Aligarh: “People, who grow up eating a processed, nutrient-poor diet are at the increased risk of impacted wisdom teeth,” stated a survey conducted at the Dr Z A Dental College (ZADC), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on 5030 patients from different professions such as doctors, teachers, tailors, photographers, students, police personnel, house wives, farmers, shop keepers, engineers, businessmen, labourers and brokers among others.
Dr G S Hashmi, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, who conducted the survey with his team pointed out that heavy dependency on refined foods was found to be a common reason for the occurrence of third molars or wisdom teeth in most of the subjects in the survey.
He emphasised that the wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only partially or remain completely trapped under gum and bone and are bound to make flossing more difficult, allowing food and bacteria to become trapped.
Dr Hashmi further said that the survey gave solid evidence that ‘soft’ modern diet, in conjunction with other factors associated with lifestyle, can promote abnormal development of jaws and narrow dental arches that don’t fit in those third molars quite as well.
“Wisdom teeth are the last of your teeth to develop. They usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25. While you need the rest of the teeth in your mouth, you don’t need an impacted tooth as it could damage the teeth around and cause gum disease and lead to infections and illnesses that can affect the heart, lungs and other organs,” said Dr Hashmi.
He pointed out that it is a better idea to simply have wisdom teeth removed early on as in some cases, fluid-filled cyst or tumor can form around an untreated wisdom tooth.
“The survey showed that 43 percent patients with impacted wisdom teeth were in the 15-25 years age group and 17 percent were aged between 36-45 years. Only seven percent were above 45 years,” said Dr Hashmi.
He added that 89 percent of patients suffered bony impaction, while only 11 percent were found with soft tissue impactions.
Dr Hashmi’s survey also showed 41 percent patients with impaction on the right side of jaw, and 39 percent having the problem on the left side. It also pointed out that 20 percent suffered with bilateral impaction.