The Wisdom Of Wisdom Teeth

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Family

waiting at dentist office

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars and molars are the teeth with a larger surface area located in the back of the mouth. There are four wisdom teeth and they usually appear when a person is between 17-25 years old. That’s long after the other teeth make their appearance in your mouth. It is believed that the wisdom teeth got their name because people are “wiser” as young adults than they were as children. Of course, that is debatable. Ha!

wisdom teeth full mouth dental xray

What Is The Purpose of Wisdom Teeth?

Many, many, many years ago, the early man had a broader jaw and had plenty of room for wisdom teeth. That’s a good thing because there were not any soft Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Homemade Gourmet Marshmallows With Ghirardelli Chocolate, or delicious, fluffy, old-fashioned Pancakes to eat. Instead the early man survived on a diet of roots, berries, nuts and tougher meats. In order to eat these foods, they needed strong teeth and lots of them.

Why Do We Remove Wisdom Teeth Constantly?

Since man has progressed and doesn’t have to focus all his attention on hunting or searching for the next meal, our need for wisdom teeth has also diminished. The contour of our faces no longer have a large angular jaw, so we don’t really have room for the third molars to erupt. Now when wisdom teeth start to develop, they are often “impacted” which means they come in sideways or won’t push themselves out through the gum. This not only crowds all the other teeth, but they often get infected and are painful. Because the wisdom teeth are so crowded and/or painful, we go to the dentist and have them removed.

Do Wisdom Teeth Have Wisdom?

The wisdom tooth does not have a separate brain nor does it have an emotional heart, so the tooth does not have wisdom. I’m pretty sure we all knew that already. The wisdom exhibited is when we are wise enough to know that the third molars need to be removed.

I was born without the tooth buds for wisdom teeth, so I am a lucky woman. When my second molars came in, that was all the teeth growing I had to worry about. My daughter, however, must have taken after her father because she had all four of her wisdom teeth. I use the word “had” on purpose. On Monday, Alyssa went to the dentist at 8:00 a.m. and by 10:50 a.m. she was on her way home with her four wisdom teeth in a little baggie.

I spent the time between 8:00 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. in the waiting room with Alyssa’s boyfriend. He was very relaxed, but he is in his early 20’s and didn’t give birth to Alyssa. All I could think about was that my baby was having to undergo this terrible extraction and I was unable to help during the process.

After we got home, I was able to dote on Alyssa constantly. She had to put ice packs, also known as two socks each stuffed with a bag of peas, on each side of her face. This required me to run back and forth from the freezer to Alyssa every twenty minutes for a 24 hour period. By following this ice pack procedure of twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off, there would be less swelling and pain. I saw this as my opportunity to help my beautiful daughter who is such a great patient and doesn’t complain at all.

While Alyssa was having her wisdom teeth removed and while I was running back and forth with the ice packs, I “thought” about a lot of things like…

  • I’m so grateful to be Alyssa’s mother. It has been and is such a wonderful experience to parent this wonderful child.
  • PTSD no longer leads my life. I got rid of it. No one else did all the work or suffered the pain to make it go away. I did it.
  • I will find a new job eventually. I hope I can exhibit grace and gain wisdom during this waiting period of joblessness.

Wisdom teeth do not have wisdom, but by keeping an open mind and heart, we can gain wisdom through our trials.

“Knowing yourself is
the beginning of all wisdom.”
~ Aristotle ~

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 teresa vett December 4, 2013 at 1:29 am

I am grateful for you and for your sweet daughter. I love you both. I never had wisdom teeth either. Matter of fact I never had my second molars. wow and you thought I had a big


2 Sherry Riter December 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm

We love you too.


3 Kenny Sellards September 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm

You are a lucky lady my friend… One tiny endearing story that includes so many blessings. Thank you for sharing! <3


4 Sherry Riter September 12, 2014 at 1:27 am

Thank you Kenny! 🙂


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