Nicknamed “wisdom teeth” because they usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25 (the so-called “age of wisdom”), wisdom teeth are a third set of molars at the back of your mouth. Anthropologists believe that wisdom teeth were once necessary so that our early ancestors could eat a rough diet of uncooked meat and bones, which required more chewing power.

Over the years, however, human dietary needs, as well as jawbone anatomy, have evolved to the point where wisdom teeth are not only unnecessary, but are now often detrimental to our modern oral health. With softer diets and shorter jawbones, the average modern human mouth can comfortably accommodate 28 teeth.

The addition of four wisdom teeth often creates crowding and eruption problems that can give rise to a variety of oral health issues.

WHAT ARE WISDOM TEETH?