Sepsis After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Earlier in 2019 a case was described of a 25 year old woman from England who developed sepsis after having an infected wisdom teeth removed, see the post Risks of Keeping Wisdom Teeth: Infected Wisdom Tooth Removal Leads to Sepsis. However, having healthy wisdom teeth removed can also lead to sepsis. In May 2019, a 20 year Wisconsin woman had all four wisdom teeth removed along with a few other teeth in order to allow for orthodontic treatment. Specifically the woman was addressing having her teeth straightened and correcting an overbite. The day after the surgery the woman’s sister was concerned with her appearance and swelling and had her go to an emergency room at a hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital the woman had a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit and a very low blood pressure. The 20 year old … Read more

Wisdom Teeth Removal Leads to Trigeminal Neuralgia and Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome dysfunction

A now 25 year old Canadian woman has been left with Trigeminal Neuralgia and Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome dysfunction as a result of wisdom teeth surgery that occurred in July 2016. The woman’s joints in her jaw are described as deteriorating and has led to osteoarthritis. She has bone on bone grinding of her condyle against her upper jaw. The woman’s brother said that the Trigeminal Neuralgia left pain so excruciating that the woman would sometimes be screaming at the top of her lungs for 8 hours a day. The woman was enrolled in nursing school at the time of the surgery. She was able to complete school with some accommodation by her university but has not started working. Even so, the medical bills have added up. After the wisdom tooth surgery the woman made several trips to the emergency room, … Read more

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Utilizing New Methods To Reach Patients for Wisdom Teeth Management

According to the March/April 2019 and May/June 2019 editions of AAOMS Today, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) is utilizing new methods to reach patients for wisdom teeth management. AAOMS is utilizing methods taking advantage of public service announcements (PSA) at airports, on radio, and on television (TV). AAOMS is also utilizing new infographics on websites and social media. According to page 22 in the March/April 2019 issue of AAOMS Today, in mid 2018 AAOMS launched airport PSAs with signage saying “Pain or no pain, your wisdom teeth should be checked every year.” In addition a picture of either a young woman or young man is featured along with the AAOMS logo, the tagline of AAOMS stating “Oral and maxillofacial surgeons: The experts in face, mouth and jaw surgery”, and also telling patients to find a surgeon … Read more

Indications for Removal of Wisdom Teeth

These days in 2019 the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) has a page on their website titled “Third Molar Research News” that contains information on how to manage wisdom teeth, see https://www.aaoms.org/media/third-molar-research-news. How to manage wisdom teeth continues to be contested when wisdom teeth are healthy and not causing symptoms, see for example http://www.teethremoval.com/controversy.html. One of the documents AAOMS provides is titled “The Management of Impacted Third Molar Teeth” and contains a long list of what they consider as medically necessary and valid reasons for surgical removal of wisdom teeth, see https://www.aaoms.org/docs/practice_resources/clinical_resources/impacted_third_molars.pdf. However at least two of these reasons seem to be unsupported by current scientific evidence and thinking. The first reason in doubt given by AAOMS as a valid reason which seems to lack evidence is insufficient space to accommodate erupting tooth or teeth. This reason … Read more

Persistent Opioid Use After Wisdom Teeth Removal

An interesting article titled “Persistent Opioid Use After Wisdom Tooth Extraction” appears in JAMA in August 7, 2018, written by Harbaugh et al. (vol. 320, no. 5 , pp. 504-506). The article sought out to see if opioid painkiller prescriptions that many young adults receive after having wisdom teeth removed could set them on a path to long-term opioid use. The authors explored data from patients 13 to 30 years old who underwent wisdom tooth extraction in the Truven Health MarketScan Commercial and Dental database (from July 1, 2009-December 31, 2015). The MarketScan database contains de-identified data from insurance claims and includes 43 million to 55 million beneficiaries annually from the 50 states in the U.S. Patients were excluded from the data the authors explored if there was a lapse in enrollment, if the patient had an opioid prescription filled within 6 months … Read more