Are Wisdom Teeth Really Needed
Many people question the purpose of wisdom teeth. Are they only there to create havoc in the mouth? It is estimated that about 95 percent of 18 year olds “have wisdom teeth and most of them have little if any chance to function in a normal manner” says Louis Rafetto, an oral surgeon. There are myths to why they exist. Some thought humans needed the extra row of teeth to chew their food because of their diet of uncooked meat and vegetables. In today’s society the need for the wisdom teeth in the past exceeds that of today.
Some people are even born without wisdom teeth, but it is uncommon. Anatomy is the root of most problems with the wisdom teeth. Sometimes the jaws are too small or the teeth themselves are too big for the persons jaw. The third molars are supposed to come in during the late teens, when the jaw is big enough for another set of molars. Because of the lack of space the molars they can grow in sideways. When this happens there is a possibility of bacteria, infection, inflammation, tooth decay, or gum disease to occur. That’s why some surgeons recommend having them removed, but in a person’s younger years.
The American Public Health Association has a different opinion about wisdom teeth. They believe that with surgery infection is possible and there are risks with anesthesia. They also believe that the future problems are not valid enough reason to remove the teeth that do not show any symptoms of disease. The APHA also stated that the removal of wisdom teeth is unnecessary and wastes billions of health care dollars and even puts people at risks.
With that, the oral and maxillofacial surgeons states that asymptomatic does not mean “disease free”. Even before any symptoms, a dental disease can develop. There are potential risks associated with wisdom teeth surgery. With surgery there is a possibility of infection. There is even a chance of nerve injury, but that is usually temporary. There is pain and swelling, but the pain can be relieved with over the counter painkillers.
Whether a person decides to keep their wisdom teeth or get them removed it is up to the individual. One might choose to have the wisdom teeth removed because of the pain and damage they are causing, but some may decide they are not doing any harm. The best option is having a discussion with ones dentist and reviewing all steps.