Does everyone have wisdom teeth, and is it possible that wisdom teeth never grow?
The majority of adults have 4 wisdom teeth, but some people have more, which are referred to as supernumerary teeth, and other people have fewer, a condition known as oligodontia.
Supernumerary teeth or hyperdontia is a dental condition whereby teeth grow in addition to the four wisdom teeth and the usual number of teeth. There are different types of supernumerary teeth, which are classified by position and by shape.
How do you know if you have wisdom teeth
They include complex odontome(1), compound odontome, conical, tuberculate, and supplemental.
Conical teeth are also known as peg shaped while tuberculate teeth are referred to as barred shaped. Complex odontome represent a mass of tissue, which is disorganized, and compound odontome are multiple, small-size, teeth-like forms.
Classified by position, these teeth are also referred to as distomolar, paramolar, and mesiodens.
Oligodontia or hypodontia is another dental condition whereby patients have missing or fewer teeth because these fail to develop. Hypodontia(2) occurs when patients have up to six teeth missing, and this excludes the third molars. Oligodontia is when a person has more than six teeth missing.
Oligodontia or hypodontia
Back to the question – does everyone have wisdom teeth?
Between 9 and 30 percent of adult population do not have third molars.
Those who are in their 20s, however, should know that their wisdom teeth might not have presently assumed their final position. With this in mind, one or more wisdom teeth may erupt later on.
One possibility is that wisdom teeth do not erupt at all and another is that they fail to grow properly. In this case, they are called impacted wisdom teeth and if complications occur, wisdom teeth extraction may be required, especially if it is accompanied by severe wisdom teeth pain and other complications.
Does everyone have wisdom teeth is not the only interesting question to explore. Why did they develop to begin with?
According to anthropologists, the 3rd set of molars developed because of our ancestors’ diet, which included rough food, including meats, nuts, roots, and leaves. These needed more chewing power, resulting in excessive teeth wear.
The modern diet includes a variety of soft foods, and along with marvels of modern technology, including knives, spoons, and forks, it has made wisdom teeth redundant. Thus, evolutionary biologists call these teeth parts of the body that are now functionless, referred to as vestigial organs. This is largely due to evolution.