Third molar removal and orofacial pain: a population-based survey

Tatiana MacFarlane, Anthony S Blinkhorn, Laura J Stevenson, Paul Coulthard

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Objectives: The aim of the current study was to investigate whether there was a relationship between a history of third molar removal and the prevalence of orofacial pain in a sample of the general population.

Material and methods: A survey was conducted in South East Cheshire, United Kingdom (81% participation rate). Information was collected using postal questionnaires (n = 1510) and dental records (n = 809).

Results: Participants who reported third molar extractions were more likely to report orofacial pain (RR = 1.29; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01 - 1.65). Participants with a more recent history of extractions (< 8 years ago) as recorded in dental records were more likely to report orofacial pain compared to those who had all third molar present (RR = 1.91; 95% CI 1.10 - 3.32).

Conclusions: This research suggests that self-reported third molar removal is linked to self-reported orofacial pain, however evidence from one study is not sufficient to give an unequivocal answer.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Oral & Maxillofacial Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • orofacial pain
  • molar
  • third
  • tooth
  • wisdom
  • tooth extraction
  • epidemiology


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