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Lump on Jaw Bone
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Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

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Lump on Jaw Bone


First, some context....

In May/June of this past year, I developed a lump on my jaw bone. Thinking that it was a problem with a tooth (maybe an impacted wisdom tooth?) I went to the dentist. At this point the lump was maybe not quite the size of a pea. I went to the dentist and they had no same-day appointments, and that if I was worried about the lump that I should go to the ER. So at the ER they gave me 2 EKGs and a CT scan, told me it was my lymph node, prescribed me antiobiotics and the official diagnosis was "strep throat"... even though I didn't have a sore throat or a fever and they never did a throat culture. One thing they DID tell me, was "it's definitely NOT your tooth, and you shouldn't worry about it... just leave it alone and it will go away." It got worse and I saw a doctor, who said it was a lymph node again, and that probably from a dental infection. They did some bloodwork and told me to see the dentist. So then I went to the dentist and they took Xrays and found "something" and then told me they weren't "comfortable" treating me. (Like a shadow on the bottom of the xray?) They said that there was infection there, but that because the mass or whatever it is was not painful, fixed and firm (like bone) they wanted a surgeon to look at it.  And they referred me to an oral surgeon. Then I got the whole lecture about how irresponsible I was about not dealing with this and I could die etc etc etc.

When I asked what it could be they wouldn't tell me anything.... just that I needed to see an oral surgeon. I am confused as to why they did that... if my tooth is infected, I don't understand why they didn't prescribe me antibiotics and if it's possibly serious, why people keep passing me around like they do.

What could it be and what should I do?

http://s17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/Elena1282/?action=view&current=Fullscreencapture10222009125134PM.jpg
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540545_tn?1377626518
I can't really tell you from the picture or your description.  I would say that if it was an infection, it probably could be managed by a dentist.  You should definitely see an oral surgeon to get a biopsy to see what it is.  It may be a cyst or cancer in your jaw bone although if its in your neck and its a lymph node, your doctors should be managing that area rather than an oral surgeon.  Still, it would be best to get it checked out and definitely find out what it is.
2 Comments
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1082629_tn?1256235686
Thank you. I have seen an oral surgeon and they have treated me for an infection; however, the lump has not subsided and am scheduled for a biopsy.
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A related discussion, small bump on right side of the jaw line was started.
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540545_tn?1377626518
Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
Irvine, CA
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