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Dr. Katz
Dr. Katz, Dentist - DDS
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 3247
Experience:  Dentist and Anesthesiologist for 37 years.Anesthesiology Fellow-Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.Evaluator for Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners.
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Following cardiac bypass surgery three weeks ago, I

Customer Question

Following cardiac bypass surgery three weeks ago, I noticed--or rather my tongue did--a patch of exposed bone in my mouth, about 1/4-inch, lower right, next to where my tongue "sits."
I assume it is bone. There is no pain unless the bone is touched. Naturally, I'm concerned, as I don't see any way that this could be repaired.
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

What has most likely happened,is that when the endotracheal tube was placed,the inside portion of your lower jaw was scraped.The tissue over this area is extremely thin and susceptible to tearing.When it does,the bone becomes exposed.Exposed bone is painful and will become necrotic if not covered.The problem with this area is that the tongue is constantly moving past the injured tissue removing the cells that are trying to heal the tear and healing is delayed for some time.In most cases,the bone needs to be trimmed back so that the tissue can rejoin itself.It is a minor but necessary procedure and can be done by any experienced dentist or oral surgeon.An oral surgeon would be your best bet.It can be done with just local anesthesia and will take about 30 minutes or less.Does any of this help?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this helps greatly--thank you. I had considered intubation as a possible cause and am actually relieved to have this confirmed.At the moment, the exposed bone is large enough, and the margin of gum around it sufficiently distant from all parts of itself, to make rejoining of the gum over the bone seem problematic--but I suppose that if the bone is filed "back" far enough, the gum could be brought across the opening.I will of course see a dentist as soon as possible.Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome.I have seen numerous cases like this.Sometimes this can happen spontaneously over an extraction site in the same area where the bone was just a little jagged or irregular.Something as benign as a potato chip can tear the tissue.It really needs to be seen by an oral surgeon because delaying this type of thing becomes more problematic in the future.Have a good night

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you--you too.
Expert:  Dr. Katz replied 1 year ago.

When you get a chance ,please supply a rating so that we can maintain good quality control on this site.Thanks