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Julian Chen
Julian Chen, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 568
Experience:  Practicing General Dentist since 2002
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I believe I have a fourth bone spur erupting on the right side

Customer Question

I believe I have a fourth bone spur erupting on the right side of my lower jaw. It is causing pain in my tongue and it feels swollen. The last three were on the same vacinity. I first went to my dentist in July and he told me the pain was from clenching my teeth and needed a guard. Two weeks later I felt a boney piece sticking out of my jaw and was in serious discomfort. I went to my dentist and a rather large bone spur was removed. Since then I have been back two more times, the last was the most intense. It was at the end of August and it has been only the last five days were tolerable. I am becoming physically exhasted. Is there a proceedure that I can have done and get rid of the whole damned thing? What causes them? I have had nothing done to that side of my mouth for at least 25 years. I had a back molar removed at that time.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Julian Chen replied 7 years ago.

Sorry to hear about your situation.

Although what you're experiencing is not unheard of, it certainly isn't common. What does seem odd to me is that you've been fine for 25 years and suddenly in the past 2-3 months, you're on your 4th bone spur.

My recommendation/advice is as follows:

Ask your general dentist for a referral to have a "Cone-Beam CT Scan" done of your upper and lower jaw. This is a relatively new CT Scan that is very low in radiation, but can provide an extreme detailed, 3D image of your jaw bones. Then find a periodontist (gum specialist) to seek further treatment if the Cone-Beam CT Scan comes back detailing additional bone spurs. Hopefully the periodontist will be able to perform gum surgery to remove any additional spurs and properly recontour the bone/cortical plate to prevent future spurs.

The reason the Cone-Beam CT Scan is important because it provides additional information than the standard 2 dimentional X-rays so the dentist (periodontist) can see exact "splices" along your jaw where the spurs have been forming to determine what is going on and how to properly treat it.

The Cone-Beam CT Scanner is being marketed by 2 companies (Galileos and I-Cat) and unfortunately costs ~$200K so most general dentists won't have it in their office. Which is why I suggested asking for a referral (most likely an oral surgeon) to have the scan made.