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Study Links Higher Taste Function to Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Years after wisdom tooth removal, taste function is found to improve
Read Time: 2.5 minutes
Aug 4, 2021

Millions of people get their wisdom teeth removed every year for a variety of reasons. The purpose of the procedure can range from allowing more room in the mouth for your other teeth to preventing gum pain. Sometimes wisdom teeth are removed simply because it’s hard to clean so far back in the mouth.

But what are the long-term implications of wisdom teeth removal? A study in 2021 has found a link between the extraction of wisdom teeth and taste function.

New Study Finds Taste Function Improves Years After Wisdom Teeth Removal

A new study published in 2021 by Penn Medicine in the journal Chemical Senses has studied the long-term effects having your wisdom teeth removed has on the sense of taste. Prior to this study, it was thought that wisdom teeth extraction negatively affected the sense of taste. However, the Penn Medicine study has challenged that idea and linked wisdom teeth extraction with improved taste functions.

According to the Penn Medicine study, wisdom teeth extraction may have negative impacts on taste function initially, but that this fades over time. Decades after the removal of the wisdom teeth, taste function is actually improved.

Hypersensitivity and Nerves Could Be the Cause of Enhanced Taste Function

According to the researchers who conducted the study, there are two possibilities for why taste functions are enhanced decades after the wisdom teeth were extracted. The first possibility is that damage to the nerves when the wisdom teeth are removed releases inhibitions on the taste buds. The second is that the taste buds become hypersensitive over time, similar to tactile sensitivity that may occur after a surgery.

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