How to Care for Your Mouth After Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is one of the dental treatments that most patients dread. The treatment has been linked to high pain levels and great discomfort. Even then, it is not every day that a dentist in Rockville MD prescribes tooth extraction. If anything, dentistry is geared toward saving the natural teeth for as long as possible. Therefore, in an instance where a dental expert recommends tooth extraction, there is usually a valid reason informing the decision. Read on to find out more about the procedure, and how you can take care of your mouth after tooth removal.
What Is Tooth Extraction?
It is a dental process that involves the removal of a mature adult tooth from its root. Usually, it is considered a tooth infection treatment for patients who have problematic teeth. Such a procedure is only given on a need basis. Dental experts often result in tooth restoration and preservation measures, as opposed to removal. This means that there are several reasons for getting your tooth removed, including the following:
- Severe tooth decay – the process of tooth decay begins with cavities. However, with time the infection can spread and become a severe case of tooth decay. This usually introduces other oral problems like bad breath, severe toothache, swollen gums, to mention a few.
- Abscessed tooth – when a tooth is infected, the infection penetrates to the inside of the tooth. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the root of a tooth because of the infection. Such a tooth is pulled out to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the tooth.
- Impacted wisdom teeth – wisdom teeth removal is very common in tooth extraction procedures. Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to grow. They grow at the far back of both the upper and lower jaw. These teeth start to grow in between the ages of 16 and 25 years old. When they grow unusually, they can pose a problem to your oral cavity. They make it hard to chew comfortably and can be difficult to clean. For this reason, a dentist can recommend removing the wisdom teeth.
- For orthodontics – orthodontics is a specialty in dentistry concerned with the realignment of teeth. some patients that require the treatment have a crowded mouth. This means that the jawbone is not big enough for all the teeth to be straight. Therefore, an orthodontist will remove a tooth or more to create more room for the rest of the teeth.
After-care Tips for Tooth Extraction
After your procedure, things will feel different in your mouth. For one, you will have a missing tooth. This means that you have to adjust to the situation, especially when it comes to chewing and biting into foods. The level of care after tooth extraction will determine how well your mouth heals. Some of the after-care tips to employ after your procedure include the following:
- Cold compress – after your procedure, the numbing medication will start to wear off. Your dentist will recommend a cold compress to help alleviate the discomfort as well as the swelling. Often, dentists recommend eating ice-cream after your procedure.
- Keep your tongue away from the extraction site – your body naturally forms a blood clot to start the healing process. Dislodging it works against it, delaying your healing. Besides, the last thing you want is to allow more bleeding at the site.
- Eat soft foods – you may need to be in a liquid diet for the first couple of hours after your procedure. Eventually, you can introduce yourself to other soft foods, until you are ready for hard foods again.
- Avoid using straws – sucking fluids through straws allows air into your mouth, which can dislodge the blood clot. This will leave you with a dry socket that can be very uncomfortable to bear.
- Use a soft toothbrush – even though you just had a tooth removed, you cannot avoid cleaning your mouth. The last thing you want is for bacteria to cause an infection on the wound. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles to keep the mouth clean. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the wound that is just getting healed. Instead, you can use mouthwash or salty water to rinse your mouth and kill bacteria.