How Many People Are Born Without Wisdom Teeth?

On average, approximately 35 percent of people never develop wisdom teeth. This is highly dependent on ethnicity; nearly 100 percent of indigenous Mexican people, for example, never develop third molars, while almost 100 percent of indigenous Bantu people of Angola do develop them.

A study suggests that mutation of the PAX9 gene, originating in Asia, creates the varied development seen throughout the ethnic groups of the world. Although the development of third molars would have been useful to prehistoric humans in the event that primary molars were lost, the tendency of the teeth to develop sideways or impacted can cause a wide range of dental issues and mouth disease.