Post wisdom teeth extraction problems
May 24, 2007 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Seeking advice regarding Wisdom tooth extraction complications.

I had four wisdom teeth pulled in early January. The lower right extraction was complicated and it required the tooth being cut up into pieces. I still have numbness on the right half of my tongue, and weakness in my jaw (lower right side). It hurts to chew gum or a bagel on the back end of that right side. I saw my surgeon two months after surgery and he said I could go to a neurologist if I wanted to but it was likely that they would not find anything warranting further surgery or treatment. The numbness is always present but not severe--I could feel a pin prick for example. the surgeon also said that the jaw can take years to fully heal. I know the numbness may or may not ever go away. However, the fact that my jaw still hurts when I chew on that side is disturbing. Is this kind of prolonged jaw weakness something that needs to be checked out or should I just give it more time as my surgeon suggested? Also, would it be worthwhile to see a neurologist about the moderate but ever-present numbness and occasional tingling? Thanks.
posted by crack to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
I would get that checked out just as a safety measure. It shouldn't hurt after 4-5 months have passed. I would also restrain from using that could be anything from infection to who knows. I am not trying to scare you at all...but if it hurts, I would seek a second opinion.

I've had all four of my wisdom teeth pulled out. They weren't cut into pieces but they had to cut into my gum and extract it. ...AND...I was awake the whole time...horrifying. It turns out that only surgeons should do extractions and mine was a dentist. I wasn't able to eat any solid for 3-4 days but it healed after a week and I was able to slowly introduce solid/soft food. I am telling you all this because it could be something that happened during the healing process.

what does your doctor say about the continued pain? If your surgeon said that you COULD go if you wanted, I don't know what to say about that surgeon. I would seek a second opinion from a dentist to get an x-ray to see if there are any infections to start with, but I am not a dentist. Neurologist seems extreme.

Good luck and don't worry too much.
posted by icollectpurses at 3:46 PM on May 24, 2007

Seek a second opinion, but my SO had some tingling in her jaw for several months after she had her wisdom teeth removed. It was just a bruised nerve, and she worked herself into hysterics over the dangers of taking steroids so didn't take them. Apparently they're very good for helping that sort of thing go away more quickly.

I don't recall her having any weakness though, so I may be talking out of my posterior.

FWIW, the older you are when you get it done, the longer your roots are, leading to a greater chance of nerve damage. If you were over 20 (or worse, over 25) when you got it done, it's fairly normal to have some long term numbness and such. There are some people for whom it never goes away, but that's very rare, just as it's very rare for someone as old as I was when I got mine out to have no complications at all.

In short, if you're concerned about it, seek the opinion of another oral surgeon.
posted by wierdo at 5:03 PM on May 24, 2007

You should get a second opinion from another oral surgeon if it continues to bother you. I know a guy who got his teeth pulled when he was older, and one side of his face is numb till this day.

It probably isn't as dramatic as it sounds though. Your numbness will most likely go away with time. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

I agree with everything the above two posters said.
posted by BeaverTerror at 7:02 PM on May 24, 2007

Seek a second opinion. I am currently recovering from a post-wisdom-tooth-extraction infection that went farther than it should have, partially because my surgeon did not do a very thorough job diagnosing my problem. I went to my regular dentist and he put me on the penicillin I shoul have been on from the beginning, and I'm feeling much better now.
posted by lunasol at 1:41 PM on May 26, 2007

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