Why Are Wisdom Teeth Called “Wisdom” Teeth?

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Called “Wisdom” Teeth?

Third molars have been referred to as “teeth of wisdom” since the 17th Century and simply “wisdom teeth” since the 19th Century. The third molars generally appear much later than other teeth, usually between the ages of 17 – 25 as a person reaches adulthood. It is generally thought among linguists that they are called wisdom teeth because they appear so late, at an age when a person matures into adulthood and is “wiser” than when other teeth have erupted.

Lately, science has added some credence to the idea that the third molar does indeed erupt when a person is “wiser”.

Recent research has shown the brain continues to grow and develop right on through adolescence: in fact, most researchers believe the brain does not reach full maturity until the age of 25. Perhaps, then, our ancestors weren’t so far off the mark — that the eruption of “wisdom teeth” is a sign that the carefree days of childhood have given way to the responsibilities of adulthood.

Having issues with your wisdom teeth? Be sure to let Dr. Jayroe know on your next visit!

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