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girlofscience's avatar

Has anyone ever had a gum exostosis? Care to share your experience?

Asked by girlofscience (7567points) February 2nd, 2009

I have a single exostosis on my upper gum. It is a small, bony growth under the gum that occurs in approximately 3% of people. It emerges in early adulthood and is more common in females, especially those who are stressed and have Type-A personalities. It is believed to be tied to teeth-grinding.

Mine is somewhat uncomfortable, so I will likely have it removed by an oral surgeon.

Has anyone else had this? Have you had it removed? What was the surgery and healing process like?

:( :( :( :( :(

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23 Answers

TylerM's avatar

Topics: sad

I don’t know whether to find that funny or depressing.

joni1977's avatar

I’ve never had it done, but I was once a dental assistant. It’s a pretty cool procedure. From what I remember (that’s if I remember correctly), the surgeon will expose the bony area and gently shave the excess bone away with the surgical handpiece. Then finish by smoothing away any jagged bone and suturing up the gums. But don’t worry. The surgeon will make sure you are good and numbed before he begins and the only thing you will feel is the vibration from the surgical handpiece – is he even has to use it. The worst part will only be the sore gums during the healing process. Most Oral Surgeons like using the dissolvable sutures. Hope this helps! :)

tinyfaery's avatar

So that’s what that thing is. THANK YOU girlofscience!!! I have one of those and I do grind my teeth, but I wouldn’t say I am a type A personality. Lurve.

girlofscience's avatar

@joni1977: Thank you so much; great insight! How common were they? Was the person uncomfortable during the surgery? Is it a big deal?

@tinyfaery: Haha, glad I helped you figure out what it was!

joni1977's avatar

Well when I was in the dental field, I found it to be more common in middle aged men and women. Especially if they were missing several teeth. But that’s not to say you’re wrong. As with any surgery, patients were very nervous, but the hardest part was getting past the anesthesia. If you feel you will be too nervous under local anesthesia, it would be a good idea to ask your surgeon to sedate you. I noticed when some patients were really nervous, the anesthesia took longer to take effect, which some will argue is not completely true.

It is not a big deal, just make sure you follow all post-operative instructions, such as proper rinsing – especially after meals, avoiding spicy foods and keeping the incision area clean while the gums heal. Again, you should be fine!

girlofscience's avatar

@joni1977: I am not middle aged, and I am certainly not missing any teeth! From what I’m reading, they usually emerge in early adulthood, but they most commonly become a problem when people need dentures, which could explain why people needed to have them removed if they were missing several teeth. I could probably get on fine without having it removed, but it happens to be positioned in an uncomfortable place, so I’m thinking I might as well just get it taken out.

Thanks for all the info! You have made me feel a lot better.

joni1977's avatar

LOL, I know you’re not middle aged and yes, it’s true they were definitely a problem for patients needing partials and dentures. I never had the privilege to work with kids (Pedodontics) so I never saw them in the younger generation. But they did vary from young to old adults.

90s_kid's avatar

Well, I can not give a direct answer, sorry. But to make sure we are all on the same boat, I just want to say:
I have heard of holes on the top of gums. It was in TLC’s “My Shocking Story” before. I myself once had a pain on my lower gum, which lasted for a month and it hurt very badly, especially when touched.

Darwin's avatar

How interesting. I had not heard them called exostoses (the plural of exotosis), although I have heard them referred to as tori (the singular is torus). I was told by one dentist that it was a form of “Elephant Man Disease.” However, whether he meant neurofibromatosis or the current diagnosis of Proteus syndrome, I do not know. In any case, I am glad it isn’t.

The reason why I have heard of them at all is because I have had them most of my life in several parts of my mouth. I have buccal exostoses all the way along all of my upper and lower molars, with one particular one being really a problem. I also have really large mandibular tori inside my lower jaw. I do not, however, have a Type A personality, although I do sometimes grind my teeth.

I haven’t considered having them removed as long as there is still room for my tongue in my mouth. The large one that gets irritated is easily dealt with – I simply don’t eat the things that irritate it.

However, I did have one removed accidentally – I was having surgery for another problem when I developed asthma and had to be intubated. In their rush to keep me breathing the surgical team actually cracked an exostosis. The fractured bits of bone eventually worked their way out, but in the meantime the pain from that was so great I never even noticed the pain from my surgical site.

Based on what it felt like to heal from the accidental removal I would think long and hard before I had any others removed. Let’s hope I never need dentures!

joni1977's avatar

@Darwin: yes, they are called tori (tor-eye). Again, it’s been years since I worked as a dental assistant, so I’m a bit rusty on my dental terminology. But the point is, the excess bone can create problems in people of all ages on the buccal/facial and lingual sides. I sometimes wonder if the First Lady has this problem on the lower jaw.

Darwin's avatar

@girlofscience – Maybe the way her lower face is shaped?

joni1977's avatar

I just always noticed that when she smiles her lower lip seems like it’s extending over something…if that makes any sense.

andriam's avatar

Tori and exostosis are actually similar conditions, just located in different areas of the mouth. They are both actually fairly common.

Exostosis is usually asymptomatic and can pose a problem when any prosthetic is being fabricated. The cause is actually neoplastic (abnormal growth of cells) and not predetermined by personality type nor parafunctional habits, such as grinding.

Torus (tori) is genetic and is usually located on the roof and the floor of the mouth. it is also asymptomatic and can pose problem when fabricating dentures.

Most people manage fine with both conditions. It may be uncomfortable during x-rays and when the occasional chip pokes the gum tissue! =o)

garyg's avatar

Well, I’m 46 years old male I had my first Boney Exotosis remove when I was 35, it was both lower outer gums, Suregy took about 35 min and post surgery was pretty easy, Just follow the instructions they give you, Ice on 20 min then off 20 min, we used frozen bags of peas. They work great. On Dec 1,09 just 3 days ago I had the surgery again, this time upper and lower, both outer. SO far it hasn’t been to bad I used the pain med for the first 2 day and have been able to control the post pain with OTC drugs. I do have a mouth full of stitches which are starting to come out already. Fell free to contact me direct if you have further question make sure to place oral surgery in the subject line. I might forget to check back on this site as often as I should.

bstangs's avatar

I had this done Friday-10th-December. They put me out with liquid Valium. Said they drilled it and used a bone file. Ive been really sore till today 12/14/09 and noticed that I still have half of the sharp edge coming through my gum. I called the Office and told them the bone was edging my tongue and they said let it heal! right bne is sticking through my gum and let it heal. I was told they were wanting me to come back so to charge my ins. more money. The made me sit for 2.5 hours on a unactive IV and, sat in a sergury chair for another two hours waiting for my turn. I reported them to QIO of Tennessee. Beware read reviews about Doctors before a sergury!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...

flicky's avatar

I have a bony lump on the tongue facing part of my lower jaw, i think ive had it a while, i have always grinded my teeth, since i was little i used to wake my mum up, it’s been really worrying me, doesnt hurt, and when i look in my mouth it’s not that visable but i can feel it with my tounge!! Going to the dentist monday, but as i said imsure i had it last time i went and nothing was said! and i am definately a type A personality! I do get easily stressed, hence the teeth grinding, and i’m a busy bee all the time, if i’m not i get worried, hence why i’m worrying about this!! ahhhh! lol

caridgway's avatar

I have a lot of extostoses on the buccal (cheek) side of both my mandible and maxilla and to a lesser extent on the lingual side of the maxilla. The dentist offered removal but since the only time they bother me is when she presses her mirror on them while working on my teeth I opted to forgo the procedure and asked her to hold my lip aside in the most troublesome area with her fingers. Then I had a tooth pulled and had some broken bone sticking up and irritating my gum. While they were in there getting that they took care of the extostosis over that area. Here is the procedure:
1) Linocane injections in the palate and outer gum.
I2) ncision from the mid-line where the tooth was and up over the outer gun to create a flap of gum that is lifted up to get to the bone.
3) The bone was ground down with what felt like a rasp. They can also use a power grinder or a chisel.
4) The flap is stitched down and you eat baby food for a week while it heals and the stitches dissolve
When I took a heavy duty prescription pain reliever that I had left over from the extraction and when that wore off I switched to normal ibuprofin.
The oral surgeon had offered to take more of them off but I told him that since they didn’t bother me unless they were poked and that didn’t happen too often I would leave well enough alone. After he got going I was glad of that decision. While I didn’t have any pain the procedure was more uncomfortable than when they broke the bone and drilled out each of the three roots when they tried to pull the tooth. I can’t imagine what it would be like if they had used a chisel. A power grinder might have been a little less bothersome.

caridgway's avatar

As noted above I have extostoses and have had some of it removed which was less than a pleasant experience.
Now it seems that the extostoses might benefit me.
I am investigating having in implant which will necessitate a bone graft to replace the bone that was lost during and after the extraction. I asked about using some of my extostoses for the donor bone and it seems that it is likely. I figured I would kill two birds with one stone, get rid of some of the extostoses and accomplish the bone graft. My dentist informs me that if we can do it that way it will bean buying less bottled bone and reduce my bill for the graft procedure.

Cat12141966's avatar

I am so thankful for joni1977 comment, after reading all the horror stories I was sure my problem was going to be disastrous But Thankful I had one positive feed back to look at that said it was basically a simple procedure and guess what ( It Was! ) So now I am sharing my positive experience with you all. Had all teeth removed bottoms first then tops 3 weeks ago.. Bone felt like it was coming out of gum and went back to dentist was very nervous with all that i read but grateful for (joni1977 dental assistant) He was right dentist filed it down with in 5 minutes and was smooth to touch with tongue and feel the difference! I was so happy!! Now dentures next week and will blog about that hopefully in a positive aspect….. I do know and understand that others have had awful experience with dentist, when i was young they tied me to a dentist chair and trust me I have a lot issues going to one even tho i am old now…Hope this helps

glg's avatar

Guess I’ll be going for round 3 removal soon

mslucyc's avatar

I have it on my entire upper, on the buccal (outer) side. Some on the lower, but not nearly as prominent. All the way around way from the back left to the back right. I had the surgery a few years ago. Hours of grinding, 29 stitches and over a week recovery. Now, they are growing back, much much faster than the 40 years or took to get them big the first time. Looks like in another 4 or 5 years, I’ll have to do it all over again. I had a great doc, but he retired right after my procedure. He said in his 30 year career, my exostosis was in the “top 3” worst he’s seen. He said he “worked like a dog” to grind it all down and the gum tissue was paper thin. Lucky me. :-( I’ll have to find a new doc to do it the next time. I had no choice, I didn’t want to look like I was growing tusks. The largest bumps are over my canines. Good luck with yours.

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