Most of us have heard about and know what wisdom teeth or third molars are. They generally come in when a person enters adulthood. But do you know these fun facts?
- Wisdom teeth are nicknamed for the timeframe that they grow into a person’s mouth. People usually get their wisdom teeth between the ages of 17 and 22, after they are no longer considered a child.
- Wisdom teeth can erupt at any age. They are not limited to young adulthood. The oldest known person to erupt a wisdom tooth was 94 years old. Though it is rare, there have been cases of people growing wisdom teeth late in their life.
- Wisdom teeth do not currently serve a purpose for people. There is a theory that wisdom teeth served people better in prehistoric times when people had to chew tough plants to get their nutrients. If their teeth fell out then the wisdom teeth could grow in to replace them.
- 35% of people don’t actually have wisdom teeth. Are you one of them? This is likely due to evolution and the fact that humans don’t need them anymore (or have room for them in their mouths anymore.) There are also certain ethnicities that are more likely to not have wisdom teeth. People of Asian descent are more likely than people of European descent to not have any wisdom teeth.
- People that do have wisdom teeth could have any variation of 1-4 of them. Some people only have 2 while other people have all 4 of their wisdom teeth. Do you know how many you have, or had?
- 85% of wisdom teeth have to be removed at some point due to being impacted. -American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. That means that only 15% of wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. If you are one of the few lucky people to have a mouth and jawbone that is big enough for them, you may be able to keep your wisdom teeth in your mouth. This does come with some risk of them not coming through properly still. Some people do wait until their wisdom teeth are impacted before they have them extracted. Others have them extracted to avoid the risk of their wisdom teeth becoming impacted and possibly having a more difficult surgery.
- Wisdom teeth contain stem cells that can potentially be used to repair different parts of the human body that we don’t already have ways to fix. Stem cell studies are relatively new and the science still needs a lot of work but our wisdom teeth can help with it and give way for some amazing discoveries.
Did any of these facts surprise you? If you have any questions about wisdom teeth extractions or would like to get your teeth examined, give Grove City Dental a call at 208-782-0242.