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Feb 21

Wisdom Teeth

Retained wisdom teeth (third molars), even those that are asymptomatic and display no current sign of disease pose an increased risk for chronic oral infectious disease, periodontitis and tooth decay. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons they recommend removal of wisdom teeth in young adults.
The seven year study “Third Molars Clinical Trials”, supports a growing body of evidence suggesting that untreated periodontitis, a bacterial infection and the major cause of tooth loss, provides a portal into the bloodstream for pathogenic bacteria in affected patients.
While oral bacteria associated with periodontal disease have been linked to more serious health problems, including coronary artery disease, stroke, renal vascular disease, diabetes and obstetric complications in older adults, the “Third Molars Clinical Trials” adds a new perspective to the possible risks from oral inflammatory disease. An increased risk for inflammation throughout the body, which for expectant mothers in this age group, heightens the possibility of delivering low birth-weight infants.
Periodontal pathology in the third molar region is difficult to treat successfully and once established, may be impossible to eliminate. Because third molars may be difficult to access, restorations, including fillings and crowns, are often difficult to place and maintain. It is often necessary to replace these restorations several times during the patient’s lifetime. Retained third molars pose other health risks for affected patients, and may even lead to the development of cysts or tumors in the jaws.
Removing third molars during young adulthood may be the most prudent option. If a decision is made to retain the third molars, patients should be aware that the periodontal status of their third molars should be evaluated on a regular basis.