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Wisdom Teeth Survey

Posted on 05. Jul, 2010 by .


I wanted to remind everyone that the Wisdom Teeth Removal Survey is still ongoing. If you are new to this site or a long time visitor and have not yet taken the survey I encourage you to do so.

Below is a response from someone who completed the survey. Remember the survey is anonymous and is not linked to you in any way.

I am 23 and currently suffering from the decision for prophylactic removal of my 3rd molars, a.k.a. wisdom teeth. Prior to the operation, I was perfectly healthy.

During surgery, the doctor almost ripped a nerve running through my jaw, as my wisdom teeth were particularly complicated to remove, and one of them had the roots wrapped around a nerve. I instructed him to stop pulling after I felt immense pain under 2 shots of anesthesia to that area. I was lucky that he was also educated on the matter and elected not to chance it. In fact, he himself was the one who informed me that it may be possible that the root tips might be wrapped around a nerve. Why that wasn’t investigated prior to extraction is beyond me, and I hope it’s not common in the industry.

After surgery, I have not been able to sleep without the aid of a pain killer. My throbbing swelling has persisted for one week (today), and, although it’s gradually getting better, the full recovery time for such an operation is 6 months, according to my dentist. I am also at risk for getting an infection, for which I refused prophylactic antibiotics. I don’t need to learn the same lesson twice. Prophylactic medicine seems like the work of soothsayers and apothecaries.

I like my dentist. They seem very caring, practiced, and informed about their industry, but the conventional wisdom of prophylactic removal is an unnecessary evil upon dentistry and its patrons.

The reasons I was given to remove the teeth were to prevent crowding of my other teeth, infection, and future extraction. Well, now I’m at the risk of infection anyway, which will endanger the other molar — anyway. This is not to mention what would have happened had my doctor removed the root tip that was wrapped around my nerve. All in all, I suppose I got lucky, but the $1300 I paid out of pocket (thanks U.S. insurance system I can’t afford) is certainly not worth the pain I’m going through now. And to read this data suggesting that my symptomless, infectionless, painless wisdom teeth had more of a chance of staying that way than not simply adds insult to injury, both physically and otherwise.

Love your wallet, love your mouth, love your body, keep your wisdom teeth until they have a problem. You’ll be going through the same pain anyway.

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Wisdom Teeth Pictures Additions

Posted on 04. Jul, 2010 by .


So I added a few additional pictures to my wisdom teeth pictures section. These high quality photos of wisdom teeth are courtesy of Flickr users allowing me to use them on my site.

I particularly like the image I also added below for your viewing experience. This photo shows only one wisdom tooth but has a unique view in front of a dental mirror. It is also quite a bloody wisdom tooth.

dental mirror wisdom tooth Wisdom Teeth Pictures Additions

Flickr image by misswangy. With permission to use. All rights are reserved to misswangy.

If you enjoy using Flickr I previously talked about Wisdom Teeth Adventures which is an active group on Flickr.

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After Removing Teeth Platelet-Rich Plasma May Aid In Faster Healing Times

Posted on 29. Jun, 2010 by .


A new study in the Journal of Oral Implantology shows platelet-rich plasma aid in speeding up healing and bone formation after removing a tooth.

If a tooth is extracted and the extraction site has poor recovery then excessive jaw bone loss  may delay the use of dental prosthetics or implants.

The study looked at patients who had their wisdom teeth removed.  One extraction site was treated with platelet-rich plasma where as the site on the other side of the mouth was served as control. The patients were examined for bleeding,  jaw bone density, healing ,pain, inflammation, and facial swelling for 24 weeks after the wisdom teeth removal occurred.

The researchers concluded the platelet-rich plasma treatment had a positive effect on bone density immediately following tooth extraction where as the control sites showed a decrease in bone density during the first week after the teeth were extracted.

The researches said it took roughly 6 weeks for the control sites to reach the same bone density as the platelet-rich plasma treated extraction site had reached by the first week.  Of note is that platelet-rich plasma did not have a substantial effect on pain, bleeding, and inflammation during the healing process.

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Infections in the Mouth of Mother can Lead to Premature Birth

Posted on 20. Jun, 2010 by .


Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and their collaborators have determined bacteria in the mouths of pregnant women can contribute to pre-term birth (premature).

Around 12.7% of births in the U.S. are pre-term deliveries, which has increased by 36% increase over the last 25 years. Intrauterine infection is recognized as a main cause of pre-term birth as well as late miscarriage and still birth. The cause of intrauterine infections has long been attributed to bacteria ascending into the uterus from the lower genital tract. However the researchers have found that such infections are caused by bacteria in the mouth and in the vaginal tract.

Specifically, in the study saliva and plaque samples were injected into the tails of pregnant mice to determine what bacteria are capable of oral-uterus transmission. A diverse group of bacterial species were found to be in the mouse placenta, of which the majority originate in the oral cavity and are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in humans.

This suggests that a mother should make sure any bacterial infection in her mouth, such as the common one known as gingivitis, is under control while she is pregnant or planning to soon become pregnant.


Y. Fardini, P. Chung, R. Dumm, N. Joshi, Y.W. Han. Transmission of Diverse Oral Bacteria to Murine Placenta: Evidence for the Oral Microbiome as a Potential Source of Intrauterine Infection. Infection and Immunity, 2010; 78 (4): 1789.

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Genes Linked to Cavities

Posted on 13. Jun, 2010 by .


Two recent papers y researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and their collaborators suggest that specific genetic variations may be linked to higher rates of tooth decay (cavities) and aggressive periodontitis, which is inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth.

Dental cavities have been found to be influenced by individual variations in a gene called beta defensin 1(DEFB1), which plays a key role in the first-line immune response against invading germs.

For one of the studies, the researchers analyzed nearly 300 anonymous dental records and accompanying saliva samples from the their dental registry, assigning each case a DMFT score based on the presence of decayed teeth, missing teeth due to caries, and tooth fillings. In addition each case also received a DMFS score, based on decayed teeth, missing teeth, and filled surface of a tooth.

Saliva samples contained one of three variants, dubbed G-20A, G-52A and C-44G, of the DEFB1 gene. Individuals who carried a G-20A copy had DMFT and DMFS scores that were five-times higher than for people who had other gene variants.

For the second study, saliva samples of 389 people in 55 families were examined to look for genetic links to aggressive periodontitis. They found hints of an association between the disease and the FAM5C gene. This particular gene has been previously found to play a role in inflammation in cardiovascular disease.


A. Ozturk, P. Famili, A. R. Vieira. The Antimicrobial Peptide DEFB1 is Associated with Caries. Journal of Dental Research, 2010; 

Flavia M. Carvalho, Eduardo M. B. Tinoco, Kathleen Deeley, Poliana M. Duarte, and et al. FAM5C Contributes to Aggressive Periodontitis. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (4):

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