would like to challenge you to a quiz on wisdom teeth.


Q1. True or False – Wisdom teeth may have served a purpose in past evolutionary history, but are unnecessary in modern times.

Q2. True or False – Wisdom teeth that are only partially erupted should be left alone.

Q3. True or false – Your third molars (AKA wisdom teeth) are named as such because you are supposed to be of a wise age when they erupt through your gum tissue.


A1. False – Our Cro-Magnon ancestors didn’t have cutlery and other utensils for chopping and cutting food into bite sized bits. The ancestral diet during that time period consisted primarily of nuts, leaves, roots, and raw meat. You can imagine why a third set of molars might have been a necessity during that time in history. These days we have gotten the cutting and cooking process down so that our wisdom teeth simply aren’t necessary for survival. That’s why removing wisdom teeth is a pretty easy decision when they cause trouble in your mouth.

A2. True – When a wisdom tooth fails to erupt completely through your gums, a soft tissue flap usually develops. The clinical term for this is an operculum, which can make it very difficult to keep teeth clean. Bacteria and food particles can accumulate under the operculum, breeding an infection. Extraction will generally be recommended in instances of partial wisdom tooth eruption.

A3. TRUE – The association between wisdom and your third molars can be traced back to Hippocrates. The famous ancient Greek physician stated that the age that these particular teeth erupted (late teens to young adult) was a time when people began to have more wisdom.

Consult With Your Riverside Dentists

If you have any questions or dental concerns, contact your dentists in Riverside. We offer a full array of general dental servicesTo reach our  Riverside dentist office, call (951) 689-5031. We serve patients from Riverside and nearby communities.