Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Question: Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
The dreaded wisdom teeth. Why on earth were we given teeth that, in most cases, just end up being pulled anyway?
Many people have asked me "Why do we have wisdom teeth?" Considering the fact that I personally had nothing to do with the creation of mankind, I had to do some digging to find out why we were given wisdom teeth, and why most of us need to have our wisdom teeth extracted.
A Wise Tooth... Thousands of Years Ago
Our earliest ancestors survived on a diet of raw meat, nuts, roots, berries and leaves. Cro-Magnon man didn't have the luxury of using knives to cut and prepare his food, and cooking his meat wasn't even thought of then. Chewing these tough, coarse, and rugged foods required a broader jaw, and strong molars -- including the wisdom teeth. Having all three molars was vital, in order for our ancestors to be able to eat the foods necessary for survival. The larger jaw, common in our ancestors, easily accommodated the wisdom teeth, which allowed them to erupt into the mouth normally.

Fast-forward to today, and take a look at what we are eating and more importantly how we are preparing our food. We cut, dice, chop, and boil, steam, and bake almost everything we eat. All of that food preparation has made eating a pretty easy feat to accomplish, in fact experts believe that our jaw line has become less broad and smaller over the years due to how food is prepared and consumed; hence the reason why our wisdom teeth need to be extracted.