5 Bite Sized Facts About Wisdom Teeth

We tend to only think about wisdom teeth when they are giving us grief and even then we just want them out. But what really are wisdom teeth and what purpose do they serve? We’ve got 5 fun facts about wisdom teeth so that when you’re sitting in the dentist chair when you go to get them removed, you can distract yourself with some knowledge and look forward to ice cream for meals in the following days!  

  1. Wisdom teeth got their name from the age when they typically grow in, though they can erupt at any time. When we are between the ages of 17-25, it is referred to as ‘the age of wisdom’ and this is when our dental arch becomes large enough for wisdom teeth to start developing. This means they are the only teeth not developed in the womb and there are studies being conducted to prevent their growth. 
  2. Approximately 35% of people are born without wisdom teeth but it is still up for debate about whether this is cultural or evolution. As we no longer have use for them, some researchers believe that it is linked to how different cultures use their jaws which is supported by East Asian countries having a higher number of people with no wisdom teeth. The number of wisdom teeth also varies from person to person meaning it is entirely possible you may only have one or two instead of all four. 
  3. Upwards of 80% of those who do have wisdom teeth need to get them removed. Nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth meaning there is not enough room for the tooth to fully erupt. 
  4. Although they have not served a purpose for hundreds of thousands years, the first impacted wisdom tooth was recorded about 15,000 years ago and was found in a skeleton of a 25 to 35-year old woman.
  5. Wisdom teeth are used in stem cell research to see if they potentially be used to repair and regenerate tissue. A study on mice at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine shows promise that wisdom teeth could someday be used to repair scarred corneas. 

Wisdom teeth can be troublesome and painful, but they have some quirky facts and once served a great purpose for our ancestors. Today, they are not so useful and at Tooth Crusader, we can help relieve the pain with a wisdom tooth extraction. Find out more about the wisdom tooth extraction process in our blog or head to our services page to book your consultation. During this consultation, we will determine if there is enough room for your wisdom teeth to grow in or if they are impacted and need removal. If you’d like to speak to our staff before your appointment, please don’t hesitate to email or call our office on (02) 8097 1838.