You would be taking your routine dental check up and when it’s almost done, your doctor opens up, “Well, it seems your wisdom tooth is showing up. Looks like we have to do something about it”. Now don’t get all excited about it as the name goes. Wisdom tooth doesn’t signify any wisdom attached to it. So what is this wisdom tooth anyway? Why is there a tussle of thoughts in choosing whether to let it be or take it off? Lets find out.
By the way, what is Wisdom Tooth?
Wisdom tooth is the one that appears in the far back end of the jaw during the age of 17-25 (called the age of wisdom and hence the name). Not everyone develops the third set of molars, but research says about 90 percent of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth, meaning there’s not enough space for it to break through the gums. The average person can have four wisdom teeth, although it’s possible to have more, says Dr.Rebecca, an oral surgeon from Auckland. She removes up to 1000 wisdom teeth a year and once treated a patient with nine she said. Crazy numbers you see.
How to spot the Wisdom tooth issue?
One can feel wisdom teeth pain at the back of the mouth, behind the molars. Looked into a mirror, one may even notice the wisdom teeth beginning to poke through the gums. The area might also be red, enflamed and tender to the touch.
What to do with the wisdom attained?
Wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience changes in the area of those teeth, such as:
- Mild Pain at the start and severe spasms progressively
- Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
- Cysts (fluid-filled sacs)
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Irritation when biting in the adjacent teeth
- Gum disease
- Extensive tooth decay
Wisdom teeth need not be removed if they are:
- Grown in completely (fully erupted)
- Positioned correctly and biting properly with their opposite teeth
- No irritation in the adjacent teeth
- Able to be cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices
So what’s the wise move?
“To keep it or extract it depends on situations. But the worst thing is to ignore it”, says Dr.Rebecca. She adds on saying, “It is fine as long as there is space and room for the teeth to stay. But in case of pain or trouble which when left untreated can lead to periodontal disease that infects gums and dents in further molar complications”. But guess what’s worse? It is said that 25 percent of the population with asymptomatic wisdom teeth develop periodontal disease too without even knowing they have the wisdom tooth issue. It is best to look out for symptoms at the earliest stage and reach out to your dentist, for it becomes complicated to operate once the wisdom tooth sets in. At times, as the case goes without any symptoms too, it is wise to maintain a regular dental check up round the year regularly. That’s the true wisdom you can provide to your tooth.