I have a form of hypodontia, a condition of naturally missing one or more teeth. I don’t have any wisdom teeth:


no wisdom teeth!


This kind of hypodontia is pretty common, and is believed to be a product of natural selection in response to changes in human eating habits. It is also believed that the presence or absence of wisdom teeth depends on variation at the PAX9 gene locus, which regulates tooth development in humans and many other species. I think that’s very interesting – but everyone else is probably bored to tears.


Mensah JK, Ogawa T, Kapadia H, Cavender AC, D’Souza RN. Functional analysis of a mutation in PAX9 associated with familial tooth agenesis in humans. J Biol Chem. 2004 Feb 13;279(7):5924-33.

| PubMed |

Pereira TV, Salzano FM, Mostowska A, et al. Natural selection and molecular evolution in primate PAX9 gene, a major determinant of tooth development. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2006. Apr 11;103(15):5676-81.

| PubMed |

AND…just when I’ve run out of blogworthy material, another unauthorized reproduction of the ski bunny photo surfaces:

ANNOUNCING THE WORLD’S FIRST ACTUAL SUPERVILLAIN: Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you a story. A story that may very well burrow into your soul and take up permanent residence; a chilling tale so unbelievable it would be incredible, if only it weren’t absolutely true. I talk of the arrival of the world’s first supervillain.” [CONTINUE READING at CRACKED.COM]


ski bunny


Unfortunately, I am not the “supervillain” in this article. Even more unfortunately, spellcheck was “aparrently” not used – and there’s no “aparrent” reason why this photo is associated with this story. Still, I’M ON FREAKIN’ CRACKED.COM!! This is truly an honor. Truly. In fact, this might be the coolest thing that has ever happened to me! This might offset the fact that I have duct tape on my glasses right now!

8 Responses to “Teeth”

  1. Michael writes:

    I searched for agenesis and I found your blog. I really like it. Keep going – well done!

  2. Abbie writes:

    I don’t have wisdom teeth either. 🙂 I was very VERY relieved when I found out today at the dentist. I totally high-fived the dentist assistant in pure joy.

  3. Wendy writes:

    We are so evolutionarily advanced 😉

  4. Andrea writes:

    I only had one wisdom tooth! It was pulled before my mission. Chris has all four of his, and they came in perfectly. Hmmm…he must not be as evolved as we are. (And I love the science stuff, especially with references!)

  5. NY writes:

    it “cracked” me up to see that use of your much-mentioned photo! what exactly did that have to do with the subject of the article? duct tape on your glasses sounds like another accident… don’t you break any more bones. i had found your site ~2 yrs ago when i was beginning my ortho residency and now am halfway through the 5 yrs post-MD training but I enjoyed looking again at your blog which crossed my mind today. a fellow resident actually protested the lack of helmet enforcement by wearing a bike helmet to work for several days. yes we thought he was a dork… but it’s true, and you’re lucky you had one on. Viva la vida!

  6. Wendy Chao writes:

    Thanks for your comment and your kind words, NY! I hope I’m done with breaking bones and tearing ligaments, but if not, I may be seeking your orthopedic expertise some day…

  7. Elba Witczak writes:

    wonderful site; I like it very much. Nice post. Thanks!

  8. Ted Cappo writes:

    Proper aligned wisdom teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth but its misalignment requires removal. Wisdom teeth belongs to final set of molar which people witnesses at their late teens and at early twenties but usually it causes discomfort and pain in the mouth for being positioned forcibly in lesser space. Misalignment causes damaging of the jaw bones, adjacent teeth and nerves.

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