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Oral Surgery/Lower left dry socket, lump, and numbness


I got my two lower wisdom teeth removed on July 28th, 2014 and went to my post- op appointment two weeks later and my oral surgeon informed me that I had two dry sockets, he said that because I take birth control I had a one and three chance of getting dry sockets even if I took care of my teeth perfectly after they were extracted. They flushed out my sockets and gave me this syringe filled with this yellow gel which was a 2 week supply of 'dressing' to put in my sockets twice a day and some mouth wash to keep food and infection out of my sockets. After three more weeks my right dry socket totally healed and stopped hurting, but my left is still in pain to this day and I have a lump on the lower left side just above of my jawline. Also, the whole lower left half of my face is numb and has been for the past week. I've never had any surgeries or dental procedures done before this one. I've never even gotten a cavity. I'm utterly exhausted and depressed from being in constant pain and consistent throbbing. I have been popping advil/tylenol/ibuprofen since July 28th because of course I am severely allergic to hydrocodone... So please someone give me some advice or some hope at least.

Kate- let me tell you that I am a little uncomfortable with the technique of your surgeon giving you medication to place in the sockets and not examining you in between.  I am not sure what medication was used, but besides, the surgeon should have examined you and placed medication himself every 2-3 days after the initial appointment where the dry socket diagnosis was made.  If an inflammation within the socket continues, the medication to place in the socket can accentuate it and possibly produce other problems.  

Now that you have developed numbness and the lump on your face, there is a chance that an infection has developed and or a penetration of the problem deeper into the bone.  

I have two suggestions.  Immediately contact the doctors office and have him examine you soon.  In addition, begin a regimen of warm salt water rinses, on the side that is a problem, for about 5 minutes, 4-5 times a day.  The warm salt water will help to reduce any inflammation.  I would hold off on the placement of the medication into the socket until the surgeon examines you.  

Do not wait, call the surgeon and be examined soon.

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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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