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Thanks to my wisdom tooth, I’m a wise man now!

The past few days have been hellish for me. I’ve been pretty sick. Long story short:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • and most annoyingly … NEW TOOTH!

The inconvenience this growing tooth has brought me has been immeasurable. I didn’t ask for this! Perhaps you can now try to imagine what it felt like when my friend said:

“Ah! It’s normal. It’s your wisdom tooth”.

I struggled within myself to comprehend why it was called a wisdom tooth. My thoughts?

  • What’s wise about it?
  • Why does it have to be this painful?
  • I don’t want it!!!

Well, I put in some effort to calmly voice out my thoughts, but he made it worse. He said, “it’s pretty useless actually”.

Hmmmm.. Now I’m mad!

So I asked, “why is it even called ‘wisdom tooth’ in the first place”? Here’s what he said.

This wowed me quite a bit. So I did some digging and here’s what I found out:

“Although formally known as third molars, the common name is wisdom teeth because they appear so late – much later than the other teeth, at an age where people are presumably “wiser” than as a child, when the other teeth erupt.”

Do we need a third molar?

No! Experts believe that in the early days, it was relevant to our ancestors because of the kind of food they ate.

Basically, the premise is that our ancestors needed a third molar to survive on a diet of raw meat, nuts, roots, berries, and leaves, bearing in mind that they had no cutleries or means of softening food for consumption as we do today.

Is it entirely useless to us?

The answer is arguably YES. Over the years, our jaw lines have narrowed in comparison to our ancestors’. This means that in many cases, there is no room for a third molar, yet, it shows up forcefully. In several cases, it presses against(impacts) the nearest molar causing severe pain and needing extraction.

The thrill?

After all said above, here’s the point of reflection and by far the most thrilling part of this phenomenon for me. When growing a wisdom tooth, maybe the question you should be asking yourself is:

Am I truly wiser than a child?

A little harsh perhaps, but thought-provoking indeed.

Do well to share your thoughts, experiences and possibly more knowledge on the topic in the comment section below.

Peace! ✌🏾