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Oral Surgery/pain and swelling in one cheek a month after jaw surgery

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Question
My daughter had upper jaw surgery a month ago and now a few days after her splint was removed and her braces reconfigured she began having swelling and pain on one side of her face in the area over her cheekbone. Her doctor prescribed anti-biotics. What could be the cause of an infection? This was an elective procedure as her upper jaw never closed properly over her lower one, No space on top for her tongue causing speech problems and in the past year TMJ etc. Her teeth are closing fine now and the teeth are aligned but I am worried about this infection.

Answer
Karen -  Antibiotics can be benefical to help resolve the infection, but often the sinus is included in the area.  In addition to the antibiotics, if she would do warm salt water rinses for about 3 minutes, 4-5 times a day can often promote infection drainage.  The surgeon needs to define the source of the infection.  That way, he can identify the source of the problem and treat it better.

The infection could be at the site of the jaw surgery, but it could also be from a sinus infection.  The surgeon needs to definitely define the source of the infection to be able to heal the infection.

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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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