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Periodontics/swelling retromolar pad area


I am in a quandary. I had all my wisdom teeth removed over 30 years ago. they were impacted. I had lock jaw last year due to a muscle spasm in my masseter muscle, right side.Have been diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome.

Now I have pain, mainly in the retromolar pad area, lower right side, and on the pad itself for many months. The doctor feels it is due to an irritated operculum, and that the area had experienced trauma before, maybe something got caught between tooth and gum, but it looks like it healed, with a white line. advise me to keep the area very clean. Helps a little, but not 100%.It feels like the area swells from time to time, and I feel like the masseter has swollen too, especially after eating or a stressful day. He does not feel it is infected, and does not understand why i should feel such pain,as it is not hign enough to feel he said. The top tooth is not hitting it.
He said if he lazers it down, it could be worse. Any thoughts? Thanks for your help.

Kathy, it sounds like what you have is something called periocornitis.  Which is inflammation that develops between the flap of tissue in the retro molar pad area and your last tooth.  It is also possible that over time you have developed some periodontal disease on the back of the last tooth which is why you might be having some discomfort here. You need to have a radiograph made of the tooth to see if there is any bone loss.  Once that is done the dentist should know how to proceed. I don't know if the dentist your presently seeing is a periodontist, but it might be wise to see one for this particular problem.

Good Luck
Dr. Siegelman


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Bryan M. Siegelman, DDS


I can answer any question relating to the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. I can also answer questions relating to the placement and restoration of dental implants.


I have been practicing Perioodontics for the past 20 years. I limit my practice to periodontics and implant dentistry. I am a diplomate of the American Academy of Periodontology. I am in private practice in Pennsylvania and am on staff at the local hospital in my home town. My practice website is

American Academy of Periodontology, Academy of Osseointegration, American Dental Association, American College of Dentists, Pennsylvania Dental Association

I have a BS from Muhlenberg College, I did a general practice residency at St. Joeseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson, NJ. I received my DDS degree and specialty certificate from the University of Maryland Dental School.

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