Potentially Rare Complications of Having a Tooth Removed

Last week an article appeared in the Post Tribune by the Chicago Sun Times titled “Tooth extraction brings unlikely complications,” written by Mark Taylor and published November 27, 2011. http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/lake/8563272-418/tooth-extraction-brings-unlikely-complications.html

A discussion is made of a 58 year old man who came down with a toothache in wisdom tooth #31. He gets an appointment with an oral surgeon who pulls the tooth. Five days later he comes down with a severe headache and begins to lose control of his right hand.

He eventually ends up at a hospital emergency room and an MRI is taken. He tells them that he just had a tooth pulled but they tell him it is a brain tumor and it has to come out.

During the surgery the doctor realizes there is no tumor and later tests show fluid in the brain which included bacteria. The man had to spend a week in the intensive care unit and 2 months in a hospital. In fact the man had an abscess and was left with ride side paralysis.

This case illustrates the need for emergency care physicians to understand complications that can occur from having a wisdom tooth removed.

It was noted that numerous government organizations such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have not studied many of the complications from teeth removal. Even the American Dental Association has not looked much at the topic.

I am not sure why this is as it would seem to be an important topic to understand and look into. I have listed many of the potential complications that can occur from wisdom teeth extractions here http://www.teethremoval.com/complications.html

As noted in the article a case like this is very rare but can happen from time to time.

I also have some discussion of whether you should take antibiotics prior to a wisdom teeth extraction here http://www.teethremoval.com/antibiotic_resistance.html . 

Prophylactic antibiotics (as in giving everyone antibiotics) should not be used when having a wisdom tooth removed due to potential antibiotic resistance.

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