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Dentistry/Whats going on with my mouth?


For a couple of days I have felt some discomfort /pain near my outer left side gums (near second molar). The first day I noticed the discomfort I assumed it was a cold sore and I have on on my tongue as well. I rinsed my mouth with listerine and then applied it directly on both spots with a q tip. It burns but I do it because it helps rid faster. I noticed the one on my gums didn't really burn too much. I thought I was just lucky. Lol. So today I noticed the pain was still there so I decided to investigate. I washed my hands then rubbed my fingers on the gum and it wasn't a cold sore burn.. But a irritated gum sore. Then I thought maybe since I ate popcorn a lot this week I had a piece stuck. It's so hard to reach back there in my mouth. But I got my nail under my gum and I think I noticed a teeny space in between my gum and tooth. It freaked me out. So I grabbed some floss picks and the end where you can poke and tried to poke in and the end fit in there.. I am pretty sure I got a piece of kernel out. But now I'm freaking out. What is the gap? Is a small one normal? And the gum pain? I have never had a cavity

Dear Colleen:
That is all perfectly normal.  Each tooth has a shallow pocket of tissue around it.  It is called  a periodontal pocket.  It is also very common for people to have trapped kernels of corn, or similar debris in that area.  This is also the area where plaque accumulates around the teeth.  By now, any discomfort should have subsided, and you should brush the area very well.  Brush lightly and thoroughly.  Turn the brush so as to point the bristles into the pocket, and gently move side to side in very small strokes.  You want to make sure that you clean any bacteria out of that area.
This should completely heal within a week or so, however, since I cannot personally examine you, I recommend that you go and see your dentist as well.  It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Best of luck,
Dr. Zev Kaufman


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Zev Kaufman, D.D.S.


I can answer any question from simple routine dentistry to very complex dentistry with emphasis on reconstructive, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. My expertise is in co-ordination of very complex treatment plans with other dental specialists or as a one-man-team, since I have extensive training in Prosthodontics, Surgical Implantology, and orthodontics.


Over a decade in private practice of Surgical Implantology and Prosthodontics. Founder and owner of Prosthodontics & Implant Surgery of Manhattan, PC. Clinical Assistant Professor at the Post-Graduate Department of Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry. Lecture weekly since 1999 on advanced Implant Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry Post-Graduate Program in Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Former clinical assistant professor of Dental Radiology at the NYU College of Dentistry. Former clinical and lecture faculty at Lincoln Hospital, Dental residency program. Former clinical and lecture faculty at St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY) dental residency program. Lecture nationally on Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Memeber of the American College of Prosthodontics. Memeber of the Acacdemy of Osseointegration. Member or the Omikron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Honors Dental Society. Member of the American Dental Education Association.

Graduated with Honors from New York University College of Dentistry. Post-Graduate training and certificate in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Post-Graduate training and ceritificate in Surgical and Prosthetic Implant Dentistry. Honors-program in Comprehensive and Applied Practice Management. Honors-program in Orthodontics.

Awards and Honors
NYU Cervice award to the community. OKU honor society. National Dean's List. National Who's Who.

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