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Wisdom Tooth: 101

What is a Wisdom Tooth?

Wisdom tooth is the third molar at the back of our jaw which grows at a later stage, and in some cases never grow out of the gums. They can appear anywhere between the ages of 15-25 and in some cases, appear even at a later stage. Hence they carry the moniker, wisdom teeth because they appear so late, at an age when a person matures into adulthood and in turn tends to be “wiser” than when other teeth have erupted.

But do you know why it’s called a wisdom tooth and more importantly, why so much fuss is created when it comes to their extraction and more? Well, you have come to right place to seek all your Wisdom Tooth related answers.

When Should You Get It Removed?


Many dentists recommend having your wisdom tooth removed at a pretty early stage. A general question arises in everybody’s mind, that if it doesn’t hurt why I should go through a surgical procedure to remove it. In most of the cases wisdom tooth is not required to be taken out, when they are healthy, have properly grown and can function without any impedance. But sometimes, the new tooth has a problem in growing in an already developed jaw and may not have enough room to grow properly thus causing a host of issues. Some of the main reasons why a dentist recommends getting rid of a wisdom tooth are –

1) The tooth remains completely hidden in the gums and may not emerge even partially thus creating the issue of inadequate space to fully accommodate a full eruption. This can result in an infection in your gums or worse, cause a painful cyst.

2) The tooth comes out partially. As the tooth that comes out is partially hidden and can’t be seen or cleaned properly, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and causes oral infections. Thus it impairs the ability to achieve a proper and thorough routine cleaning of food and bacteria.

3) There are some cases where wisdom tooth doesn’t have enough room to grow, it crowds other teeth and results in damaging other teeth and deforming the mouth shape. Furthermore, this could lead to damage of surrounding roots and cause irritation of the surrounding tissue as well.

Why Opt Getting It Removed At An Early Age?

Many dentists recommend having improper growing wisdom teeth removed, while many dentists believe that wisdom tooth must be removed at a young age so to avoid any such problems from arising in the future. Getting rid of wisdom teeth at a tender age when bones and roots are not completely formed is easier and may result in quick recovery from surgery. As a person grows the roots and bones tend to get stronger making it harder for the molars to be removed. Moreover, the extraction risk is higher as you get older, and several dentists are generally not very comfortable about the procedure of extracting wisdom teeth beyond the age of 30. Removal of wisdom teeth at an advanced age can lead to many problems during surgery ranging from heavy bleeding, fractured teeth to severe numbness and minor loss of movement in the jaw. Additionally, its observed that in older people, recovery and healing time tend to be longer. These are some of the potential issues you may face owing to the late removal of your wisdom teeth:

1) The extra set of molars can push your other teeth out of the way and cause damage to those teeth.

2) Fluid filled painful cysts can develop in your jaw and cause irrevocable damage to the nerves in your mouth. Moreover, these cysts can lay the foundation for recurring infections in the surrounding soft tissue as well.

3) Wisdom teeth problems can also lead to problems with sinus pain and congestion while also leading to a gradual decay of 3rd or 2nd molars.

4) Problems in teeth can also result in infection of gums and cause them to swell up. They can form cavities between teeth which leads to weakening of teeth and in some cases, even tumours.

5) Partial or angulated eruption or teeth. Additionally, if your wisdom teeth develop some problem while growing, they can wreck havoc to the alignment of your teeth in the jaw. They can even ruin any effect of prior dental work like braces, dentures etc.



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