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Why Are Some People Born Without Wisdom Teeth?

A model showing wisdom teeth emerging at bad angles.

There comes a time in most of our patient’s lives, usually around the late teens or early twenties, when their third molars finally appear. Usually, wisdom teeth removal soon follows. But for some lucky patients, they don’t have to worry about oral surgery. Either they have a jaw big enough for them to grow in easily or their wisdom teeth never appear. To learn why some people are born without wisdom teeth, read on.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

No, wisdom teeth don’t make you smarter. They got their name because of when they develop, often on the cusp of adulthood. Wisdom teeth are the third and final molars to emerge in the mouth. They usually do so somewhere between the age of 17 and 25.

Why Are Some People Born Without Wisdom Teeth?

Not everyone has to hassle with wisdom teeth. Some people aren’t born with a complete set and studies have shown that approximately a third of people are born without any. And while some people may have the teeth, they never see them emerge. Why? For that, you can thank evolution. Wisdom teeth are known as vestigial structures. These are parts of our body, such as the tailbone, that once had a use but no longer do in our modern lives. Wisdom teeth served a purpose long, long ago when we foraged for foods like twigs and tough, raw meats. Since we no longer need that extra grinding power our bodies have evolved away from them. Our jawbones have decreased in size as well. That’s why wisdom teeth are prone to trouble, and in most instances need to be removed soon after they appear.

Wisdom Teeth Removal in Flower Mound, Texas

If you or one of your loved ones has wisdom teeth that need to be extracted, you’re in good company. An estimated 5 million people have their wisdom teeth removed each year. Sometimes they try to emerge and cause pain. Other times they emerge and cause crowding which threatens the surrounding teeth. Here at Prestige Family Dentistry, we’ll be able to help you determine if and when the teeth have to go. To set up a time for us to take a look, give our office a call or request a visit online.

Prestige Family Dentistry