Myths about Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth are Useless

One of the common myths about wisdom teeth is that they serve no purpose in the mouth. Some people claim that wisdom teeth are a vestigial structure, like the appendix, and that there is no need for these teeth. However, research has shown that some humans still use these teeth for certain reasons. Although these teeth are not necessary to the eating process some people still use their third molars to chew some food.

Everyone Needs to have them Removed

Contrary to popular believe wisdom teeth surgery is not necessary for everybody. Many people argue that everyone should have wisdom teeth early in life to prevent them from causing tooth disease. However, this thought process is out of date and inconsistent with current research. Dentists recommend that people should remove their wisdom teeth only when they begin to cause problems for the patient.

Removing Them Earlier is Better

Another common myth about wisdom teeth is that having the procedure at a young age is less painful because the nerve endings in the mouth are less developed and the body can handle the pain more efficiently. Studies show that patients suffer an average of just over two days of pain and discomfort or disability, and this figure is consistent with people of all ages. So, the removal of wisdom teeth at any age results in the same amount of pain.

You Can Smoke and Drink Alcohol following the Procedure

This myth is perhaps the most dangerous. Smokers will often start smoking cigarettes directly after the procedure this can result in the very painful condition known as “dry-sockets”. Dry sockets occur both from the heat of the smoke as well as the suction motion. Additionally, alcohol thins the blood and opens up the blood vessels in the mouth which can cause excessive bleeding.

For more dental myths see our article here.