Born Without Wisdom Teeth – Human Evolution?Wisdom Teeth
Teeth may play an important role in our everyday lives, but they’re also important fossils that have helped researchers learn about our ancestors and evolution. A study which began in 2007 in Finland resulted in the creation of a new mathematical formula that can be used to trace human teeth development. Specifically, this formula can identify why some people are born without wisdom teeth. The same formula will be used by researchers to determine how developmental mechanisms function in other parts of the body.
The wisdom teeth are the third molars that grow out between the ages of 17 and 25. While most individuals have all 4 wisdom teeth, a few of us develop only one or two wisdom teeth. If you’re really lucky, you might have all 4 missing.
What Causes Missing Wisdom Teeth?
A random gene mutation that occurred nearly 400,000 years ago is responsible for missing wisdom teeth. This mutation suppressed wisdom tooth formation in a certain few individuals – a trait that’s seen in many people today.
Researchers found out that genes that control brain development caused a phase of evolution thousands of years ago. During this stage of evolution, the human brain grew in size, causing lack of space in the jaw line. Genes that control tooth development however, didn’t evolve to accommodate brain development, which in turn lead to impacted third molars and the eruption of the wisdom teeth through the gums.
Fossils indicate that the first few generations who lived on earth had molars that were much larger in size. Evolution changed this pattern somewhere down the line and the first molars became the largest in the set. As we continue to evolve, studies indicate that future generations will have no wisdom teeth at all.
Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth can be a nightmare if they don’t grow out in proper alignment with the other teeth in the mouth. Impacted wisdom teeth may not cause you any problems for years but they could eventually become infected and require wisdom tooth extraction surgery.
Not all doctors perform this surgery because it needs to be carried out by those who have plenty of experience in wisdom tooth extraction. If the position of your wisdom tooth is very close to the nerve, a general dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon who can evaluate your case and decide what the best treatment is for you.
X-rays will help the surgeon understand the severity of the issue. If the wisdom tooth is properly aligned and gives you good bite, the surgery may not be necessary.
So if you or a family member is suffering from wisdom teeth pain in Newtown, drop by for a consultation or book an appointment online. Our experienced dentists in Newtown will do their best to make your visit as pain free as possible. Call us now on 02 9519 2691.