remain tucked away.

No matter what the world says about what you should do with your wisdom teeth, the decision is up to you — and, of course, your dentist's recommendations. If you think going under the knife now is worth it to prevent further oral problems in the future, nobody could tell you otherwise.