Finding a Bone Spur in Gum Tissue? Here's What to Do

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Feeling a bone fragment lodged in your gums? It's possible you may have a bone spur in gum tissue. Luckily, the condition is common and treatable through a visit to your dentist. Understanding what may have caused the bone spur can help you feel more confident discussing the steps for treatment.

A Sharp Situation

You may feel small, sharp slivers or chips of bone caught in your gum. Much like getting a splinter in your finger during a woodworking project, the piece of bone caught in the gums may feel rough to the tongue.

Following the removal of a tooth, the bone in the adjacent area undergoes a natural process to mend itself for chewing. If the body needs to discard an extra piece of bone, the fragment can project out of the gums and cause discomfort. These bone spurs can appear in the period of several weeks to a month following a tooth extraction. They may remain stuck under the gums or begin to poke through the gum tissue near the extraction site.

In some instances, bony projections in your gums or other parts of your mouth may be benign, noncancerous bone growths, such as mandibular tori or exostoses.

Treatment Options

Treatment for a bone spur in gum tissue often includes a minimally invasive procedure to remove the sliver of bone to prevent infection and aid healing. Sometimes, the dental surgeon may choose to smooth the jawbone to decrease the likelihood of bony areas protruding out of the gums. This process, called alveoloplasty, often takes place immediately after a tooth extraction to prepare the mouth for dentures, according to a study publishing by the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research.

Alveoloplasty is an outpatient dental procedure that allows the surgeon to shape how the bone recontours so that the tooth replacement will sit properly against the gums. Your dentist may also recommend it for cases of mandibular tori or exostoses if the bone growths become troublesome. Keep in mind that even after the procedure, bone spurs may form as the body heals.

If you suspect you have a bone spur in your gums following a dental procedure or tooth extraction, it is best to contact your dental provider for assessment right away. They will evaluate the area and may recommend subsequent appointments to monitor healing. As always, if you notice any concerning or painful areas in your mouth, be sure to consult your dentist.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tips for Pain Management After TOOTH REMOVAL

Here are a few tips to help minimize your discomfort and speed recovery:

  • You can put ice packs on your face to reduce swelling. Alternate 20 minute on and 20 minutes off.

  • Eat soft and cool foods for a few days.

  • Starting 24 hours after surgery, swish with warm salt water. Use one-half teaspoon of salt in a cup of water.

  • You should not smoke, use a straw or spit after surgery. These actions can pull the blood clot out of the hole where the tooth was.