Dr. George Wesley Wade, 72, a dentist who taught at Howard University for many years and then became an official of the Food and Drug Administration, died of cancer Oct. 17 at the Wisconsin Avenue Nursing Home.

From 1947 to 1968, Dr. Wade taught at the Howard dental school and did research on oral pathology. He then joined the FDA, where he was the agency's liaison official between the agency and the American Dental Association until he retired in 1980.

He was a member of the Robert T. Freeman Dental Society, the D.C. Dental Society and the American Dental Association. He was a fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists.

Dr. Wade, who had lived in Washington since the early 1940s, was a native of Tennessee and graduate of Indiana University. He earned a master's degree at Butler University and his dental degree at Howard. He also earned a certificate in oral surgery at Columbia University.

From 1952 to 1954, Dr. Wade served in the Navy, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander.

Survivors include his wife, Josephine Simons Wade of Washington; two daughters, Phyllis Wade Logan of Rochester, N.Y., and Gwendolyn L. Berry of Indianapolis; four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.