Post Surgery Care
The following information was provided to our patients of record who recently had extractions. It is placed on our web site for them to reference in the event they misplace their instruction sheet. If you had an extraction at another dental office please call that office to obtain instructions. Your dentist may have different recommendations based on your health history.
Home Care After Extractions
- NO SMOKING FOR AT LEAST 48 HOURS
- Leave gauze in place for 60 minutes.
- Do not rinse mouth today. Starting tomorrow, rinse mouth gently 3 to 4 times a day (especially after meals) mixing a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Continue rinsing for two Weeks. Avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting.
- Bleeding. Following extractions some bleeding is to be expected. If persistent bleeding occurs, place cool tea bag over bleeding area and bite down firmly for one-half hour. Repeat if necessary.
- Swelling. Ice should be applied to area for 30 minutes every 2-3 hours.
- Pain. For mild to moderate pain use ibuprofen (ex. Advil, Motrin) in between doses of your prescribed pain medicine. Avoid aspirin (ex. Bayer, Excedrin, BC Powder) and acetaminophen (ex: Tylenol) unless directed otherwise.
- Drinks. For the first 24 hours, hydrate with only cool or cold drinks. Drink plenty of fluids but avoid drinking through a straw (this may cause the clot to come loose). Do not drink alcohol for 48 hours.
- Bony Edges. Small, sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. These are not roots left behind. If painful, please call for removal.
- Brushing. For the first 24 hours, brushing is allowed except in the area of the extraction. Afterward gentle brushing is allowed through the entire mouth. Avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting.
- Rest. Take it easy for the first 48 hours after extraction. No heavy lifting or working out. Try not to bend over or sneeze any more than absolutely needed.
- Unusual Symptoms. Please call our office immediately if any unusual symptoms occur.
Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease and is an infection and inflammation that affects the tissues and bone that support your teeth.
Warning Signs of Gum Disease:
- Gums bleed when you brush or floss
- Gums are red, swollen, puffy or tender
- Gums no longer tightly hug your teeth
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Feeling of loose teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the way your partial dentures fit
Causes of Gum Disease:
Plaque is a sticky film that is always on your teeth. Bacteria that live in the plaque can cause your gums to become red, puffy and swollen. When plaque is not removed from the teeth, it can harden into tartar. Once tartar has formed around your teeth, it is harder to keep them clean on your own.
Gums that are red, puffy and swollen may start to pull away from the teeth. Spaces called pockets start to form between your gums and teeth, giving bacteria a place to collect and grow. The bacteria in your pockets will cause your gum disease to worsen, breaking down the gum tissue and bone around your teeth.
Stages of Gum Disease:
Healthy Gums: Teeth are held in place by gums, bone and connective tissues. Gums tightly hug your teeth and there is little to no buildup of plaque and tartar.
Gingivitis: The bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become red, tender and swollen. Your gums may bleed at this stage. You can also have gingivitis and not show any symptoms.
Periodontitis: In time, your body responds to the toxins produced by bacteria by breaking down the gum tissues and bone around your teeth.
Advanced Periodontitis: In this stage, your teeth become loose, fall out, or need to be removed. Loose or missing teeth can create problems
Deep Cleans / Periodontal Scaling & Root Planing
Cleaning your mouth every day at home is a must, but it is not enough on its own to treat gum disease. All dentists are trained to detect and treat gum disease, but your dentist may also refer you to a periodontist — a dentist who specializes in the treatment of gum disease.
If your gum disease is caught early enough, you may simply need a professional cleaning. If your gum disease is more severe, you may require a special deep cleaning which is also referred to as scaling and root planing.
Scaling: Scaling is when your dentist or hygienist carefully removes plaque and tartar from below the gumline and down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket.
Root planing: Root planing cleans and smoothes the tooth root and helps the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth.
Causes of Tooth Decay
Sip and snack all day? Risk decay!
Certain eating patterns and food choices can lead to tooth erosion and cavities. Sugary foods and drinks such as sports drinks, sodas, energy drinks, candy and even dried fruits can increase your risk of erosion and cavities.
When you do not remove the plaque from your teeth everyday by brushing and flossing, the plaque builds up. This causes the plaque to create acid from the sugars found in what you eat and drink. The acid attacks the enamel, the hard surface of your tooth. The acid stays on the enamel for up to 20 minutes after you are finished eating and drinking. Eventually, your enamel can wear away from these acids and cavities start to form. Cavities do not go away on their own and must be treated by a dentist.
Ways to lower your risk of cavities:
- Avoid sugary drinks when possible
- Limit snacks between meals
- If you have sugary foods and drinks, have them with meals
- Chew sugarless gum that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance
- See your dentist regularly
Replacement teeth should last for years at a time, so it is important to choose a treatment that’s right for you. Depending on your needs, your dentist may suggest one of the following:
- Removable Partial Dentures (link to Dentures page)
- Fixed Bridges (link to Dental Implants page)
Implants (link to Dental Implants page)