Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get. They erupt by early twenties. Wisdom teeth or “akkal daadh” as they are popularly called in Marathi, do not contribute to even an iota of your intelligence. Then why are they called wisdom teeth or“akkal daadh’? Well, that is a good question. There is nothing so wise about these often so painful third molars. These teeth earned this title because they usually appear between ages 18 and 21 or the time when people used to think wisdom is gained.
In Spanish, these teeth are known as ‘lasmuelasdel juicio’ or the teeth of judgement. It is the same idea but with as light difference and anyone who has known or been an 18 year old may argue with the sentiment! Whatever you call them, the truth is that these late bloomers will most likely need to be extracted if they appear.
Usually problems occur as there isn’t enough room for them to fully emerge. This leads to a typical and a very common condition these days – impacted wisdom teeth. A good way to judge this is by getting a full mouth x-ray done. Wisdom tooth removal – why is it necessary? They need not be removed when they are:
1) Healthy 2) Grown completely 3) Positioned correctly and biting properly with opposing teeth 4) Can be easily cleaned as a part of dental routine.
If any one of the above are not true, then wisdom teeth should be extracted since:
1) Healthy teeth can be damaged as impacted wisdom teeth push against the neighbouring second molars.
2) They become decayed or infected as it is hard to reach them with your tooth brush
3) Bacteria around impacted teeth can lead to gum disease.
4) Fluid filled cysts or tumors occasionally form around the bottom of an impacted wisdom tooth, causing damage to the jaw bone or nerves.
When Is the best time to remove them?
Whenever your dentist detects problems or feels that the wisdom tooth has a potential to create complications in your mouth, he/she will suggest extraction (even if they aren’t causing problems at the moment).
Pain, swollen/bleeding gums, swelling around the jaws or radiating pain to the forehead or ear.
Your dentist will usually advise a battery of tests before the process. The choice of prescribing antibiotics is usually with the surgeon. The body may respond in the form of localized swelling after the tooth is removed. This is normal and usually subsides on its own.
Do you have a pressing problem with wisdom teeth which you are ignoring? Visit your dentist and get all your doubts clarified!