Also known as third molars, “wisdom teeth” get their nickname by being the last teeth to appear. Our other teeth come in before puberty, but wisdom teeth appear much later, usually in late teens or early twenties when people are assumed to be older and wiser.
Wisdom teeth are thought to have been handy for our early ancestors, whose longer jaws more easily accommodated a full set of teeth for grinding down a rough diet. Over countless generations our heads have evolved to have brains that are a bit larger and jaws that are shorter and set further back in the skull. Unfortunately a shorter jaw can result in a lack of room for the late-arriving wisdom teeth and when this occurs there can be problems such as impaction (stuck teeth!)
Thankfully there are many ways that dentists can successfully manage problematic wisdom teeth.
The information contained on this website and websites linked to this website (Information) does not constitute or comprise comprehensive medical or dental advice. You should seek dental advice directly from your dentist before acting or relying on the Information.
First published: 06 November 2014