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Wisdom Tooth Woes | by tj.blackwell
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Wisdom Tooth Woes

I haven't been out and about with my camera very much lately so I thought it would be interesting to explain my Flickr absence with an alternative sort of image. I've recently had two wisdom teeth removed in seperate operations on the bottom jaw. The last one got yanked today so now I'm free of them! This is an X-ray of my head which was taken shortly before the first tooth extraction. You don't need to be a dentist to see that the teeth at both ends of the lower jaw shouldn't be impacted at right-angles to the rest of the mouth, so I was eager to get the surgery out of the way.


Anthropologists believe wisdom teeth, the third set of molars, were the evolutionary answer to our ancestor’s early diet of coarse, rough food – like leaves, roots, nuts and meats – which required more chewing power and resulted in excessive wear of the teeth. The modern diet with its softer foods, along with marvels of modern technologies such as forks, spoons and knives, has made the need for wisdom teeth nonexistent. As a result, evolutionary biologists now classify wisdom teeth as vestigial organs, or body parts that have become functionless due to evolution. Indeed, many people are lucky enough to be born with the fortunate genetic mutation of having no wisdom teeth at all - apparently you have a 25% chance of being born with at least one or more of them missing.

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Taken on November 2, 2009