Wisdom tooth i.e. Third Molars have been the most common topic of concern to the general population for a long time. These teeth never fail to amaze us, be it about development, eruption, shape, form, clinical implications or many more things to come which justifies it as –“ENIGMA IN DENTISTRY”. A lot of false beliefs, misconceptions come handy in day to day opinion of the common population as we come across. Here, we will be dealing with all these doubts and beliefs along with a detailed study about development, clinical topics concerned with the third molar.
It is not always compulsory to get wisdom teeth removed however there can be many deleterious consequences of non-removal of these teeth.
As per evolutionary trend human jaws are getting smaller as compared to our ancestors hence accommodation of third molars in jaw bone often leads to shifting of other teeth and eventually crowding of teeth.
- GREATER POTENTIAL FOR DECAY
Improper angulation of third molars often lead to food accumulation behind second molars causing decay of 2nd molars. It can lead to pain and swelling in the third molar area due to bacteria accumulation resulting in inflammation.
- WISDOM TEETH CUTTING INTO CHEEK:-
Wisdom tooth biting cheek is one of the most commonly seen problems with erupting wisdom teeth. These teeth can be angulated towards the cheek or tongue causing non healing ulcers due to repeated trauma from cheek biting. It is better to get these teeth removed as soon as possible to avoid such conditions.
- SWOLLEN GUM BEHIND BACK TOOTH NO WISDOM TEETH : — Food lodgment between 2nd and erupting 3rd molars often leads to swelling of gums. This is one of the most frequent problems being faced with wisdom tooth eruption. Food lodgment leads to accumulation of bacteria causing recurrent infection and inflammation. Warm saline rinses repeated 4-6 times daily along with maintenance of oral hygiene is the best treatment at home.
Why experts now say not to remove your wisdom teeth
Removal of wisdom teeth has been a question of debate for a long time amongst the dentist community. There are different schools of thoughts regarding whether to remove these teeth or not. Normal erupting wisdom teeth having sufficient space for accommodation in jaws need not be removed unless causing some serious issue. Removal of wisdom teeth involves surgical procedure risks but when performed by experts risk can be minimized. Tooth with cyst, abscess, grossly decayed, mobile, recurrent infections are bound to be removed as soon as possible. Wisdom teeth closely associated with inferior alveolar nerve, blood vessels, or having roots fused with adjacent bone without having any caries can be left as such.
Extraction has to be always performed keeping in mind risk vs benefit outcome hence extraction can be indicated for you but may not be for other people. Still a careful evaluation by an expert oral and maxillofacial surgeon is a must before reaching any conclusion
Benefits of keeping wisdom teeth
Avoiding going through hours of surgical procedure, post-operative discomfort, prolonged healing time, diet modifications as such unable to take solid food for some time, risk of adverse drug reactions from prescribed medicines are some of the only benefits of keeping wisdom teeth. Third molars with well interception of upper and lower molars need not be removed unless having some underlying pathology or infection.
But avoiding extraction keeping in mind these benefits should always be weighed against future complications.
Does everyone get their wisdom teeth removed
Certainly not, it’s not compulsory for everyone to get their wisdom teeth pulled out. Most people don’t even have a full set of upper and lower wisdom teeth. These teeth may even lie dormant within the jaw bone throughout life without causing trouble. Extraction is required in cases of caries, varied eruption site, position, shape but third molars with well intercuspation and without clinical pain or any other symptoms are not advised for extraction. Third molars normally exert pressure over second molars in their due course of eruption leading to malalignment and overlapping of other teeth.
As space available for third molar eruption is very less, hence these teeth are extracted at an early stage to avoid crowding of remaining teeth at a later stage and further visits to the orthodontist. In cases of early overlapping of teeth due to third molar eruption, extraction at an early stage can lead to space regaining and settling of teeth back into their rightful place. Ectopic erupting third molars require immediate attention and extraction. Hence it’s always better to have a careful evaluation of wisdom teeth by oral and maxillofacial surgeons keeping in mind future risk vs benefit outcome.