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Should I just have it out? Wisdom tooth stories please?

(16 Posts)
FredWorms Wed 26-Sep-12 09:37:59

I have a vertically impacted wisdom tooth. It's half out, but cannot emerge fully 'cos the curve of my jaw is in the way. I have no pain but it's hard to keep clean and <TMI ALERT> stuff gets impacted in the gap around the emerging tooth despite my best efforts with various instruments to clean it. If I press my finger on the tooth/gum and sniff it always smells horrid, except for perhaps 10 minutes immediately after I've cleaned.

The consultant says there is a 2-5% chance of nerve damage with the removal of any wisdom tooth, and according to NICE guidelines it should only be removed if there is infection. She will remove it if I really want to but if she was in my position she wouldn't.

My dentist (experienced and close to retirement) says the consultant is "being a wuss" and it's all about funding and they should just take it out and stop faffing about.

Who do I believe? What would you do?

AMumInScotland Wed 26-Sep-12 09:47:13

Nobody told me there was a 2-5% risk of nerve damage in the run-up to having a wisdom tooth out, though when I arrived to have it done I suddenly had to sign a disclaimer form. Guess what? I had the tooth out and I had nerve damage, which means the sensation in one quarter of my jaw is still not right 20 years on.

If I had my time over, I'd leave it alone and not take the risk.

slartybartfast Wed 26-Sep-12 09:48:51

2 to 5 out of 100, is not high

FredWorms Wed 26-Sep-12 11:46:54

Thanks AMumInScotland, can you tell me how the nerve damage has affected you? One thing that worries me is that perhaps I wouldn't feel pain if I had tooth decay at a later stage, and so it may go undetected. Can you feel your tongue? Has it affected your sense of taste?

FredWorms Wed 26-Sep-12 11:46:54

Thanks AMumInScotland, can you tell me how the nerve damage has affected you? One thing that worries me is that perhaps I wouldn't feel pain if I had tooth decay at a later stage, and so it may go undetected. Can you feel your tongue? Has it affected your sense of taste?

Gipfeli Wed 26-Sep-12 12:00:17

My wisdom tooth was impacted and then as it couldn't get out, started to grow so that the roots were wrapped around the nerve itself. Really I should have had it taken out earlier - the dentist might have advised me to do that if only I'd visited him earlier.

So in my case, the dentist said that since it was already wrapped around the nerve it would almost certainly cause nerve damage were anyone to just yank it out in the normal way and that on no account was I let to let anyone do that. I was referred to the dentistry clinic at the hospital and the dental surgeon drilled and cut it out piece by piece so as not to damage the nerve.

This is in Switzerland though, so funding decisions don't really come into. I just have to pay.

Not sure what I'm trying to say here really. Is there a risk that your tooth will start to wrap more around the nerve and increase the risk of nerve damage if you need it out in future? If so then it would be worth having it out now. Actually I think, from what you've described it sounds like it should come out now anyway.

AMumInScotland Wed 26-Sep-12 12:04:01

My tongue and sense of taste are ok, luckily, though I know they can also be affected in some cases. I do still feel pain, but it can be confusing - toothache can feel like a mouth ulcer and vice versa, and it can be harder to tell when an injection at the dentist has worked (though the current one's great at them so I've never suffered). I feel it more on the outside of my jaw - when I touch the skin it feels different from the other side. It has improved gradually over time, which I think means the nerve was just damaged rather than completely severed.

If the tooth had needed to come out, I would have accepted the risk. I had 3 wisdom teeth un-erupted and with no space to come in. One was giving a lot of trouble and getting infected, and the dentist recommended getting all three out under GA because "they'll all do the same sooner or later", so I agreed to it without knowing there was any risk, until the day of the op, by which point I'd arranged childcare and inconvenienced people so I just signed without feeling I'd had the chance to understand and make an informed choice.

If I'd thought it through, I'd only have had the one that was giving trouble out and left the others alone.

Your situation is different though - it's half out and giving you trouble, even if it's not actually infected, so the reasons for going ahead are a lot stronger.

GoingforGoingforGOLD Wed 26-Sep-12 12:14:04

I had both mine out under 'heavy sedation'

It wasn't what I'd call pleasant but was quick, easy and pain free

It was a bit achy for about 4 days afterwards, easily managed with just paracetamol

I'm so glad to be rid of them. Like you they were a bit smelly and gross

Greatresult Wed 26-Sep-12 14:04:29

Had mine out under heavy sedation too. No bother. Had a bit of a hamster face for a week. It was a long time ago in between having kids. The dentist's rationale was that it was not something I should risk having to undergo while pregnant. Not sure if that applies in your case. Really glad I did it, though.

WinklyFriedChicken Wed 26-Sep-12 14:08:04

I had the bottom two out as they were impacted and infected and gross when I was 18. Local anaesthetic, fine by the next day. Top two out last year as they were causing problems, another local anaesthetic and fine by tea time. No regrets.

Princessdivaaa Wed 26-Sep-12 14:09:33

I had a similar situation with my wisdom tooth too.. My dentist took it out back in April took 5 mins and no problems go for it....

R2PeePoo Wed 26-Sep-12 14:20:25

I had all mine taken out about five years ago when I was 26. They were regularly getting infected and when the dentist offered to take them out (in Switzerland too actually) I agreed.

I had local anaesthetic and the dentist coached me in some breathing exercises (like hypnobirthing) and it took about an hour, mostly because one snapped and they had to dig around for the roots. Five minutes after the procedure they packed me off with a bag of painkillers and some vouchers for free icecream (apparently the best thing to eat after extractions)! I spent one day in bed and two more mooching around the house eating icecream.

Haven't had any problems as a result but I do feel so much better. I hadn't realised how much of an impact the constant low level nagging discomfort (not really pain except when it was badly infected once or twice) had been having on me, I have had much fewer throat and mouth ulcer problems as well.

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Wed 26-Sep-12 14:22:00

After years of problems for one reason and another I had mine out.

Best decision ever.

An uncomfortable 40 mins or so, but now I don't have recurrent swellings and infections an headaches.

Have it out.

FredWorms Wed 26-Sep-12 14:22:27

Thanks so much everyone, I've rung and booked myself in.

The "roots wrappingaround nerve" story was particularly convincing!

willyoulistentome Wed 26-Sep-12 14:29:09

I'd have it out. I had the exact same symptoms as you. I had it out under a general. I was in agony and black and blue for a couple of weeks tbh. Swelled out like a hamster, but it's all fine now. It was far more painful and far more sweling than I had expected, but I was told the Surgeon had to take out some bone . They gave me paracetomol, but that didn;t touch the pain so I got some strong stuff.

No issues at all now.

FredWorms Wed 26-Sep-12 14:33:44

Ooh, I'll have to have bone scraped too!

Ah well, as I always tell meself with stuff like this, I've given birth 3 times and it can't be worse than that, surely?

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