A dentist showing a patient his wisdom teeth with a dental x-ray.Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars to erupt generally around mid to late teenage years, but can also hold off into early adulthood. This set of molars, unlike every other tooth in the mouth, serves no distinct purpose and therefore technically are not needed at all.

The human mouth can hold 32 teeth (16 on top and 16 on bottom), however it usually comfortably only holds 28. As the wisdom teeth start to come in they will typically cause issues with the rest of the mouth. Pain, inflammation, tooth loosening, infection and alignment issues can all come about as a result of erupting wisdom teeth.

An interesting phenomenon is starting to take hold, however, where experts have notice that an astonishing 35 percent of humans now never experience any type of third molar development. This of course begs the question as to whether we are simply on the evolutionary track to do away with them all together.

Science Behind the Third Molar

Scientists say that they are still uncertain as to whether or not genetics play a role in the development of the third molar. They have opposed the evolutionary idea that nature is doing away with them though due to the fact that they are the only tooth in the human mouth to develop entirely after birth. This means that natural selection is a bit more difficult.

Many believe that as science continues to progress we will see many experts experimenting with bioengineering in an effort to hinder the growth all together. However, the likelihood of this is still unknown. So for now the future of the wise third molar is not certain. What is certain though is that if you are experiencing pain, discomfort, swelling or tooth loosening as a result of your erupting wisdom teeth, it is advised that you contact us immediately for a thorough exam.