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  • Each year, five million Americans get their wisdom teeth removed, which costs about three billion dollars in total medical costs.


  • But for many, it's worth it. Since leaving them in can cause serious problems like gum infection, tooth decay, and even tumors.


  • But wisdom teeth weren't always the unwelcome threat we see today.

    但是智齒並非像現在是個不受歡迎的威脅 。

  • Wisdom teeth have been around for millennia.


  • Our ancient ancestors used them the same way we use our other eight molars:


  • to grind up food, which was especially handy before the advent of cooking around seven thousand years ago,


  • back when our diet consisted of raw meat and plants that were fibrous and tough to chew.


  • But once we got our hands on softer cooked foods, our powerful jaws no longer needed to work as hard and shrank as a result.


  • But here's the problem:


  • The genes that determine the size of our jaws are completely separate from the genes that determine how many teeth we grow.


  • So as our jaws shrank, we still kept all 32 teeth.

    所以即使我們的顎骨萎縮了,我們仍然保有 32 顆牙齒。

  • And it eventually got to the point where there wasn't enough space to fit all of the teeth.


  • But why did wisdom teeth specifically get the boot?


  • Well, they're the last to show up to the party.


  • Wisdom teeth don't usually grow in until you're between 16 and 18 years old.

    智齒通常直到你 16 到 18 歲才會生長 。

  • And by that time, chances are your other 28 teeth have taken up all the available space in your mouth.

    到那時,你的另外 28 顆牙齒已經佔據了你口裡所有可用的空間。

  • In that case, instead of growing in like a normal tooth, wisdom teeth get trapped or impacted in your jaw,

    在這種情況下,不會像正常的牙齒一樣生長,智齒會被困住或擠壓到你的下顎 ,

  • which often makes them grow in at odd angles and press against your back molars causing pain and swelling.


  • It also forms a narrow crevice between the teeth creating the perfect food trap.


  • This makes the tooth difficult to clean which attracts more bacteria and can cause infection and tooth decay, eventually leading to gum disease if left untreated.


  • But it gets worse.


  • Tooth decay can eventually destroy your wisdom tooth.


  • So, to save you and your teeth from such a horrible fate, dentists will often remove wisdom teeth before they go rogue.


  • Seems reasonable, right?


  • Well, it's actually a controversial topic among some in the dental community.


  • The worry is that we're removing our wisdom teeth too frequently, often when it's unnecessary and the teeth pose no threat,


  • like if your mouth is big enough or you're one of the 38 percent of people who don't develop all four wisdom teeth.

    比如,如果你的嘴足够大或者你是 38% 的人中不會四顆智齒全長的其中一人,

  • In that case, risks from surgery like infection and nerve damage pose more danger than the teeth themselves.


  • But the fact remains.


  • When wisdom teeth do become a problem, you'll curse the day we invented cooking.


Each year, five million Americans get their wisdom teeth removed, which costs about three billion dollars in total medical costs.


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為什麼智齒這麼討厭? (Why Do Wisdom Teeth Suck?)

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    Evangeline 發佈於 2021 年 05 月 13 日