QUESTION: Help! On Monday, 11/25, I went in to have my right upper molar pulled (2nd from last, i do not have wisdom teeth to add to the count).
This was my first ever extraction and it went horribly- the dr broke the crown off my tooth at the gum line attempting to remove it, and it went from a simple extraction to surgical (her words). To make a long story short after much drilling, pressure and horrible pain she almost gets the all the roots out when she says that one had punctured my sinus, so she was going to leave the remaining root in, and "pack" the hole.
I get home and even through the packing and gauze I can feel air when I swallow travel through my empty socket! It squeeked and bubbled. I called to ask her if this would impact my clotting (terrified of dry socket!) and she told me she didn't know- that she had never dealt with this situation before and did not know what to tell me. I am ashamed to say I sat down and cried.
I muddled through- the pain seemed to be at a normal level for the horrors she had put my jaw through, and it had clotted (thank god)somewhat- I mean I could see something there, and feel it, but the airflow both ways was still pretty bad. Especially while swallowing or saying any of the puh,buh,ah sounds.Until, that is, Saturday 11/30. Something didn't feel right-I was in EXCRUCIATING pain,and sure enough the clot was gone. I managed to see an on call dentist who said it was nothing to worry about, it will close up, yada yada yada.
Put me on antibiotics and peridex and sen me home.
Now- I don't know what to do. I talk- there's air escaping. I drink- it comes out my nose. I bend over to pick something up and spit comes out my nose! I noticed tonight that I can see the hole in my sinus inside the socket in my mirror when I open wide an look. I am still in pain. My sinuses burn. I have a horrible headache. My mouth tastes horrible.
I am miserable. Help.

ANSWER: Debbie - what you have endured is a snowballing situation that creates other problems is not addressed and treated properly.  The remaining root needs to be extracted and the hole into the sinus needs to be closed.  The hole opening is called an oral antral fistula.  You immediately need to see a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon to close the opening.  Until you see the surgeon, it is important to help to reduce inflammation by beginning a strict regimen of warm salt water rinses for about 3-5 minutes 4-5 times a day.  From your description, it sounds like a surgeon will have to do a surgical procedure to close the opening and reduce sinus inflammation that is now beginning.

So don't put off seeing a board certified surgeon.  The earlier you are evaluated and treated, the less chance of more significant problems developing.  If you need names of board certified surgeons near you, get back to me, tell me where you live and I will send you names.

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QUESTION: I am in Roseburg, Oregon.
Having issues getting the dentist that did the extraction to refer me to an oral surgeon- actually she flat refused to- so a list of names would be of GREAT help.
She insists that things will be fine and it will heal on its own over time- it's interfering with my daily life so badly that I don't HAVE time! Not time to wait for it to get worse that is. I have lost any and all confidence in her after care- or lack there of- and refuse to see her again- so I'm also on the look out for a new dentist as well :/
Thank you so much for your help in this matter.

ANSWER: Debbie - If you wish, I will definitely provide names of surgeons near where you live.  Get back to me and tell me where in Oregon you live.  In that way I can send you names of surgeons near you.  So get back to me.

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

QUESTION: I am in Roseburg, Oregon.
50 miles south of Eugene ,Oregon,

Debbie - There is a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Roseburg.  I don't know if he was the one who already saw you.  There are a number of surgeons in Eugene and Medford.  From what I saw, they are the larger cities near you.

1) Dr. Bruce Logan -  Medford - (541) 779-3781

2) Dr. James Savage - Medford - (541) 778-3781

3) Dr. Todd Tucker - Eugene - (541) 686-9750

4) Dr. Timothy Welch - Eugene -(541) 465-3939

Try seeing any of the above to evaluate you.  I hope on of them can help.


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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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