Oral Surgery/Bone spurs?



I am 39 years old and I had my left upper and lower wisdom teeth extracted 15 days ago. I experienced dry socket even though I followed all post op instructions. Just as the dry socket was clearing up I started to experience tongue pain next to where the lower wisdom tooth had been. It got worse until it felt like a piece of glass was in between my gum and tongue. I felt the side of the gum and felt bone sticking out the side of my gum next to the jawbone. The bone has numerous "spiky" points and was very painful. I went track to my oral surgeon and he was able to clip off the biggest outcropping. It gave me some relief,, but there are two smaller outcroppings. He said the bone cme out because the gum tissue degraded , perhaps due to rubbing when swelling was present. I went back to the surgeon again (a different doctor) and he told me there was nothing he could do because they were below the gum tissue. They don't feel that way and they are interfering with my ability to talk and eat when they are at their worst. He told me to irritate them a few times daily with the back of a toothbrush so they would come out, but this does not make sense to me because they are part of my jaw bone. Is he right? What can I do? It's causing tongue and ear pain!

Joe - Of course, without visualizing these bone spurs coming out of the tissue on the tongue side of the lower jaw, I cannot be completely sure what I might do.  Without examining you I cannot tell if the bone spurs are still attached to the jaw bone or are they separate.  Let me tell you that these bone spurs occur from either pieces of bone chipped off during the extractions or the chips are still attached.  In either situation the above is usually due to the surgeon not being attentive enough and not properly cleaning the area after the extractions.  

Well what can be done, but stimulating the gum tissue over the bone by brushing the area with a toothbrush could produce ulcerations of the tissue.  Their are two options.  The surgeon can reflect the tissue and remove the bone spurs.  A second method that should work, but will take a while to happen, is to immediately begin a strict regimen of warm salt water rinses, in the area of the bone irritation, for about 5 minutes a minimum of 4-5 times a day.  

So you have options, one easy and non-irritating and the other painful and will take quite a long time to heal.  

Let me know what you decide.  Either way, it really is up to you to make the decision.

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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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