Why Doesn’t Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth generally make their appearance during the late teens and early 20s, but not everybody has these teeth. It’s estimated that approximately a third of people are born without wisdom teeth. Your wisdom teeth are your third molars situated right at the back of the mouth. There are usually four wisdom teeth, one in each quarter. However, some or all these teeth may fail to develop.

If you don’t have any wisdom teeth, don’t worry as it’s thought this could be due to evolution. Originally, we needed these extra molars to chew food more effectively as our diet was rougher and contained more raw foods. Nowadays, we tend to eat softer foods that require less chewing. Consequently, many people have smaller jaws that cannot even accommodate these extra teeth, which is why wisdom teeth frequently cause problems when they try to erupt. It could be that not having wisdom teeth is actually a blessing!

Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

Traditionally, wisdom teeth were often removed regardless of whether they would cause problems. Nowadays, we can closely monitor the position of your wisdom teeth as they develop in your jaws. Dentists don’t remove wisdom teeth unless they cannot erupt properly or are likely to damage the adjacent teeth.