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Shannon's picture

Wisdom Teeth -- Some People Born Luckier than others.

This past Friday, I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed (the most miserable experience of my life). My cheeks didn't look as big as I thought they would, but there was some swelling. I got sick from the Vicadin the doctor gave me... so I was pretty much a dizzy, poofy vegetable until today when I started to feel slightly better.

Upon researching more about wisdom teeth in general, I found out today that not all people are born with any or all of their wisdom teeth. This condition is called hypodontia -- the condition of having fewer than the regular number of teeth (Wikipedia). While the most common kind of missing teeth in Caucasians is the wisdom teeth, hypodontia is familial & many times associated with Down Syndrome.

In another related article, the American Dental Association suggests that it would be wiser for humans nowadays not to have wisdom teeth. "Third molars or wisdom teeth may have served a useful purpose in prehistoric humans, according to Anthony R. Silvestri, Jr., D.M.D., clinical professor and director, Dental Anatomy, and Iqbal Singh, B.D.S., M.D.S., D.M.D., associate professor and director, Preclinical Studies at Tufts University's School of Dental Medicine in Boston. During the last century, they wrote, defining a useful purpose for third molars has become more difficult, especially given that so many people experience pain and disease caused either by the teeth themselves or by having them extracted."

"As dental research develops new techniques to reduce and possibly eliminate the loss of more functional teeth resulting from caries and periodontal disease," they wrote, "the usefulness for third molars in the dentition will decrease further."

Wisdom teeth are but one miniscule part of the body that has become seemingly useless as the biological evolutionary process increasingly moves forward.



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