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Oral Surgery/Jaw bone transplant - or other options


Evening. I am well at present after having oral cancer surgery and follow up radiotherapy in 2005.  I also had three teeth taken out of left side plus half of the jaw bone cut away as cancer so close to bone and wisdom tooth area.  Unfortunately radiotherapy has affected some muscle in side of face and the remaining jaw bone in that area has lost density.  I have had two bone fractures both of which have healed well as they were clean fractures.  I was told that if the jaw breaks I will probably have to have a bone transplant.  I have been doing reseach so that if there are any other options I can be prepared should the worst happen.
Are there any options to having the transplant from my bone in leg.  I saw an article about a Spanish Dr who claims he has treated this bone problem with stem cells but can't see much about this elsewhere.
I would also like to know if there is anything that can help strengthen the bone and encourage the blood supply to be better?  I have used vitamin E to rub in directly into face in jaw area and sometimes take it orally, heard that zinc is good and try to eat well in way of beetroot, broccoli etc.  
Any ideas accepted gratefully.  Thank you for your time.

Ruth -  What you are enduring is not uncommon with having undergone radiotherapy.  Making the bone stronger is fairly difficult after the radiation treatment, but I have found that the tradition vitamin treatments using calcium supplements and vitamin D are the best mechanisms to strengthen bone.  As for blood flow, simply rinsing your mouth a few times a day for a minute or so with warm salt water can increase blood flow to the area.  

I wish you well and hope the whole area gets better soon.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


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.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at 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 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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