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Abstracts |  Case studies |  About wisdom tooth |  Jokes | 
About Wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth
Frequently asked questions

Wisdom tooth and sore throat
Headaches associated with gums
What is the risk of losing feeling on my face
Fear of pulling my four wisdom teeth
Wisdom tooth that has come sideways
What exactly is a tuberosity? How can it be fixed?
pain and tension in my jaw - is it due to wisdom teeth?
Wisdom tooth pushing against my molar
Puffy cheeks after removing wisdom teeth
Will return to normal activities soon?
Tooth is broke off, flat to gum line
The back of my molar is real swollen
Wisdom tooth pushing against my tooth
Removed Wisdom tooth growing again
Bottom Wisdom tooth pushing out
My face hurts a little bit
My jaw is killing me
My throat is very sore
Serious infection after extraction
Numbness in lip after extraction
Two lower wisdom teeth are coming in
I just had all 4 wisdom teeth extracted
If nerves are cut when removing wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned
How do I know if I have Wisdom teeth?
How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
What Happens During Wisdom Teeth Removal?
What Does Recovery Involve After Wisdom Teeth Are Pulled?
During the first 24 hours after pulling out wisdom teeth
After 24 hours of pulling out wisdom teeth
What Are Potential Complications of Wisdom Tooth Removal?
How Much Does Wisdom Teeth Extraction Cost?

Question:Yesterday my lower right wisdom tooth started hurting.
It was so bad that tensing my jaw in any way, eating and talking hurt.
When i got up this morning my throat was (and still is) very sore, it
hurts to swallow and when I try and open my mouth it hurts, and feels
Very stiff. Is this normal or am i just coming down with something
on top of that

Answer: You might have an infection. This can be very serious if you
don't have it checked out. I have known people suffering a lot from tooth
infections leading to complicated problems

FAQ - Wisdom teeth
Source: Dental Health Directory

Question:I do not have impacted wisdom teeth.. (only the upper wisdom
teeth are out - on the bottom I have none - evolution) My question is..
they aren't bothering me at all but during a progesterone surge, I tend
to have headaches associated with my  gums/teeth. Otherwise I am OK.
I am having an issue with removal. Should I have them removed -
when they aren't crooked, nor too bothersome? There are cavities on both
of them currently. Is it easier or possible to cap or fill them in instead
of removal?

Answer: If your dentist sees no problems with your wisdom teeth i.e.,
no cavities or gum disease and they are not crowding
your other teeth then I see no reason why you can't keep them.

But, since you already have cavities in them and you have no lower teeth
to oppose them to chew on or prevent them from over erupting in the future,
it may be in your best interest to remove them for preventive reasons.
Speak with your dentist and look at all the pros and cons and follow
his/her advice. - Byron Scott, DMD

Question:I am having my wisdom teeth removed. Is there a way to check
references? Is there a certification I need to make sure he has? What is my
risk of losing feeling in my face?

Answer: Mike, most oral surgeons (doctors listed under specialists in oral
surgery) are qualified to remove your teeth. Also many general dentists
are also more than competent to help.

These are doctors who have taken continuing education seriously and work
to improve their knowledge and skills far beyond the norm. Usually selecting
a doctor of this caliber will not only assure you the best care for this
particular procedure but will most likely be the kind of dentist you will
want to continue to trust your care to for all your other needs.- Byron Scott, DMD

Question:I am supposed to go to an oral surgeon to get all 4 of my wisdom
teeth pulled. I am scared to death of this  procedure - what will they do?
Also I do not want it done if I am not put to sleep for it. Do all doctors put
you to sleep for this or will I have to search for one that will? I don't want
to feel or hear anything that is happening. 6 years ago I had a molar pulled
out and they put me to sleep. I would like that done. Also, I thought it would
be helpfull to my question to tell you that none of my wisdom teeth are even
cutting through the gums yet, but I guess they are growing the
wrong way and one is rotted.

Answer: Amanda, I can certainly understand your apprehension. I would feel
the exact same way and so would 99.9% of other sane people. The extraction of
4 impacted (partially or totally covered by bone and/or gums) wisdom teeth is
intensive surgery.

One should no more consider having this done without appropriate sedative and
anesthetic protocol than one would consider having ONE'S gall bladder removed or
ONE'S finger amputated without this assistance.

Many dentists and oral surgeons are available who can explain to you in detail
what you will be facing with the surgery and can offer you safe and comfortable
approaches to solve your problem. Be straight and honest with your doctor about
your fears and ask for a sedation approach that will accomplish your treatment
safely and painlessly that will eliminate your apprehension. - Byron Scott, DMD

Question:I have a wisdom tooth that has come in sideways toward my jaw.
It is irritating my mouth to the point that I can't even open my mouth but it is
so close to my jaw that I can't get any medication back there to it.

Answer: Kendra, visit your family dentist as soon as possible and have him/her
recommend (most likely an extraction) the correct treatment to solve your problem
.- Byron Scott, DMD

Question:What exactly is a tuberosity? How can it be fixed? I had a tooth
pulled about 6 months ago and after about 3 months I was told I had a tuberosity.
I believe the dentist left something inside when he pulled the tooth like
a piece of plaque as there is still considerable pain just like when the tooth
was still there. ...Charena

Answer: Charena, someone is either giving you incomplete or incorrect information.
A tuberosity is the name given to the area of bony ridge that is around and usually
behind the upper wisdom tooth. A tuberosity normally exists on each side and wisdom
teeth are often impacted or buried in these areas.

Possibly what you have been told is that a tooth still remains in one or both of
these areas. Xrays and a good examination by a competent dentist can quickly reveal
as to whether this is possible.- Byron Scott, DMD

Question:I have all four of my wisdom teeth. They are not impacted
and are healthy. Over the past two years I have been having occasional headaches
accompanied by pain and tension in my jaw. Could these headaches be caused by
my wisdom teeth? ...Blake 

Answer: Blake, your dentist should evaluate the condition of your wisdom teeth.
If there are no cavities, pericornitis (inflammation and/or infection of the gum
around the teeth) or deep fillings...then there is no likelihood that they could be
causing you to have headaches.

Most likely, your headaches are caused by a compressed TMJoint, or possibly -
parafunctional habits like clenching, grinding, poor posture, etc. If you have a
history of crowding, orthodontic work, or any grinding you should be evaluated for TMJ.

You must find a well trained dentist who is capable of evaluating the position of
your joints and determining if there is any compression. If you give me more info about
your oral status I can help you determine what is happening a little more
clearly. - John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Question: Right now in my late thirties, My teeth need major work. My wisdom tooth
on my lower right side has finally protuded up and it is very painful because it is
pushing against my molar. My molar is very bad. They couldn't extract my wisdom tooth
before because it was too close to the nerve. Will they extract it now? Even with all
the swelling? ...Rhonda in IL 

Answer: Rhonda, you're asking a question that only an oral surgeon, with proper X-Rays,
can help you with. -  John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Question:After you have had your wisdom teeth removed and you have
very puffy cheeks what are some things you can do to get the swelling to go down after
two days? ...Darelle in OH 

Answer: Darelle, take antibiotics and a steroid. Have your dentist prescribe them.
John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Question:I am having my wisdom teeth pulled. I was wondering if it is a very painful
process? Will I be able to return to normal activities soon? Will it bleed, and will it
bruise or anything? ...Katy in KY 

Answer: Katy, your oral surgeon can answer those specific questions for you better than
I can due to the fact that he/she can determine the extent of surgery involved.

To make things easy you may want to use some Peridex mouthwash, take 4 Advils 1 hour
before the procedure, and get the surgeon to prescribe some steroids to keep the swelling
down. Antibiotics may also be advisable. Of course, some ice following the procedure is
helpful along with bed rest - John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Question:Tooth is broke off, flat to gum line. I have an appointment to get it pulled
but that is over 2 weeks away The tooth doesn't hurt but my throat keeps feeling like
I'm choking and its going to swell shut. Not sure if this is my tooth or my anxiety due
to the tooth. Also, I am on ery-tab and ibprofin! ...Tiffany in MI 

Answer: Tiffany, you need to find some dentist or oral surgeon that can see you TODAY!
You may also be experiencing a very unusual reaction to the erythromycin.

I would recommend you take over the counter Benadryl right away (25 mg. every 8 hours)
and see if the swelling goes down. - John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Question:I am in serious pain and don't know what it is. I know that I have a tooth
problem for sometime now because my filling came out. The back of my molar is real swollen.
I am clueless as to what this is. It has never hurt like this before and I have like a
lump of somekind on the inner part of my cheek near my gums. ...Christie in AZ

Answer: Christie, I'm not sure what you you're expecting, but you should have seen a
dentist a long time ago. I don't understand why you would delay treatment for so long
and expect someone to help you with words. Your infection can get seriously worse and
the cost of treatment will only escalate. You need to find a dentist or oral surgeon
before you get deeper in the quick sand - John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Question:I have gone to the dentist and he said there is a wisdom tooth pushing
against my tooth which has a bad cavity which might need root canal. I have been on
antibotic for a week and now I have a very bad swelling on one side of my face and
inside my mouth.

What can I do to get some kind of relief since no one is open to see me on the weekends.
When I went to the hostial they would not give me anything to relieve the pain. My own
dentist did not even call back to see if the other antibotic was even working. Now I
can't eat or hardly talk, since I can't even open my mouth. What can I do to get RELIEF?
...Diane in MI 

Answer: Nobody but a local dentist can help you with this problem. Pick up the Yellow
Pages and call around.  You need help, it is up to you to find it. Stay on the antibiotics
and put ice on your face - John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Question:I had all four wisdom teeth removed when I was 17. I am now 20 and they
are growing back in. My mother called the office where I had the original surgery and
they refuse to see us because they say it is impossible for a second set to grow in.
Is this just a case of misinformation? Because it's very obvious to me that it is
possible for them to grow back in. ...Kay in TX 

Answer: Kay, no, but you could have what are called paramolars. They are an extra set
of wisdom teeth that may have grown in back of the original wisdom teeth and made their
way through after the originals were removed. It's not common but I have seen it before.

I can't believe the oral surgeon would not see you. Go to a different one and have an
x-ray taken to see what is happening. Fire any doctor who refuses to address your
complaint - John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Question:My top wisdom teeth are fine, and came through normally. But my bottom ones
are now pushing to get through although I cant figure out where as there isn't any room
left unless it actually changes the shape of my jaw.

I can't open my mouth properly as it hurts, and my glands are up in my throat which is
adding to the pain. Should I leave them for a bit in case they end up coming through fine?
I really hate going to the dentist. ... Gus in OH

Answer: Gus, you need to discuss your individual case with your dentist or oral surgeon.
If there is a space problem you could end up with swelling, infection, and pain. Don't
delay the necessary evils of life.- John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Question:At 23 years old, my last wisdom tooth decides to come in. I look in the
mirror and see quite a lot of it. I can open my mouth all the way without ANY type
of discomfort, I can brush it lightly as the area is sore. My mouth does feel like
things are rearranging themselves and my face hurts a little bit. This is all in
about 10 days time. Any comments?

Answer: Your situation is not unusual. As the tooth continues to erupt, these
feelings should continue. It may not come much further in, and become a plaque trap,
leading to decay and more discomfort. My recommendation is to have it removed while
you are young and heal very well  - Lance Timmerman, DMD

Question:I noticed my wisdom teeth are starting to come out
and it hurts a lot and my jaw is killing me. The sides of my head hurt. Is this
because of the teeth?? Joe in CA

Answer: Joe, you should go see a dentist and request a pantographic x-ray because
you think your wisdom teeth are coming in. You may need to have them out and the
pain is often because of inflamed tissue in the area where the teeth are extruding
into your mouth.

Sometimes this pain can be from pressure into the other teeth from the erupting
wisdom teeth. At any rate, you should get a jaw x-ray to see the position of these
teeth and most likely, have them removed. A word of advice, have all 4 removed at
once if you are going through this and use an ORAL SURGEON!!!!! I would also
recommend sedation for this procedure. Best of luck. - Wayne Sutton, DDS

Question:I just got my wisdom tooth pulled three days ago. And
my throat is very sore my lower jaw line is alittle swollen, and I can barely open
my mouth to eat. Also I have a little pain in the area my tooth was pulled. I am
getting a little freaked out about it. I haven't called to make an appoinment to
get it checked out yet. So I could really use your advice about what you think
could be going on. Thank you so very much....signed in pain

Answer: It is very normal for a patient to be sore and swollen a few days after
having a wisdom tooth removed. Assuming this was a surgical removal (sutures placed
to close the skin), you could be sore from the actual removal or even sutures placed.

The time to worry is if you get extremely swollen (lumps under your chin) or see
active infection (puss)in the area. Also, if you feel feverish, this could mean
you have an infeciton in the area and could need antibiotics. In the absence of
these symptoms, I would advise you to take Motrin for the swelling and contact
your oral surgeon if things worsen. Irrigation with warm salt water will help
sooth the area also - Wayne Sutton, DDS

Question:My brother had his wisdom teeth extracted 1 1/2
months ago. He is 37 and is in general good health. A serious infection
followed on one side of his face. After tests, it was treated as an
anaerobic infection and the Dr. prescribed Flagyl.

When the infection was gone, he was still unable to open his mouth. An MRI
indicated that both of his jaws were dislocated. The Dr. did a procedure
that manipulated the bottom jaw back into place. Initially, it was thought
to work, but his jaw is  once again unable to open to any more than insert
a straw and sip. He is able to insert only about 3 or 4 popsicle sticks.

The Dr. now thinks that perhaps the meniscus is no longer there and needs
to be replaced through needles into both sides of the face. He can just
barely open his mouth enough to take miniscule bites of food. Any
information or insight you may have would be appreciated.

Answer: I would avoid surgery at all cost. First, you need proper x-rays
and MRI to find out where the disk is and how much damage has been done.
Even with severe damage you can get back to normal if you are treated by
a dentist who understands TMJ decompression strategies and functional

You need some muscle relaxants (Flexeril 10 mg. twice a day) to get the
jaws open enough for an impression, in order to make a Gelb appliance.
The appliance will help to get the healing going. In the meantime,
a chiropractor may be helpful.

Get some tongue depressors, wrap 1,2, or 3 together (as many as you can
to get them between your BACK teeth) and start using them like a wrench
to slowly start opening the jaw by "jacking" the back teeth apart. You
have to find a way to open up the molar teeth in order to get the disk
back in. Find a TMJ expert in your area who can help. Also, use ice for
10 minutes, then the vice routine, then hot packs, then massage the
facial muscles deeply, then repeat. I know you will get better -
John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

Source: Dental Health Directory Library - FAQ Category - Wisdom teeth

Question:I recently had all my wisdom teeth removed. My surgon warned
me that a nerve may be damaged during extraction. I called my surgon
after a few days because I still had numbness in my lip, I asked for
more information about this only to be set up with another appointment.
I know that the numbness should go away within 3-6 months, but is
there anything I can do to help the healing process, speed it up.
Also, is there anything that I might be doing to hinder the process
of healing??

Answer 1: Not much to do. If you are feeling itchy or tingly, that
is a good sign. Seldom is the numbness permanent. Be patient and
follow up with your surgeon.

Answer 2: I agree with Dr. King's answer. There is nothing to do to
make it go away faster, nor is there anything you can do to
create further damage. Often in small framed women the numbness may
resolve faster when the swelling decreases as the nerve to the
lower jaw passes through one of the jaw muscles before it enters
the bone, and swelling in this area can cause you to have a numb
lip as well. Tingly itchy feeling is a good sign that it is resolving,
but the next stage may be a period of sensitivity where
cold things feel colder and hot things hotter on the effected side,
and you may occasionally feel an "electric" tingliness which
means the nerve is in its final stage of healing. Let the doc
keep an eye on it with you. Good Luck

Question:If nerves are cut during the process of removing wisdom teeth,
is the numbness permanent? The oral surgeron had to use a drill to remove
one of the wisdom teeth and now I have total numbness on one side of the
face. What can I do? It has only been 2 weeks since my wisdom teeth were

Answer: Usually numbness after wisdom tooth removal affects only the lower
jaw and lip area on the side of the extraction, not the whole side of the
face. Thankfully numbness after wisdom teeth removal is rare, and when it
does happen often will resolve itself within the first month or two.
I hope you stay in touch with your doctor, and discuss with him what your
options are available.

Question:I am a 23 yr old otherwise healthy female, and I just had all
4 wisdom teeth extracted 5 days ago. The two on my left side were both
vertically impacted. They gave me IV sedation, and my teeth came out easily,
so the surgery itself was painless and the rest of that day wasn't too bad
except for the bleeding. The next day, however, my left cheek had become
massively swollen. It is now still very swollen and moderately painful,
with little sign of subsiding, making it very hard to smile or to open
my mouth wide enough to fit small bites of food. My left cheek continues
to be very tight and painful, but my main problem is that there is a
half-walnut-sized lump in my cheek, a bit above the level of my mandible.
It is extremely hard, seems like its located in the muscle, and doesn't
appear to be getting smaller. I called the resident who performed my surgery,
and he said that it just happens in some cases, and it might take 3 weeks
to go away. Is that true? What causes it? Will exercising my jaw help, or
should I try to keep it still? I'm a vet school student, and would like
to know some of the medical details also. Thank you very much for your help!

Answer: Dear Kristen, As you will no doubt learn in your orthopedic rotation
what your are experiencing in a bony callus formation over the area where
the bone was removed during the wisdom tooth extraction. As the natural
underlying bone heals it will lay down a protective layer. As the socket
fills the callus will disappear. It may last three weeks, but usually by
the second week, baring any inflammation or infection, it should be quite small,
and only perceptable with palpation. The pain in the more swollen side is most
likely muscle inflammation which is best treated by ASA or NSAID and moist heat.
Use the heat as you did the first day or two with the ice packs. You will have
beter pain relief if you take the OTC meds on a regular schedule, just don't
exceed the daily recommended dose ( prevent GI upset). You trismus, tight
jaw will resolve faster as well with consistent use of the moist heat when
you can do so. Do not attempt to over do jaw motion, as it will just further
inflame the tissue. Stick to a softer diet and be protective of yawning and
sneezing( I know sounds odd, but think about it) Also, as your resident will
learn as time goes by...young women will swell more at your age for a number
of reasons (big teeth, small mouth, his inexperience, length of time it takes
to complete treatment etc...)but one he won't realize for a while is if he is
right handed, all his patients will swell slightly more on the left because
access and visibility are more difficult on that side for a right handed operator,
especially if he was sitting down for the surgery! Us old guys still stand up
for everything! Good luck with school and don't worry about your cheek,
it will be very self limiting.

Question:My two lower wisdom teeth are coming in and I have been feeling
discomfort and pain for about five months, the pain has been on and off.
The first time was in August and then again in December and now just recently.
The first time the pain was very minimal. I felt some discomfort in my gums and
they were swollen, this lasted about a week or so and then I was fine again.
The second time the pain got stronger and now for the third time the pain has
gotten unbearable. My right cheek is completely swollen, my gums and jaw are
sore from the pain, my gums irritated, and I have also experienced some throbbing.
I have been taking asprin and have been using an oral anesthetic for the pain.
I have also experienced difficulty concentrating and falling asleep because of
the pain. My concern is that I recently had my braces removed and I'm worried
that my wisdom teeth might affect my newly straightened teeth! Before I got
my braces I had 4 extractions: 2 lower and 2 upper. I originally planned on
letting my wisdom teeth come in because I didn't want to go through any more
extractions and also because I figured that I had enough space for them to come
in anyway, but after experiencing such pain I am not sure what to do any more.
Should I just wait out the pain again like I did in the past or just get the
extractions done? What would be less painful and how long would the recovery be?
How long does it take for your wisdom teeth to fully come in? What is the cost
to get this procedure done? Would it be best to go to a regular dentist or an
oral surgeon?

Answer: Myra, You had braces, and wanted to let your third molars to erupt?
Not a good idea. If you had to have extractions for the braces, I'd guess you
have a small mouth. If there is no room for the molars to erupt then you could
be threatening the long term stability of your orthodontics.( I hope you're
weariing your retainer!) Sounds like you have pericoronitis. I'd call your
orthodontist, and have him refer youto an Oral surgeon. Don't let your general
dentist do the extractons.

Source: http://www.locateadoc.com/questions.cfm/904?

Cases by:

Abdul Parmar
Ahmad Tehrani
Fred Barnett
Gary L Henkel
Glenn Van As
Jörg Schröder
Marga Ree
Mark Dreyer
Noemi Pascual
Rafaël Michiels
Rajiv Patel
Randy Hedrick
Rob Kaufmann
Sashi Nallapati
Sergiu Nicola
Terry Pannkuk
Winfried Zeppenfeld

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