No wisdom teeth and smaller jaws: the current microevolution trend
Impacted Wisdom Tooth. Picture courtesy of iStock.

No wisdom teeth and smaller jaws: the current microevolution trend

Removing wisdom teeth is a painful experience many 17-25 year olds go through, often resulting in popular videos on social media. But aside from online virality, wisdom teeth have been at the top of the list of seemingly useless parts of the human body. However, Australian researchers have noticed a trend of babies being born with smaller jaws and without wisdom teeth.

In a paper published in Sept. 2020, Dr Teghan Lucas, along with University of Adelaide Professors Maciej Henneberg and Jaliya Kumaratilake, proposes the research that humans are continuing to undergo “microevolution.” Due to the increase in technology, that suggestion is working in more understated ways. 

“This is happening in time as we have learnt to use fire and process foods more,” Dr Lucas said. “A lot of people are just being born without wisdom teeth.”. 

With the paper focusing primarily on the increasing median arteries in babies after birth, the decrease in wisdom teeth is of interest to many due to the sheer cost of removal. The decrease in the number of people born with wisdom teeth also is being correlated with a shrinking of jaw size, also due to the foods we produce and continuing to demonstrate the ongoing evolution of the human body in more covert ways.

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