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Dentistry/Pain in chin and bottom lip


QUESTION: Hi. I had all 4 wisdom teeth surgically removed 4 weeks ago. Ever since then my chin and bottom lip are in constant pain. I am hesitant to say they are numb even though my lip feels tingly and chin feels kind of bruised. My surgeon tells me that right side of my mouth healed well but, left bottom side still didn't heal all the way. He gave me antibiotics for 3 weeks and now he is putting bandage with medicine directly into the wound. Couple of days ago he took another X-ray and says that everything seems to look normal.
I am wondering if this situation is somewhat common and what may be causing this pain I'm having. My surgeon seems to be clueless of what is going on.

ANSWER: Elena - it is a little difficult for me to be sure what is occurring without examining you, but from the symptoms you describe and the treatment that the surgeon has begun, it sounds like you might have a dry socket.  This condition is due to an improper development of the blood clot in the socket, leaving the bone in the socket exposed and inflamed.  That's what it sounds like.  The doctor should be placing the medicated bandage into the socket after irrigating the socket every couple of days.  This repeated treatment can speed the healing.  If it does not get better quickly make an appointment with a different oral and maxillofacial surgeon. I wish I could be more specific, but if not better soon and the doctor does not have an answer, get a second opinion.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello. Thank you for your response. I just asked my surgeon if he is treating my problem as dry socket. His answer was this "if this ever been a dry socket it no longer is. We are just using the same medicine to make it better". I don't know what that really suppose to mean. He also took more x-rays and once again said that there is no reason why I'm getting the pain in my chin and lip.
I guess, at this point, I'm looking for assurance that it is not a damaged nerve and this pain will eventually go away. Would you be able to tell me if this kind of pain could be a sign of permanent damage?

Elena -  Of course, it is possible that there is an inflammation of the nerve, but usually besides pain, you will have tingling numbness, burning or shocks if the nerve is damaged.  So it doesn't classically sound like nerve damage, but now that it is 4 weeks since the surgery, it might not be a bad idea to get a second opinion from a different oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  

I hope the area just gets better, but if it does not, get a second opinion.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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