Do Your Wisdom Teeth Actually Make You Wise?

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter

Table of Contents

There is an unknown belief within our society – “when your wisdom teeth erupt, you have attained wisdom”. As amusing and interesting as it sounds, it indirectly implies that wisdom is achieved quite later in life and that is exactly how these teeth got their common name.


wisdom teeth

What are Wisdom Teeth?

The third molars which are the last set of molars to erupt in the mouth, commonly are known as “wisdom teeth”.


Why are they called ‘Wisdom’ Teeth?

Where all of the other permanent teeth erupt into the oral cavity by the age of 12 years, third molars start erupting between the age of 18-25 years, a stage of adulthood and hence, they are called “wisdom teeth”. The belief of wisdom being attained after we mature i.e. become adults, similar to the time of eruption of these teeth led them to be called “wisdom teeth”. 

Ironically,  just like how wisdom is believed to not be attained by everyone, these teeth too, are not a necessary sight and sometimes are absent in some individuals.


What is the Purpose of the Wisdom Teeth?

Basically, nothing! Yes, it was observed that normal human teeth functions were possible even in the absence of these teeth and hence were labelled vestigial (useless) to the modern human chewing needs. They might have been of use during ancient times when humans were evolving from apes but now, they serve no purpose. If they erupt properly and have space for their eruption in the mouth, the third molars are just like normal teeth and do not need to be attended to.


So Why Bother with Them?

As unnecessary as they can be, their presence can be a bit bothersome at times. There are some problems created by them:

1. Fight my way: Wisdom teeth Problems

In a smaller mouth, where there isn’t enough space for the eruption of wisdom teeth, these teeth will push the teeth in front of them to come out and make space for them, causing crookedness and tilting of existing teeth.

2. Impactful: 

These can also be stubborn and sometimes won’t erupt into the oral cavity and are called “impacted teeth”. They become the “underlying god of destruction”. What is that? Keep reading.

3. Freestyle: 

These teeth, if they arise, come out in crazy directions sometimes. It is very rare for them to come out straight in a vertical direction. Mostly, they erupt tilted towards the tooth in front of them but there are cases when they come out completely sleeping in a horizontal direction. Such an eruption affects the other teeth in the mouth.

4. Born this way: 

Most of the time, these teeth aren’t as well developed as the other pre-existing molars. They might have incompletely developed crowns and fused or incompletely formed roots making them non-functional as well as difficult to treat or remove.

5. God of destruction: 

The most concerning problem of these teeth is their ability to harm the adjacent teeth. If these molars are tilted and touching or very close to the adjacent tooth’s root while they are inside, they can lead to resorption (dissolving) of the bone present between as well as the root of the adjacent molar. This will lead to the destruction of the perfectly normal adjacent tooth which then needs to be saved by treatment. If not noticed earlier, this evil happens silently until it is too late.

6. Too far, too hard to reach: Tooth Pain

Cleaning of the third molars is a bit difficult due to the extreme position in the oral cavity where the toothbrush might be unable to reach. Additionally, if they have erupted in tilted positions, it becomes more tedious leading to their decay. They can become painful and thus need to be removed. However, if the molar is in a good state, it is advised to be saved.

7. Foodie: 

This tooth takes time to erupt and thus sometimes erupts partially, leading to the formation of a flap-like cover of the tissue that remains over it. This leads to the collection of food between the flap-like tissue and the tooth crown leading to a painful condition of swelling of that tissue called “Pericoronitis” as well as decay.

Too much of a menace, right?


But Wait! There is Some Good in Evil

Sometimes, in cases where the 1st or 2nd molar is lost, due to decay or other reasons, the wisdom tooth can serve its purpose. The tooth can be repositioned into the place of these teeth to fulfil their purpose. It will depend on the condition and development of the molar.


Treatment For Wisdom Teeth

1. Non-Impacted: As mentioned before, if there is adequate space and the tooth erupts in a vertical direction, not causing any issues, it doesn’t need to be attended to. In case of decay or pain, the tooth can be treated. Wisdom teeth removal

2. Impacted: Whether it has erupted or not, it is advised to get it removed to prevent future problems.


So, you can see those wisdom teeth have a lot of bad remarks to them than good ones. So in most cases, it is advised by the dentist to remove them.

Not sure whether wisdom teeth bring wisdom or not, but can definitely bring a lot for you to know about. We hope you gained some “wisdom” on the existence of the “wisdom tooth” with us and will definitely keep an eye on this “not so wise” friend.

Leave Your Comment