Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?

If you ask a child, they will tell you wisdom teeth make you smarter. While we wish this were true, the real reason why we have wisdom teeth is much different. Although times have changed, and the way we live has evolved, many years ago, wisdom teeth were essential for eating and survival for our ancestors. They were an essential piece for being able to eat, given that much of the food consumed was raw or very tough.


Today, wisdom teeth don’t serve their original functions anymore. With the advances in cooking and utensils, the need for the back set of molars, or wisdom teeth, have become obsolete.

Wisdom Teeth and Modern Times

Wisdom teeth are not needed for survival today, which might be the reason why not everyone has them. Genetics are the determining factors of those who get wisdom teeth. While males are more likely to get them than females, they can be painful regardless. Most wisdom teeth, or your last set of molars, will erupt in your late teens to early adulthood.


When these molars finally erupt, it can be painful. Some might never erupt, and these can become impacted. Over time, our build has changed. Our ancestors would have had wider mouths, with a bit of a larger jaw, allowing for more room for the wisdom teeth. While many of our appearances remain the same, there have been some changes over time.

Dealing with Wisdom Teeth Today

Wisdom teeth can cause pain, but they can also cause teeth to move and not leave enough room in your mouth for your regular teeth. If you are experiencing pain from wisdom teeth, you need to visit your dentist and discuss having these removed.


Contact our office today, and we can help determine the best course of action for all your dental needs. From wisdom teeth to preventive care, we have all your dental needs covered!


5 Jaw Exercises for Overcoming TMJ Pain

There is a good chance that you have not considered pain associated with TMJ or the temporomandibular joint. However, once it begins to cause any discomfort, you won’t be able to think about anything else. TMJ can originate through many different causes, such as arthritis.


One of the ways to combat TMJ pain is through some simple exercises. We have compiled 5 jaw exercises for overcoming TMJ pain for you to use at home. We do, however, encourage you to reach out and talk to a doctor, so that they can determine the best steps for you to take, and recommend the best course moving forward.


5 Exercises for TMJ Pain

  1. Relaxed jaw – This is done by placing your tongue right behind your top front teeth. Keep your jaw closed so that all your teeth are touching. Slowly, with your tongue still touching the back of your teeth, let your jaw go slack. This will draw your jaw downwards in a relaxed position.
  2. Tuck the chin – Square your shoulders while keeping your head and neck straight. You are going to drop your head in order to create a double chin effect. Hold this position for three to five seconds. Repeat ten times daily.
  3. Tongue Exercise – Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, and then open and close your mouth. Do not rush through these motions. This one can be done a couple of times a day – ideally, morning and evening.
  4. Moving your jaw side to side – Using a firm object, such as a popsicle stick, place the object between your teeth, and then move your jaw side to side. You are going to want to do this movement for a few minutes. It will be a little painful at first, but it will become easier. As you move forward, you can increase the width of the object, such as two popsicle sticks, and continue practicing this motion.
  5. Moving your jaw forward and backward – Such as the movement above, you are going to use a firm object between your teeth, and then move your jaw forward and backward for a few minutes each day. As the exercise becomes easier to do, increase the width of the object between your teeth.


Moving Forward with TMJ Pain

With the 5 exercises for overcoming TMJ pain above, you have a good start on decreasing the pain. However, there are other options that a doctor could go through with you to ensure that the pain lessens.


At the Oral and Facial Surgery Institute, we hate to see you suffer! We want to help you continue presenting your best face each day. Our office is ready and willing to answer any questions that you have! Contact us now and make an appointment with our fabulous Dr. Davis.