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I recently had a wisdom tooth on the bottom pulled two weeks ago. There's now a bit of bone exposed near the socket wound (on the side near the tongue, not the cheek, and slightly behind the socket wound of the extraction site). The exposed bone hurts whenever my tongue scrapes it, so I'm still having trouble chewing solid food, even if I only use the other side of the mouth. The socket wound itself seems okay right now. The socket wound was hurting a lot about a week after the extraction (probably infection), and the dentist cleaned the wound and packed some kind of clove-tasting power with cotton inside the wound, and that stopped the pain. I then went back a couple of times to have that clove-tasting powder/cotton dressing replaced with fresh ones. Now it's about two weeks since extraction, and the socket wound isn't hurting anymore, but the exposed bone on the side of the socket wound is bothering me. So my question is, will the exposed bone area heal by itself (will the gum automatically grow over the exposed bone and cover it up again)? How long would it take? What can I do to help the gum grow over the exposed bone again? Do I need additional surgery, such as cutting the gum open and then file/clip the exposed bone area and then stitch the gum up over it?
Thank you for the reply, Dr. Katz. I have two follow up questions:
1) Is it possible that the gum will grow and cover up the exposed bone on its own without having to file down/clip off the exposed bone area? If so, how long would it take? The two dentists I've gone to (I'm in Fuzhou, China, at the moment) both say that there is a chance the gum might grow and cover up the exposed bone without further treatment, though they can't be be certain, and the only way to find out is to wait and see. But they don't tell me how long I need to wait before it's obvious that the gum is not going to grow and cover up the exposed bone. I mean, I could be waiting for weeks and months, and that's a long time of being really uncomfortable and not being able to eat normally. It also lengthen the time I might be exposed to infections since I can't be on antibiotics for a long stretch of time--that's bad for my body, right?
2) And if I do go and have surgery done (cut the gum open, file down/clip off the exposed bone, stitch up the gum), how long would it take for me to heal to the point of no more pain and be able to eat normally? I'm about to go on a trip and I hate the idea of not being able to eat normally while traveling.
Thank you. In two days, I'll be going to Taiwan, and I'll try and go see a dentist there, since Taiwan is much more advanced than China in general. Is it okay for me to wait a few days (will it cause bad complications if I wait a few days) and do the treatment in Taiwan (where they will likely have better dentists), or it's not soon enough and I need to do it in China with the local dentist right away (tomorrow)?
The two dentists I went to locally are practicing dentists for many years locally in the city of Fuzhou, each with decades of experience (and one of them is the head of the oral department of the a big hospital). I think it's just that medically, their knowledge is behind dentists of developed/advanced countries. They also tend to have terrible bedside manners (China being what it is). Too bad I won't be back home in the States until late November. Dentists in the States are far better for sure.
Thank you. I guess if I'm not in grave danger of irreversible damage or bad infection, then I should probably try the dentists in Taiwan. At the very least their bedside manners should be a lot better overall, and have better equipment. I just don't trust the dentists here anymore--not after what's happened already.
Before I end this Q&A and give you a rating (a good one :-) ), are there things I should watch out for and keep in mind for the upcoming surgery? Any possible complications I should be aware of?
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX!