6 myths about wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are associated with a myriad of oral problems: pain, displacement of other teeth and culprits of complex extractions with multiple complications. Dr. Alió Sanz, one of the world’s leading orthodontists, explains 6 myths about these teeth.

What problems are caused by wisdom teeth

The problems related to wisdom teeth are due to their location, as they are under the gums and at the end of both arches. They usually have little space to erupt, so the pressure they exert must be strong. When wisdom teeth erupt, they can cause inflammation, pain, headaches or make it difficult to rest.

False myths about wisdom teeth

Typically, accusations made about third molars are based on false beliefs that have become widespread in society. We analyze these fallacies:

  • Wisdom teeth should be extracted in all cases: this is not true, since they should only be extracted in cases where there is not enough space for them to erupt in the arches, if they come out crooked or when they push other pieces and put their position at risk. This happens to a small part of the population, so we should not think that when the molars come out they will have to be extracted.
  • Everyone has wisdom teeth: there are cases in which the third molar is not formed or only one of them is formed, those on one side of the mouth… There may be cases in which the four pieces do not appear, so not everyone has to go through that phase.
  • Wisdom teeth displace the rest of the teeth: one tooth cannot move the entire dentition, but it may push the second molar when it comes out and this triggers the movement of the successive teeth. This does not mean that it is the fault of the wisdom tooth, but that the pressures of the mouth deform the entire dentition due to the friction between the pieces so as not to disturb each other.
  • Wisdom teeth are called wisdom teeth because they make you lose them: the myth says that they get this name because the pain caused when they come out makes people go crazy. The name is given because of the age at which they emerge, since it is considered that from the age of 16 years old there is maturity to consider that someone has wisdom teeth.
  • Extracting wisdom teeth is complicated: this is not true, since extracting a wisdom tooth is not dangerous. If the tooth is very crooked, presses on the nerve or is trapped under the gum, the extraction will be more complex, but nothing that a dentist cannot handle.