Wisdom teeth are third molars in the back of the mouth that usually that are the last teeth to appear. It is also possible that not all four wisdom teeth come in. Taking out wisdom teeth is one of the most common operations in developed countries around the world. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the removal of wisdom teeth. According to recent medical evidence most people don’t need their wisdom teeth removed, even if the teeth are impacted.
A wisdom tooth only needs to be taken out if there is an infection around the tooth, there is damage to a neighboring tooth, there is a cavity in the tooth that your dentist can’t treat, and/or there is a cyst in your jaw. However, even so many people continue to have their wisdom teeth removed when they don’t cause any problems.
Often times when a wisdom tooth is coming in your gums may feel sore or tender for a while. But this is normal and not a cause for concern. If your wisdom teeth are not causing you any problems it’s best to avoid the risks of surgery. In fact, if your wisdom teeth are impacted and are not causing problems, taking them out may do more harm than good.
The upper wisdom teeth roots are very close to the maxillary sinus and some people even have roots that go into the sinus. An opening into the sinus after the removal of wisdom teeth occurs once in a while. If this occurs it is likely that bacteria can prevent healing and get into the sinus. This infection does not respond well to antibiotics and often requires surgery to drain the infected sinus.
Nerves in your mouth may be damaged during surgery to remove your lower wisdom teeth. The lingual nerve may be permanently damaged in up to 1 in 100 people which is the nerve that helps you sense pain and temperature in your mouth. Dentists and surgeons often use an instrument called a lingual nerve retractor to move the nerve out of the way. But this can actually increase the risk of damage. The inferior alveolar nerve can also be damaged. This nerve supplies sensation to the lower teeth on the right or left half of the dental arch and the sense of touch to the right or left half of the chin and lower lip.
Another lesser known serious complication that can result from the removal of wisdom teeth is a rare disease known as new daily persistent headache. People with NDPH can tell you the exact date when their headache began. It is characterized by continuous daily head pain, varying in intensity, and sometimes accompanied by migrainous symptoms.
Other complications that can result from the extraction of wisdom teeth include a dry socket, jaw fracture, injury to teeth, tmj pain, and bleeding.