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Oral Surgery/?? about sub periosteal abscess


HI Dr. Teig,
My daughter had her wisdom teeth extracted four weeks ago today. Yesterday, she was diagnosed with a sub periosteal abscess. Unfortunately, she's away at camp in a different state and I wasn't at the appointment. The abscess was drained and according to my daughter, there is some drain contraption still in the socket. She was put on Clindamycin and told to return in three days.  My question is the oral surgeon she saw yesterday, who is not the one who performed the extraction,  said not to do salt water rinses, just warm water. Everything I read said to do salt water rinses. I want her to do everything possible to help this infection heal. Thank you very much, a concerned mom seven hundred miles away

Julie -  Having been an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for over 30 years, this is the first time that I have heard of not using warm salt water for this type of a situation.  The combination of salt and water draws the infected fluids out from the abscess.  

I think it might be beneficial if you have her dentist call the surgeon she saw to confirm what she was told and to obtain a reason.

I hope she heals well.  Let me tell you that the rinsing needs to be done a minimum of 4-5 times a day for at least 2-3 minutes each time.

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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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