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Jaw surgery after tooth loss is common.

Posted Dec 04 2008 4:14pm
In November, my periodontist performed alveoloplasty surgery in my upper jaw to remove bone chips, bone spurs, bone splinters, and an infected root tip. He added material into both sides of my jawbone to fill up spaces where my jawbone had been reabsorbed, stitched me up, and sent me home to finish my antibiotics. Yes, he gave me pain medication.

Two weeks prior to my surgery, my doctor misdiagnosed my swelling face as a viral sinus infection that did not require antibiotics. I told him that I don’t get sinus infections and asked for antibiotics, but he declined.

As my severe inflammation (infection) grew worse, the right side of my face swelled under my eye, down the side of my nose, along my cheek into the muscles in my upper jaw, and around the bottom of my lower jaw causing my bottom teeth to hurt. The pressure in my face and the pain in my upper right jaw was reminiscent of having teeth pulled – as if that were possible, again.

On the fourth day, my jawbone swelled so much it pushed my denture out. I ate more mashed potatoes, mushroom soup, and bananas and rinsed my mouth with salt water, but the pain increased. That night the pressure and swelling at the bottom of my upper jaw began to recede. The infection was spreading into my lower jaw and I hadn’t realized it.

When I returned to my doctor, he poked me in my jaw (I swear), pronounced it a gum infection, and gave me the antibiotic prescription I should have had one week earlier. My bottom teeth were aching and a purple bulge in my gums surrounded one lower tooth. I went directly to my peridontist for help. He says they do this surgery often.

It took two weeks for my jawbone to return to its normal size, I can wear my denture, and I still have my lower teeth. My doctor has 50 years of experience and he’s still practicing. Seriously, I’m the one paying.

Keep smiling.

Saundra Goodman
Got Teeth? A Survivor’s Guide
How to keep your teeth or live without them.
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