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Oral Surgery/Bones exposed after Mandibular Tori surgery

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Question
Mandibular Tori
Mandibular Tori  

Exposed bone
Exposed bone  
I had Oral surgery to remove 2 - 25 mm Mandibular Tori from under my tongue 11 days ago.  The surgery was performed by a Board Certified Oral Surgeon.  The Tori had grown so much over the past year that they were impacting my speech & breathing.  The top of the Tori were level with the top of my bottom teeth.
The surgery took just under 3 hours and was declared a success.  I was in some pain the 1st 4 days and took Motrin 800 every 6-8 hours.  I also took a steroid pack for 6 days and Clyndamycin 300mg for 10 days.  I'm allergic to all pain medications so Mortrin 800mg or Alieve is the only pain pill i can take.  On the 5th day after surgery, i woke up and found ALL of the stiches were gone and the gum had pulled away from the bone. Apparently the surgeon used dissolvable stitches.  I can see 3/8" of the bone all along the inside of my mouth.  My pain level has increased to about an 8 or 9.  Even my lower teeth hurt.  I started warm salt water rinses 5 days ago.  The Oral Surgeon is out of town for the holidays but he did call and say that the gums would heal from the inside out naturally. My concern is that the gap exposing the lower jaw bone is so large (9.5 mm) that it may not ever close & thus cause the exposed bone to get infected.

Should I sit back and wait for it to heal?  How long could this take?
Are there any other options i should consider?  I don't want to wait too long if there's something else i need to consider.

Answer
Michelle - Unfortunately, the only thing and the best thing for you to do is what you are doing.  Just leave the area alone and rinse with warm salt water rinses.  Those rinses are very important and should be done a minimum of 4-5 times a day for 2-3 minutes each time.  This area will heal, but it can take a few weeks for the bone to be completely covered and the tissue healed.  I would suggest that you stay away from foods, like citric acid foods, that can irritate the area.  It might also be a good idea for you to rinse with a diluted solution of Listerine.  Dilute it at least 1 to 1 with water and rinse in the morning after breakfast and at night before bed.  Be patient, this will heal and will just take time.  

If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact me again.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon 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.

Experience

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

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

Education/Credentials
BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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