November 23, 2011

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

Why do we have wisdom teeth has been a question that I've personally asked myself many times and always wanted a good answer to the question. It finally seems like that answer has come, and it might surprise you.

A new study that was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences basically says that our wisdom teeth are there because of our ancestors diets. Hunter-gatherers had a longer, narrower jaw-bone, which in turn allowed for another set of molars, the wisdom teeth for better chewing of the relatively hard foods that they were eating.

On the other side, there were those who got their food from agriculture and the food was often cooked and much softer. This lead to a smaller jaw-bone and no space for that extra set of molars that hunter-gatherers had. This can also explain dental crowding and teeth misalignment. Now that my question has finally been answered, all I need to know is why they call them wisdom teeth.


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