Look into my mouth, tell me what you see
December 27, 2006 2:54 PM   Subscribe

After an uncomplicated lower wisdom tooth extraction, what can you see with an ordinary flashlight & mirror?

I had my two lower wisdom teeth removed yesterday morning. It went smoothly: I was in & out in about 45 minutes. My jaw doesn't hurt very much, so I think I'm in good shape. However, curiosity got the better of me, and I took a look in my mouth with a flashlight. Inside the (cavernous!) holes in my jaw, I see clean white spots. Is this bone? Is it what I should expect to see?
posted by spacewrench to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
I can't answer your question medically, but I remember seeing something along the same lines when I had mine out a few years ago. Scar tissue? I had eight teeth out at the same time, so the holes were quite large, and they took about two months to totally fill in. I imagine that you can expect it to last half that or less.
posted by awesomebrad at 2:59 PM on December 27, 2006

bones -- when you're still alive -- look yellowish, not white
posted by matteo at 3:05 PM on December 27, 2006

Probably the stitches from the surgery. Have you tried touching them? You might try that (carefully!!). If they look and feel like some sort of synthetic material, I'm betting that's what they are. If they seem like they're a part of you, maybe you should give your doctor a call and ask him, because the only biological things I can think of that would be white or whitish around that area don't sound pretty to have protruding. How long ago was the surgery? As long as things seem to be improving in there, there's probably no reason to be concerned.
posted by markcholden at 4:40 PM on December 27, 2006

It's actually a granulated tissue cap. Granulated what, I don't know. Maybe a blood clot. But I think it's normal.

Try not to worry and enjoy your painkillers (with any luck, you got some percocets).
posted by mixer at 4:43 PM on December 27, 2006

It's normal, but keep your effing mouth closed, fool, or you will have the potential to be in some serious, serious pain forthwith.

Stitches, plus clotted material.

Still not a dentist, but I used to manage a dental office. (Now, go call your dental office, tell them what you did and ask whether you should apply heat or cold, because I can't remember.) I only pray that you didn't poke at the white stuff!
posted by bilabial at 4:49 PM on December 27, 2006

Response by poster: bilabial:
I only pray that you didn't poke at the white stuff!

Not to worry, I'm really a wimp and afraid of pain, despite the generic Percocets. It's a mystery to me, though, why people don't regularly die of sepsis or whatever from the filthy broth floating around their mouths and running into the holes left by removed teeth. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

I will assume that it's normal and just chill out until my followup check next week.

Thanks, MeFi!
posted by spacewrench at 5:20 PM on December 27, 2006

Oh, it's not for the risk of infected death that I hope you aren't poking at things, but that the pain is just...just excruciating if things back there don't heal properly. That whole dry socket thing they talk about? It's not just words to scare you. In fact, a lot of offices really play the whole potential for pain way down. (And I had relatively mild recoveries, except the time I heaved when waking up from general...I told them I couldn't not eat for 12+ hours!)

I had mine out in three distinct surgeries and whoo, if I could have done it all at once and spared myself the two extra ordeals, I would in a heart beat!

Again, keep the mouth shut and the fingers out.
posted by bilabial at 6:58 PM on December 27, 2006

Do the mild salt rinses that I hope they recommended. I remember getting my wisdom teeth out. I had to crash on my parents' couch to recover and thank the dieties for the painkillers (I took half doses and saved the rest for "rainy days" but that's not here or there). Gentle salt water rinses. Careful choices of food and everything else for at least a week.

Follow the advice they gave you. They sure don't want to see you back there with complications.

And happy healing to you!
posted by lilywing13 at 1:21 AM on December 28, 2006

It's probably packing material which gradually dissolves.
posted by biscotti at 9:30 PM on December 28, 2006

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