Oral Surgery/Mechanical


QUESTION: Look at difference between waking up and later in day. Does that rule out a lot of things since it looks better in the morning ? Does that mean it's gotta be mechanical? Lastly are those deep crevices caused by teeth indentations ?

ANSWER: Steve - the crevices can expand without any trauma just by different movements of the tongue.  Basically, its like you stick your hand out with the fingers together.  Later the fingers are spread out.  That is like what you are seeing.  Is it abnormal?  Probably not.

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Yesterday afternoon
Yesterday afternoon  
This morning
This morning  
QUESTION: I totally understand that analogy and it does make sense. My question is that if it looks pretty good in the morning and reddens later, it has to be something mechanical. If it were something potentially serious it wouldn't change in the morning correct? I just want you to see this picture from this morning. Look at the difference!
I was given a mouth guard lower one but I haven't started wearing it yet. I'm not sure I'm convinced it will help bc it looks fine in the morning. So I just wanted you to clarify if you could
1. It can't be anything serious if it looks pretty good in morning correct ?
2. Look at difference between morning and later. It only allows me to post 2 pics here but I'll send one more comparison. Again thank you so much I truly appreciate it.

ANSWER: It is so difficult for me to say what causes the problem.  The only way would be a direct exam.

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Red 2 weeks ago
Red 2 weeks ago  
QUESTION: Ok I understand that but even an exam may not reveal the cause. But from my symptoms does this rule out serious causes?
Also when it does get red like it shows in the picture I am not even aware of rest bc it doesn't hurt. The only way I'd know is if I check it.
So I am ready to end this discussion about tongue now but my last question is
Regardless of the cause do the symptoms pretty much rule out serious causes or malignancy?
Secondly, even though it gets really red sometimes I have no idea because it's asymptomatic and painless. I figure if it's from irritation of trauma it would hurt but I don't feel anything. Could that be geographic ? I attached a picture from 2 weeks ago when it got really red one night but I didn't even know it unless I looked.
So in a nutshell what you are telling me is that it could be something I'm doing during day but regardless it's nothing serious correct? Would the night guard most likely be a waste of time since it's ok in the morning ?

Steve - the good news is that what you are experiencing does not appear to be dangerous or malignant.  It is definitely nothing serious at this time.  

As far as the nightguard, if the purpose was to relax the jaw muscles to reduce pressure on the jaw and creating a natural bite, then it is necessary if you have a grinding habit that works against the normal position.

Oral Surgery

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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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