If an individual has a bad or decayed tooth or an impacted wisdom tooth, to prevent it affecting the surrounding teeth or gums, a dentist advises an extraction. A dental surgeon or dentist performs a simple surgery wherein the unwanted tooth is removed. This leaves an empty socket or pocket in the gums that is susceptible to an contagion. Upon extraction, after the initial bleeding, a blood clot is formed that protects the empty socket from bacterial infection.
Though in some cases a clot may not form, or is dislodged due to rinsing or sucking motion, leaving the socket vulnerable to an infection. If bleeding and pain doesn’t stop even 48 hours after extraction it may indicate an infection. The presence of these and some other accompanying symptoms should prompt an immediate visit to the dentist. Here are the aforementioned other symptoms that could indicate an infection.
► Facial pain and numbness
► Redness, swelling, or excessive discharge of pus
► Fever, chills and severe headache
► Sinus infection, after a month or two.
► Bad breath and bad taste in the mouth
► Nausea or vomiting
► Cough, shortness of breath and chest pain
► Sore jaw and difficultly in opening the mouth
Once the dentist has determined that the socket is infected, he/she will prescribe antibiotics and painkillers to subdue pain if any. Furthermore, treatment of such infections is simple and generally involves draining of infection from the wound. Here are some precautions and aftercare instruction that will reduce the risk of infections and help minimize discomfort after an extraction.
◘ Do not rinse your mouth immediately after the tooth is removed, as this could agitate or disturb the exposed socket and trigger heavy bleeding. If you feel thirsty, take sips and do not use a straw.
◘ Wait for 24 hours, then wash or rinse your mouth gently with ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of turmeric in 8 ounces of warm water. This will keep the extraction site clean as well as help in healing the dental cavity quickly.
◘ To reduce the swelling, place ice packs on the cheeks for 10 minutes at a time.
◘ Brush your teeth and tongue carefully, and do not forget to change the gauze pads frequently.
◘ To control the bleeding, do not sleep on the side, where the tooth was extracted. For a few days keep your head elevated with two pillows while sleeping. This will relieve tension in the jaws.
◘ Do not rub or touch the extraction area with your tongue or finger. As this might cause bleeding or infection, prolonging the healing time.
◘ Consume plenty of fluids, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, until the infection gets healed completely.
◘ Follow the suggestions and advice of your dentist regarding hygiene, rest, appropriate foods, and medication.
It’s important that you let your dentist know about your complete medical history, allergies or recent surgery, medication and supplements you are taking before a tooth extraction. Generally, tooth extraction recovery does not take long, but in some cases an infection could hamper the recovery process. Therefore, if you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, do not hesitate to visit your dentist to prevent further complications.