Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
New studies are reassessing the effect that pulling wisdom teeth has on the ability to taste. Recent developments have shown that rather than lower the ability to taste, having wisdom teeth removed is improving the ability to taste by 20 years after removal.
Further studies are required to determine how this affect occurs and to learn more about why it happens. The study was conducted by Richard L. Doty, Ph.D. at the Smell and Taste Center of the University of Pennsylvania and Dane Kim of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.
Wisdom teeth study results
Results were collected from 1,255 patients’ chemosensory evaluations. These evaluations involved a sample of five different products that are swirled around within the mouth to allow contact with the entire mouth and tongue, and then spit out.
The taste that is sensed is then recorded as bitter, salty, sour, or sweet. The solutions are made with sucrose, citric acid, caffeine, and sodium chloride.
These results pointed to those who have had their wisdom teeth removed as having a better response and correctly labelling each of the tastes. “The study strongly suggests that extraction of the third molar has a positive long-term, albeit subtle, effect on the function of the lingual taste pathways of some people,” Kim says.
Wisdom tooth taste and sensitivity
Two potential explanations have been identified, both relating to the nerve damage caused by the extraction causing the remaining nerves to sense and spread the sensations or for the tastes to sense and spread to the damaged nerves.
In one theory they are sharing their own sensations and in another the sensitivity of the nerves throughout the entire mouth increase to compensate for the damaged nerves caused by the removal.
Every time a tooth is removed the nerves are damaged at the location of the removal, and it was previously believed this would decrease the ability to taste within the mouth.
“Further studies are needed to determine the mechanism or mechanisms behind the extraction-related improvement in taste function,” Doty added. “The effects are subtle but may provide insight into how long-term improvement in neural function can result from altering the environment in which nerves propagate.”
Wisdom tooth removal studies
Future studies will be required to determine how this occurs, and how the nerves are responding to create this increase no matter how slight it may be. Studies in animals have previously shown that a repeated touch, no matter how gentle, will cause the nerves and body to respond in slightly increasing responses.
This can theoretically apply to the nerves where teeth are missing, increasing the sensitivity of those nerves to the taste of the foods even though they are not healthy and with intact nerves.
This new discovery brings hope to those who require a wisdom tooth removal to know that they will retain their ability to taste. Though how exactly it works is not fully understood, there is space for further studies to determine how the process works.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.
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