5 Myths and Facts About Wisdom Teeth You May Not Know

With the development of oral cavity, certain myths and facts are linked that must be decoded to spread awareness about it
Wisdom teeth is the third molar and the last set of teeth to develop in oral cavity. With it's development, certain myths and facts are linked that must be decoded to spread awareness about it. (Representational image: Pixabay)
Wisdom teeth is the third molar and the last set of teeth to develop in oral cavity. With it's development, certain myths and facts are linked that must be decoded to spread awareness about it. (Representational image: Pixabay)

The oral cavity is structured to hold 28 teeth. However, an additional set of teeth known as wisdom teeth sometimes develops usually between the age of 17 and 25. This time is also called as the "Age of Wisdoms".

Wisdom teeth are remnants of our ancestral past, necessary for our ancestors who lost teeth to a complex diet. Today, with fine diets and advanced dental care, these teeth often cause problem because there's not enough space in our jaws to accommodate them in the mouth.

5 common myths and facts about wisdom teeth:

1. Myth: Wisdom teeth is always needed to be removed.

Fact: This is the biggest myth amongst people that if wisdom teeth has developed, it has to be removed anyway. However, when wisdom teeth align properly with other teeth and the gum tissue is healthy, they do not necessarily need to be removed always.

If the wisdom teeth is not aligned and it's development has caused infection in the gums, then problem might arise and the removal becomes necessary. Regular dental check-ups are very essential, as they allow dentists to monitor these teeth and ensure they do not begin to cause infections.

The need of removing the wisdom teeth varies from person to person. While many people may require their wisdom teeth to be removed to avoid future dental issues, others might never experience any such issue. The key to proper management lies in regular dental check-ups and following the advice of dentists. It’s not a one-size-fits-all decision, but rather a carefully considered decision depending upon the individual's conditions and preventive care strategies.

If the wisdom teeth is not aligned and it's development has caused infection in the gums, then problem might arise and the removal becomes necessary. (Representational image: Unsplash)
If the wisdom teeth is not aligned and it's development has caused infection in the gums, then problem might arise and the removal becomes necessary. (Representational image: Unsplash)

2. Myth: Everyone has wisdom teeth.

Fact: Not everyone has wisdom teeth. Some people might joke that not having a wisdom teeth will bring no wisdom in life. But that is only a myth. There is practically no relation between wisdom teeth and having wisdom in life. According to a study 5- 37% of the population have missing wisdom teeth since birth. The reason might be dormancy of the teeth within jaw bones.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has wisdom teeth. A significant percentage of the population, ranging from 5% to 37%, experience congenitally missing wisdom teeth, known as agenesis of the third molars. This condition is more common in females. It can be explained by the sexual difference in craniofacial morphology, as the dimensions of the dental arch of females are generally smaller than males. Third molar agenesis shows a greater predilection for the maxilla compared to the mandible. Factors like jaw size, facial growth, and genetic inheritance may play a role. Although the painful eruption of third molars is quite common, it's essential to recognize that not everyone will experience the eruption of these molars. If you don't see the wisdom tooth erupting between late teens and early twenties, then it might be impacted inside the jaw bone or congenitally missing. Intra-oral radiographs or orthopantomograms can reveal if your wisdom teeth are impacted or if you have fewer than the standard four. As a dentist, I often see patients surprised to learn they lack wisdom teeth, but it's more common than you might think.

Dr. Nirainila Joseph, BDS, MS, Junior Dentist, Amala Dental Care (Tamil Nadu, India)

According to a study 5- 37% of the population have missing wisdom teeth since birth. The reason might be dormancy of the teeth within jaw bones.
(Representational image: Unsplash)
According to a study 5- 37% of the population have missing wisdom teeth since birth. The reason might be dormancy of the teeth within jaw bones. (Representational image: Unsplash)

3. Myth: Wisdom teeth are of no use.

Fact: Wisdom teeth was useful long, long ago when we foraged for coarse foods like twigs and raw meats. Now, we no longer need that extra grinding power because of the changed diet. Our jawbones have decreased in size and became narrower. This is the reason why wisdom teeth are prone to trouble, and in most cases need to be removed soon after they appear.

Wisdom teeth is the third molar and the last set of teeth to develop in oral cavity. With it's development, certain myths and facts are linked that must be decoded to spread awareness about it. (Representational image: Pixabay)
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Myth: Wisdom tooth removal can affect eyesight. Fact: Though maxillary teeth are close to the ocular structures leading one to believe this myth, the nerve distribution to both the structures are different. Wisdom tooth removal does not cause visual disturbances.

Dr. Yogeeta V H, BDS, Mysuru (Karnataka, India)

Our jawbones have decreased in size and became narrower. This is the reason why wisdom teeth are prone to trouble, and in most cases need to be removed soon after they appear.(Representational image: Unsplash)
Our jawbones have decreased in size and became narrower. This is the reason why wisdom teeth are prone to trouble, and in most cases need to be removed soon after they appear.(Representational image: Unsplash)

4. Myth: Wisdom teeth always erupt between ages 16 – 25.

Fact: Wisdom teeth are the last to form in our oral cavity. They generally erupt between the late teenage and early adulthood period. But they can develop at any age. In a case reported in 2017, a 94-year-old man developed a wisdom tooth. Now, he has become the oldest person to develop a wisdom tooth at this age.

In a case reported in 2017, a 94-year-old man developed a wisdom tooth. Now, he has become the oldest person to develop a wisdom tooth at this age. (Representational image: Pixabay)
In a case reported in 2017, a 94-year-old man developed a wisdom tooth. Now, he has become the oldest person to develop a wisdom tooth at this age. (Representational image: Pixabay)

5. Myth: Wisdom teeth must be removed before the starting orthodontic treatment.

Fact: This usually varies from case to case. Orthodontic treatment are mainly done for esthetic purposes if the teeth are mal-aligned in the oral cavity. Sometimes, when the teeth are protruded and there is no space in the mouth to accommodate them, then in the orthodontic treatment, space is created by removal of some teeth.

But it is not mandatory, when enough space is present in the mouth, there is no need of removal of any tooth.

If there is requirement of space in the oral cavity during orthodontic treatment, then wisdom tooth is removed so that rest of the teeth can migrate to provide enough space. The presence of wisdom teeth might cause movement in other teeth hindering the treatment.

If there is requirement of space in the oral cavity during orthodontic treatment, then wisdom tooth is removed so that rest of the teeth can migrate to provide enough space.(Representational image: Unsplash)
If there is requirement of space in the oral cavity during orthodontic treatment, then wisdom tooth is removed so that rest of the teeth can migrate to provide enough space.(Representational image: Unsplash)

References:

1. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/wisdom-teeth

2. https://www.familydentisttree.com/surprising-myths-facts-about-wisdom-teeth/

3. https://dental.dpu.edu.in/blogs/truth-about-wisdom-teeth-myths-facts

4. https://longfallsdentistry.com/wisdom-teeth-myths-facts/

5. https://www.meadowbrookdentalcare.com/blog/4-myths-about-wisdom-teeth/

Wisdom teeth is the third molar and the last set of teeth to develop in oral cavity. With it's development, certain myths and facts are linked that must be decoded to spread awareness about it. (Representational image: Pixabay)
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