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Dentistry/? About pain after extraction


I normally have good teeth however about 3 weeks ago I broke off one of my back molors (left side) while eating. I went to the dentist and they did an extraction.  I was having pain that I thought was normal until I noticed a lot of swelling and something sharp in my gum. I went back to the dentist and they said it was a piece of the tooth that had broken off while they were pulling the tooth. The pulled out what they said was the remainder of the tooth. It's been 11 days and I am still having a lot if pain as well as red and inflamed gums on the left side. I have been on antibiotics since they pulled the rest of the tooth 11 days ago. I went back today and was told that I have no infection or no dry socket. How long should this pain last? It's a lot worse than before I had the tooth pulled and my jaw is tender as well. I'm not getting any answers from my dentist and I can't afford to go anywhere else. He is the only one in my area that accepts my insurance.

Crystal - I fully understand your frustrations with a continuation of these uncomfortable feelings.  There are a few possible causes of the continuation of pain, redness and inflamed gums.  One possible cause is an antibiotic that does not affect the bacteria in that area of inflammation. The bone in the area could becoming infected and antibiotics alone may not correct it.

My suggestion, if you are unable to see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, is to immediately begin a regimen of warm salt water rinses.  Rinse in the area of the extraction with the warm salt water for a full 5 minutes, 4-5 times a day.  The rinsing will do much more than keeping the areas clean.  The rinsing will help reduce inflammation, but it can increase the blood flow through the area to help it better heal.

So start the rinses like I suggest and if it is not better within a few days, go to the emergency room at a hospital.  I am sure that an emergency room will accept your insurance if needed.  So try the warm salt water.  Give it a few days and let me know how you are doing in a few days.


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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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