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Wisdom Teeth – Are they good or bad

A large number of people visit dentists for pain in their last molar teeth, especially during its eruption. Most of these teeth fail to erupt causing discomfort to the patients. But why do they fail to erupt? It’s because our last or third molar commonly known as wisdom teeth do not find sufficient space in the jaw. It is one of the vestigial organs of our body like appendix. But are they always bad? No, sometimes they are beneficial also and hence have to be retained in the mouth. So, let’s have a review whether they are good or bad?

The pain caused due to the third molar:
Most of the third molars are impacted due to small sized jaws, especially the lower ones. This lead to entrapment of food particles and hence causes proximal caries between second and third molar. Sometimes they also exert pressure on their neighboring teeth leading to pocket formation. Thus patients frequently complain about food impaction and a foul smell from their mouth. Third molar erupts between 18 to 25 years and during their eruption gums around the tooth may become inflamed leading to pericorinitis which further leads to food entrapment pain and fever .Sometimes a cyst can also form and hence causes bone resorption .Mostly the upper third molar are buccally erupted and so causes cheek bite leading to ulceration in gingiva. Also, they can give rise to pain in temporo mandibular joint. Thus it is advisable in about 80% of cases to extract the third molars.

Wisdom Teeth

Its best to get rid of the wisdom tooth:
Just like everything has two aspects – good or bad, similarly the third molars are not always harmful. They help in the fabrication of removable partial denture and fixed partial denture when the patient has lost their second molar. Not everybody can afford implants and further surgery for implants cannot be performed in every patient. It is seen that the patients with missing second molar only shows lesser bone resorption than those with missing second and third molar.

Thus, it is seen that wisdom teeth generally poses problem and so has to be removed at appropriate time to avoid further complications.