Mind & Body

Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed Is Likely A Waste Of Time

Going under the knife to get your wisdom teeth taken out has become something of a rite of passage. It means you've reached the ripe old age of 17–25 (a young adult!), the time when this third set of molars starts coming in. Most of us in the U.S. and Australia have been there to offer advice and tips to our friends and family who are themselves about to get those stubborn chompers yanked out. Welp, turns out all that pain could've been avoided. There is mounting evidence that getting your wisdom teeth removed, in most cases, is totally unnecessary.

The Tooth Hurts

According to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Public Health, at least two-thirds of wisdom teeth extractions are unnecessary. That's not an insignificant chunk. To be fair, the procedure is sometimes required. Wisdom teeth can become infected, cause cysts and tooth decay, damage other teeth, and just be a literal pain. But if your wisdom teeth don't already have these problems, there's no guarantee they will in the future. That's why these preventative measures are often a big waste of time, money, and wellbeing.

Root of the Problem

So, why do we even have wisdom teeth at all? It probably goes back to before the invention of cutlery. Without a fork and knife, a human would have needed as much gripping and ripping strength from their teeth as possible. Now that we have silverware, our teeth don't have to work quite so hard.

Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

Before forks and knives, they were quite helpful.

Why Don't We Need Our Wisdom Teeth Anymore?

We once needed them. But just because we no longer need them doesn't mean we need them extracted.

Why Is Fluoride Good for Teeth?

This naturally occurring mineral helps prevent cavities.

Written by Curiosity Staff November 11, 2016

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