Monday, June 20, 2011

W Is For Wisdom Teeth

Here is my entry for this weeks ABC Wednesday. This week the letter is W. W is for wisdom teeth.

"The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil." That quote has been attributed to Cicero, a Roman statesman and philosopher. Cicero is widely considered to be one of Rome's greatest orators. A while back I had an experience that made me start thinking about wisdom.

I had been having a very painful toothache, so I went to the dentist. After taking x-rays, he told me that second molar on the lower left was in bad shape. One of the reasons that it had deteriorated was because it was up against my "wisdom tooth". He recommended that I have both teeth pulled.

Having the teeth pulled was quite an ordeal. The wisdom tooth was laying sideways, and the root had a hook that was in the bone. The procedure wasn't that painful, but the pulling, pushing, cutting, tugging and prying made it very uncomfortable. When the anesthetic wore off I was in a lot of pain.

While I was at home nursing a very sore mouth I started wondering why the third molars are called wisdom teeth, and why we have them. I found out that they are called wisdom teeth because usually they come in when a person is between age 17 and 21 or older; old enough to have supposedly gained some "wisdom". Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars. Sometimes these teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often they are misaligned and cause trouble.

I found the explanation of the term "wisdom teeth" to be somewhat amusing. 17 to 21 year olds aren't the first age group that I think of when I think of wisdom. Wisdom comes with experience. The dictionary definition of wisdom is "the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; discernment, or insight.

We too often aren't sure of the difference between wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. There is some overlapping of the definitions. Wisdom is knowledge with understanding. Anyone can get knowledge, but understanding is another thing. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 3:13, "Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding".

I crave knowledge. I am curious about so many different things, and want to learn about them. It is interesting to me to see all the different "facts" that you can find on a given topic. Sorting through the "facts" can make understanding an almost impossible task.

1 Corinthians 1:19-20 tells us "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world"?

I want to make sure that in my quest for knowledge that I look to God for understanding.


  1. What a great post I also like knowledge and fined a lot from blogging. Now I like to think I have soom wisdom but? lol.
    1 CORINTHIANS 1: 19-20, could fit todays government officials.

  2. Corinthians is so very true today.
    I went for my molar to this guy and he used a hammer and chisel and when the freezing went away I was climbing walls for a week, day and night.
    I went back to the dentist and the secretary told me there is nothing they can do except wait till it healed.This dentist was known as the butcher and now I knew why.
    The other molars, I had a specialist do and I had no pain at all.
    Dentists are all different. When you have the best nothing they do

  3. fun one...

    your post is packed with knowledge and cool thoughts.

  4. I read this with gritted teeth! lol!
    Thanks so much.
    Denise ABC Team

  5. I had my wisdom teeth out. I was miserable for nearly a week. And no smarter.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  6. You were very brave! I hope your mouth is feeling better and that having had the wisdom tooth extracted did not rob you of any wisdom. :)

  7. Oh, dear, no hope for me then! I had three wisdom teeth removed when I was fourteen, and the one remaining is impacted.
    Placing our lives in God's hands will lead us to Him, and therefore wisdom.
    Jane x

  8. Ouch!!! I still have my wisdom teeth...dunno about wisdom though.

  9. Glad you pulled through - I'm not fond of dentally things!

  10. Lots of knowledge and interesting info in your post. Sorry you had to have the extractions to get your example of wisdom...(:0)

  11. I don't think of "L" plate drivers as being very wise. Maybe they were more controlled in earlier generations.

  12. What a great post for W day. I think we could all use a bit more wisdom, and less wisdom teeth aches and pains.

  13. Clever choice for W.

    Would love you to peek at my ABC. You are welcome to come by anytime, have a nice day!