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Oral Surgery/Flap Surgery


Four days ago I had flap surgery to smooth bone where my wisdom tooth was removed. Yesterday the stitches on the lingual side let go and there is now a fingernail size portion of bone exposed at the back of my jaw going into the throat. My periodontist tells me that my jaw bone is very thick due to tori and the tissue should be able to regrow over this spot. Is this something I need to worry about immediately, will this heal on it's own?
Originally posted to another doctor on this site on March 29th, I have not received a response so I am hoping you might give me an answer.
After a week of discomfort while eating anything due to no gum tissue around the tooth I am not seeing any change in the size of jaw bone that is left bare. Stitch removal went well and I was reassured that the healing process will take it's course but I'm terrified at the thought of having exposed bone in my mouth and long term pain.
Thank you in advance for any advice you may be able to give.
Dave Richards

Dave - I am so sorry to hear about what you have gone through.  Not examining you before or after the surgery to smooth bone, it is a little difficult for me to be completely sure about the cause, but usually, opening of a wound, especially over bone that had surgery occurs because the doctor created too much stress on the tissue.  That can often be prevented by simple surgical procedures to relax the tissues.  

Now that you have this situation, the most important thing for you to do is to keep that area clean by rinsing your mouth 4-5 times a day for 1-2 minutes, with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in glass of warm water),  Besides keeping the area clean, the warm salt water helps to promote healing.  There might be another option by covering with and oral bandage, but first I would suggest the warm salt water.  This will take a few weeks to close over so be patient.  You should stay away from foods or drinks with excess acid or rough surface foods(like hard crusty bread).  

So be patient and keep the area clean and it should heal in a few weeks.

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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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