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Post wisdom teeth extraction : Bone exposed on bottom jaw


**Since writing this, more bone “pieces” have come to the surface. Being the picky person I am, I picked them out using my fingers. This caused some pain, and some bleeding. BUT – I continued to rinse with salt water twice daily. At this point (feb 24 2011) I am happy to report that I can no longer feel any bone! It’s all been smoothed over by my healthy gums!

Feels great :)

The sockets are still filling in, but they don’t trap as much food anymore. Still, I like to squirt them with salt water once per day.

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Getting your wisdom teeth out is NOT without its risks. I consider myself fortunate.

Why I did it

The reason I got them (all four) out was not because they were impacted, which is the typical reason to get them out.* Rather, I was biting my cheeks on and off which was an annoyance. Every time I bit them, they would swell up just a little bit so I would bite them again. Like I said, this wasn’t a HUGE problem but rather something that came and went from one week to another. Another factor that I considered was that my mother bites her cheeks all the time, and she wishes she had gotten her wisdom teeth out at my age (21). At her age, it’s not usually recommended because the jaw bone is much harder and the risks are much greater (nerve damage, even brain damage!).

The day of the extraction

Getting them out was actually no big deal. It was the drugs that made it so easy. I wasn’t awake! Although they call it “conscious sedation”, I completely blacked out and remember nothing. It was probably awful (blood everywhere) but I (and my mother) saw nothing.

In the morning before the operation, I had to skip breakfast (fasting was required). Instead, I got to start my day with 10mg of Valium.

By the time I arrived, I was feeling quite talkative and optimitic. It wasn’t long before they hooked me up to a laughing gas mask. It largely obstructed my view of what happened next… which may have been the point.

They hooked me up to an IV, which didn’t hurt at all really. This is where the fun began: They began giving me multiple shots into the IV: One for the pain, one to keep me sedated, one to keep me still… and who knows what else. Literally the last thing I remember seeing was the (last? maybe?) syringe being injected into my IV. Then I time-travelled forward and the next thing I knew I was being helped to a resting bed to allow the short-acting drugs to wear off. Surprisingly, I didn’t have any trouble balancing after getting up. And I didn’t feel half-bad either.

Now, I’m a pretty big guy, over 6 six and around 190lbs. But I think a smaller female would need some SERIOUS support after all those drugs. Just my guess.


The healing process involved taking pain killers (oxycodone + tylenol, as well as ibuprofen) and NOT brushing my teeth :) Brushing could disturb the blood clots that had formed, which would NOT be good. Rinsing with salt water was the best thing to promote healing.

After one week, however, I still had some serious pain in the bottom left socket. My doctor said it may be infected (impossible to tell, except for the symptoms). So I was given a Z-pack, which is a 5-day antibiotic.

A few days later, pain gone. So the infection theory may have been correct (although that’s impossible to prove).

By the way, along with the z-pack I also got a syringe-squirt thingy for “irrigating” my sockets. Supposedly after one week enough healing has taken place to be able to clean them by squirting salt water into the holes (but still not brush). It’s amazing the amount of food that collects in them. At one point I had piece of walnut the size of a tooth that came out into the sink during “irrigation” (yes it’s called that!).

I can see BONE!

After the z-pack one thing in my mouth still did hurt. Turns out that part of my jawbone was actually EXPOSED! Yes, I could see a white patch along the inside rim near the socket (but NOT in the socket a.k.a. dry socket). My tongue would rub against this patch of bone and irritate it, especially during meals and when swallowing.

Apparently, the doctor caused this. He didn’t actually admit this openly, but from what I have read the doctors need to clamp onto your jaw somehow. What can end up happening is your jaw-flesh gets rubbed off right down to the bone.

The solution? Avoiding brushing it, and just giving it time to heal, rinsing with salt water. Which I did.

However, the last few days I’ve noticed that the bone patch has gotten larger, and more protruding… After some reasearch, I came accross this post.

Excerpt : “It could be some bone chips from the extraction which are being “pushed” out by the gums.  They’ll come out on their own and the area will continue to heal.  If you want to, the dentist can numb the area and remove the bone chips but if they don’t bother you, I’d let it just heal on its own.”

I’m hoping that this is the case. I don’t have any pain whatsoever which is definitely a good sign. I’m just worried that the bone will get infected, which could mean serious trouble. I study abroad so going back the the surgeon isn’t currently an option. I will update later with what happens!

Good luck to anyone who’s gonna get their wisdom teeth out! Feel free to ask anything you want (you can be anonymous if you like).

Oh, and I forgot to mention, ask if your clinic if they can save your stem cells. Apparently our wisdom teeth contain stem cells that can be preserved for future (currently theoretical) treatments. Like re-growing our brainz :)

*Although these days many oral surgeons will suggest you get them out even if they aren’t causing any trouble whatsoever… They claim that wisdom teeth often “cause problems” later in life, like decay and tooth loss. Truth? Or are the Benjamins talking?

January 12th, 2011

25 Responses to “Post wisdom teeth extraction : Bone exposed on bottom jaw”

  1. anon says:

    Hello, just thought it was funny that you mentioned how a smaller female may have trouble after the anesthesia wore off, but in reality it makes no difference because optimal dosage is determined by sex, age, weight etc.

  2. Ruthie says:

    Hello Shawny,

    I have a similar situation to you. I had my bottom wisdom tooth removed 8 days ago. After a lot of swelling, pain, and numbness, I thought I was finally doing better. I just noticed that the stitches have fallen out and I have a whole. I can also see the bone of my jaw. Mine is outside of my mouth towards my tounge. Otherwise, I think I have a similar situation to you. Could you pleas detail a bit more about your final healing process? How long did it take to heal. Did you expierence any more complications. What was your daily cleaning routine? How much time did you need to retain activities such as normal exercise?

    I know you posted this a couple years ago, but I would greatly appreciate any adivce you can give me. I am very nervous about my situation. Thank you.

    • Ruthie says:

      Sorry, I miswrote the location. My whole and exposed jaw bone is not on the side of my toung but outside towards my cheek. I just wanted to clarify. Thanks

  3. Tiffany says:

    Hey, I realize I’m commenting on an almost 2 year old thread, but I’d just like to state that sometimes, wisdom teeth CAN cause health problems if not extracted. In my case, the pressure from two impacted wisdom teeth caused my rear molars to rot and crack. I ended up getting all 4 wisdom teeth out, in addition to the two rotten ones. A lot of times it is about the bennys, but in my case, it really was an oral health issue.

    • Shawny says:

      Agree completely! I just think that extraction is pushed far too aggressively. For example, my surgeon at the time recommended extraction to everyone, always. How can that be right?? No single surgery should be performed on EVERYONE…that is a very twisted philosophy.

    • cynsyn says:

      I totally agree! Just had the same thing, although I only had 1 wisdom tooth removed, but had to have 3 broken molars removed due to overcrowding. The wisdom tooth I had removed had grown sideways, and was ‘biting into’ the molar beside it causing it to break and get severely infected. I’ve spent the last 3 weeks in pain and since a week ago I’ve got a hole about 3/4 inches wide in my lower jaw becauseI didn’t get them removed ears ago. Its not just about the money.

  4. Katie says:

    I had my two bottom wisdom teeth taking out about a week and a half ago, they were severely impacted. The stitches on one side broke, and the clot started to come off on the side this happened too. They did nothing to fix it. The other side has healed a considerable amount more. I went back because of severe pain, and the people I dealt with were horrible. They cleaned out one side and hardly checked anything out. They didn’t bother to even attempt to clean the other side and just gave me a syringe to irrigate after yelling at me for not rinsing. I explained I had been rinsing but the hole was so deep and far back nothing was coming out. When I got home I cleaned out the side they didn’t bother with and tons of stuff came out, which had been causing a ton of pain. My jaw bone on the side the stitches broke is now very visible and painful. The oral surgeon I had refuses to do anything to help with this. I know they could put a medicated piece of mesh in there to keep food from getting in and help ease the pain, but they won’t be bothered doing this. My regular dentist won’t check my teeth because they didn’t do the surgery. What do I do!?!?!

    • Tiffany says:

      Find another oral surgeon that will accept your insurance. Explain your problems and ask them if you think you have a lawsuit.

  5. Millie says:

    Hello… I just got my bottom 2 wisdom teeth out a week ago. My stitches are out and i have no pain. However i can see my jaw bone and when i eat food gets stuck in the hole area. Again i have no pain, do i have a dry socket? I dont see a blood clot. This worries me.

    • Shawny says:

      I’m not a doctor but if you have no pain you are probably fine. Dry sockets, as well as infections, are usually painful. To prevent both you really need to rinse that hole after each meal using warm salt water (not TOO salty, lukewarm). You should have been given a syringe-style squirt bottle for this…

  6. kay says:

    i got my tooth pulled the end of this last month . i tried to do things right but i still ended up getting dry socket , i went back down to the dentist , he washed the socket out and put a paste in there . well within a hour the paste was gone and i was back in pain .. i ended up just trying to heal it on my own this lasted two weeks . i called a new dentist just to ask a question , they wanted me to come in asap they felt i had a infection . so the next day i went in and sure enough i had a really bad infection , the dentist ended up scrapping out the infection , cutting some of the jaw bone ( i had alot showing ) , recutting open the socket site to try and redo a new blood clot , stitched me up and double packed it , gave me some med and a antibiotic and i go in need week to be checked . the pain has gone away alot , i see more bone is starting to show , today i am feeling some pain (5th day ) i dont think it is dry socket tho , i dont have a nasty taste in my mouth like last time , i think some of the packing is coming out and that may be the cause

  7. RChu says:

    I am 59. I had my lower right wisdom tooth removed 3 weeks ago by an oral amd maxillofacial surgeon. The impacted tooth was deepiy embedded in my lower right jaw and grew horizontally, pressing against the root of my last molar, forcing it to grow slantingly. To make it even more difficult to be extracted, a 3-D x-ray revealed that a nerve ran alongside and touching its outer edge. I went through general anesthesia. The surgery took about 40 minutes. The impacted tooth was extracted in sections. My surgeon told me my surgical wound is longer and deeper than usual. The pain began to intensify 3 days after the surgery. I had to take Motrin 3~4 times per day continuously for 9 days. After 9 days, the pain began to ease and I was able to reduce my Motrin to 1~2 times per day. I stopped taking painkiller on the 14th day. Now it is the 20th day and I can still feel a little bit of pain and discomfort on my lower right jaw and cheek, but the glands on my neck below the teeth are no longer swollen. The pain is not severe anymore and is tolerable. I’ve started brushing my teeth, but I notice traces of blood still coming out every time I touch the surgical wound. I continue to rinse with warm salt water 3 times per day and brush my teeh everytime after meals. The last 10% of healing just like taking foreever. I don’t know when I will be 100% recovered. My dentist told me it might take up to a couple of months for the bone to grow back at my age.

  8. Charity says:

    I just had one bottom wisdom tooth extracted five days ago and still I have alot of pain. My oral surgeon did tell me it was one of the most difficult wisdom teeth he has ever removed or even seen on an X-ray but he made it seem as though I would be starting to feel better after the 3rd day and I’m still not better… I can’t eat even soft foods without horrible pain and I’m taking the hydrocodone and Motrin and antibiotics around the clock and about a half hr before my next pain killer dose I start to have enormous amount of pain and that lasts for about another half hr after taking the med (until they kick in)… I feel like I’ve been in a fog for 5 days now and a painful fog it is too!… This was my last wisdom tooth I had removed and I didn’t hav nearly as much trouble with any of the others and I was awake when the dentist removed those and asleep for this one… They stitched the one spot where the tooth was but there was another inch of a gash running along my gum line under the teeth that r in front of the extraction site, that they did not stitch and I swear I can see bone or the base(roots) of those teeth…and it today I was finally able to open my mouth wide enough to see that it looks like the stitches came loose over where the tooth used to be and now I see a huge hole that I cannot even see the bottom of and it is freaking me out! I’m calling the dentist tomorrow and going to hav them take a look at it..i would hav already gone but today is Easter sun and they were closed over the Holliday weekend of course!…

  9. Craig says:

    I got my bottom left wisdom tooth taken out 5 days ago and today I accidentally chewed on the left side of my mouth for the first time since. Immediately after, some of my stitches came undone and fell out what I believe to be prematurely. I now have a gaping hole in my mouth that I can look into and, as you said, I can see pure white substance which I believe to be my jaw bone not directly inside my socket but along the far back edge of my gaping hole. It sounds like you had what I have going on, and I wanted to ask 1) what you meant when you said that your exposed bone “got looser.. started to wiggle” and “came out in slivers” with you help? How is this possible if it is indeed your jaw bone?
    & 2) how long did it take for your hole to heal over and fill back in, and assuming that it’s done healing did it actually fill entirely when it was finished healing?

  10. Dion says:

    Im going through ot now. How long did it take to come out it’s killing me and
    tubes of oralgell are geting spendy. My dentist was kind enough to pull another tooth and shoved a broken root into my sinus as well. Before the none came through on the other side. What a guy….

  11. George says:

    I hope you are careful about how you present yourself on this page. You seem so knowledgable about the subject that I’m tempted to assume that you are an expert yourself. I found a lot of the information on this site pertinent and comforting because I just had my wisdom teeth, all four of them, taken out a few days ago. I’m having the problem of seeing my exposed jaw-bone and freaking out. I’ve checked it probably a hundred times and I just keep looking in the mirror, flashlight at the point of interest, thinking “this just can’t be. I look like the crypt keeper. WHY AM I SO DEFORMED?!” As for you picking at that site in your case, you are a brave soldier. I am paralyzed with fear, which my dentist is probably apt to take advantage of. Questoins I’m still searching to adequately answer are how long can I expect these bones to be exposed (still exposed on bottom 2 teeth, maybe top also but out of sight out of mind, right?) and how big of a risk do I run if I were to give in to my nasty habit of smoking while these bones are exposed? That last one is sort of the big lingering question for me.

    • Shawny says:

      Thanks George,

      You are correct in assuming that I am no more an “expert” than anyone else who has gone through with this particular procedure (Wisdom tooth extraction). However, one of the points I was trying to make with the article was that many of the “experts” have their own interests at heart, which sadly means their opinion is highly biased. Imagine if a cars’ salesman told a potential customer that he didn’t need a car. The cars salesman earns a (large) commission on each car he sells, much as an oral surgeon earns money *per procedure*. I remember my doctor telling me that wisdom teeth often become decayed and that they are a potential risk for anybody. Bascially he tells everyone they should get their wisdom teeth out. I was baffled by this ideology, especially coming from a man who is so highly educated. In my case, my wisdom teeth WERE bothering me (biting cheeks) so I agreed that the procedure was neccessary.

      None of this applies to you however, since you have already been taken care of :) The thought of you smoking makes me cringe, since cigarette smoke actually causes cells to die when it comes in contact with them. You need your cells to regenerate. Unless you want to borrow tissue from other parts of your mouth, (and undergo surgery again), the only thing you can do is 1) good nutrition, plenty of fruits/veggies 2) Extra sleep 3) physical activity, min 25min/day. You wanted a lecture? You got it :)

      As previously stated I’m no expert, but most likely you should expect your recovery (bones to be fully covered in tissue) to take minimum of 1 month. If you are experiencing excessive pain you should go on antibiotics, which is what happened in my case (infection of gum tissue).

      Keep me posted on your recovery!


  12. Chris says:

    I just got home from a dental exam and scaling,first in 8 years (I know, shame, shame) and I am actually not doing all that bad. 2 Cavities and I need a bit of work around my gums (Expected). The Dentist mentioned that my Wisdom Teeth squeaked in but that they were so tight back there, it is causing them to not be cleaned properly and they have “Bottomed Out”. (Not sure what he meant)
    He now has me meeting with a specialist next week and wants to put me under and extract all 4 of them at once. He almost made it sound fun and that I would not feel anything, and that I would be high as a kite afterwards.
    My issue is that I am terrified to have it done and they do not bother me at all. No pain, to discomfort, I did not even expect an issue. I am a 33 year old male. Should I even bother with it at this point?

    • Shawny says:

      Sorry this response is so late.

      To be honest, if they are not bothering you in any way right now, then you should skip it. They will pressure you into it, because they earn money directly from each patient they treat. Always remember this.

      The reason I say skip it is because there are some potentially unpleasant risks involved. One being nerve damage (wisdom tooth nerves go really deep). This risk is probably greater at your age. A typical “horror story” is loss of sense in the tongue, or cheeks. Another risk is a “dry socket” (google it).

      The surgery itself, you should not worry about. Yes, you will indeed be high as a kite. And no pain. On the contrary, you will get some very yummy but highly addictive painkillers. Drugs that induce “drug seeking” behavior in some (most?) people. I have experienced (yet not given into) this feeling itself. It’s a real drag, a real time sucker.

      If you’ve already had them extracted, I hope you are doing well! If not, I hope you can make an informed decision!

  13. Monty says:

    I had the same situation. I can see the bone exposed and wenrt to the Doctor. He gave some antibiotic and asked to come back in 2/3 weeks. If mentioned, the gumns will heal it and cover the exposed bone but if not then he has to file the exposed bone.

  14. don says:

    I think its the benjamin talking.
    where i live the wisdom tooth extraction costs 8 times a normal tooth.

    Anyhow, i have problems with the bone inside my jaw jsut like u described it. I can touch it but it feels firm. Is this how your felt?

    It’s really irritating me now

    • shawny says:

      yes don, the bone felt “connected” to the rest of the jaw, stable. Until it got looser, and startled to wiggle. Then it gradually came out in slivers (i helped it of course!)

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