Dental work that requires the extraction of a tooth or any direct contact with the underlying alveolar bone can occasionally have an odd side effect. Sometimes, small fragments of bone or tooth dentin can be left behind, which then become lodged inside your gums during the healing process. Your body now registers these fragments as foreign objects and will attempt to discard them. As the fragments work their way outwards, you may begin to feel small spikes in your gum tissues as the fragments begin to exit. What do you need to do about these spurs?
Don't Remove Them Yourself
Even though the end of the fragment is protruding outwards, and it seems as though you could easily extract it with a pair of tweezers, this isn't a great idea. It's all too simple to accidentally push the spur back into your gums, which is actually working against your body (which is trying to expel the fragment). Should you see your dentist to have the spur removed?
Not a Major Concern
These tiny bone fragments are a common byproduct of certain dental procedures, and they're not a major concern. However, a fragment can become stuck in your gums on its outward journey, causing the gingival tissue encasing the spur to become inflamed. This will be an annoyance, rather than anything that causes pain (and some minor discomfort is all you'll be facing). In this case, yes, you should see your dentist to have the spur removed. What about when the spur is obvious but isn't causing any discomfort whatsoever?
Wait and See
It might seem illogical for a medical professional to suggest that a stray bone fragment can be left as is, but these bone spurs will often resolve themselves without the need for dental care. You might find that your gingival tissues will expel the spur into your mouth, and you will swallow it without even being aware of it. It could be that you wake up one morning and the spur will be gone. Still, you shouldn't hesitate to contact your dentist if you have any concerns.
You will generally be advised to monitor the process of the spur and to visit your dentist if the spur should become an irritant, or if you should notice any related symptoms that might require care. Beyond that, it's usually just a case of waiting for the spur to resolve itself.