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Oral Surgery/Floor of Mouth


QUESTION: Hello.  I have been experiencing pain in the right portion of the floor of my mouth.  Nothing abnormal showed up on either an face/neck MRI or panoramic xray that was taken & neither; however, when I run my finger along both sides of the floor of my mouth, it feels "raised" (almost lumpy) all the way around.  Is this how the floor of the mouth should feel or should it be "flat" and smooth?  I just want to make sure that something abnormal is not being overlooked.  

Thank you for your time.

ANSWER: Carey, This sounds like you might have an infection or a stone in the submandibular gland. Both sides of the floor of your mouth should feel the same. I would suggest seeing a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon to check it out. I hope that helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your quick response. The MRI report stated that the salivary glands and sublingual space were unremarkable.  Would stones not be picked up by the MRI?


The MRI may or may not pick up stones. Depends on the stage of the stone development. Again, it is a possibility not necessarily what you have. It also could be a slight infection in Wharton's duct that is causing the inflammation. Hydration, antibiotics and warm compresses may help of it were an infection.  

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James M. Ryan. DDS, MS; Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon


Dr. Ryan's expertise is in the field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Specifically, Dr. Ryan is an expert in Orthognathic Surgery. He holds uniques experience as the former Assistant Program Director of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Training Program at Washington Hospital Center where he trained residents to perform these complicated surgical procedures. Additionally, Dr. Ryan also has a tremendous amount of experience in reconstruction of the maxillofacial skeleton related to trauma and tooth loss. Dr. Ryan is an expert in 3 dimensional treatment planning for Orthognathic Surgery, Dental Implant Surgery and Wisdom Teeth removal. To learn more about Dr. Ryan, his full profile can be seen at


Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with current hospital affiliations at: Washington Hospital Center Holy Cross Germantown Hospital National Institute of Health/NIDCR

American Dental Association. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. District of Columbia Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. District of Columbia Dental Society. American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Health Volunteers Overseas.

Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Journal of The American Dental Association

S.U.N.Y @ Stony Brook- B.S. in Biochemistry, Stony Brook, NY. Northeastern University- M.S. in Perfusion Technology, Boston, MA. D.D.S.- New York University College of Dentistry, New York, NY. Certificate and Chief Resident- Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC. Clinical Fellow- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD.

Awards and Honors
Dr. Ryan has received numerous awards including: 2006 American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Dental Student Award, Washington Hospital Center 2008 Nurses' Choice Physician Collaboration Award, 2009 Resident Research Summit Scholarship Award, and the 2011 Outstanding Surgical Attending in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at Washington Hospital Center. He has also authored/coauthored and published several journal articles and held several teaching positions,including assistant professor, while at NYUCD.

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