Wisdom teeth, or 3rd molars, are generally the last teeth to appear in our mouths, explains Danbury, CT dentist Jay M. Marks, DMD. They usually appear/erupt between 17 to 25 years of age, when one attains adulthood. Starting in the 17th century, these teeth were called ‘teeth of wisdom’, and in the 19th century they were just called ‘wisdom teeth’. Linguists figured they were so called since they erupted later than all the other teeth, when one became mature, and an adult. They were therefore ‘wiser’ than they were when all the other teeth appeared.
What does the future hold?
Our ancestors developed the 3rd molars to help them crunch up nuts, leaves, roots, and raw meat. Evolution caused the jaws to enlarge and grow the extra teeth. This was before we discovered mashed potatoes, chopped meat, soft bread, and knives & forks. Our jaws are getting smaller as we continue to evolve. That is why so many people have impacted wisdom teeth- our jaws are getting too small for them. Approx. 35% of us are born without these teeth. When we do not need part of our bodies or an organ anymore, it becomes vestigial & will disappear. Examples of future disappearing parts of our bodies are: the appendix, wisdom teeth, and even our little toes. If you are concerned with your wisdom teeth, or wondering if they are causing your other teeth to be crowded, or if you have any dental questions, Contact us for a complimentary consultation, or call 203-778-8048