1. Bite firmly on the gauze for at least 30-60 minutes; change the gauze every 30-45 minutes. If the fresh extraction site seems to “ooze blood” slightly, do not panic! This is normal because small amount of blood may mix with saliva for up to 24 hours after the tooth extraction.
2. If excessive bleeding occurs, apply pressure with a gauze to the extraction site and hold for 30 minutes. Alternatively, bite on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in most tea will help to stop and reduce bleeding. If excessive bleeding still occurs continuously even with applied pressure for more than an hour, please contact your dentist for advice.
3. It is better not to brush the gum at the extraction site as you may “brush out” the blood clot; brush the biting surfaces of the teeth gently for 2-4 days. You can also use a cotton bud dipped in an antiseptic mouthwash to clean the site gently.
4. Do not use straw, spit out the saliva/blood, or rinse frequently within the first 24 hours as this action may trigger bleeding and mechanical irritation to the extraction site.
5. Avoid smoking and alcohol as it will delay the healing process.
6. On the first night after the extraction, elevate your head with pillows, if possible, when you sleep.
7. Do not “lick” or “poke” at the extraction site; keep your tongue and finger away.
8. Please return for a review appointment as advised by the dentist.
Dry socket is one of the potential complications after an extraction.
After an extraction, blood clot will be formed in the socket at the extraction site to stop bleeding and provide framework for new tissues to develop. In dry socket, the blood clot is dislodged or dissolves, leaving the bone exposed to bacteria in saliva, air, food and fluid. The bone becomes infected and painful for a few days. The pain can be severe, throbbing and radiating, sometimes to the ear. Furthermore, the person will have bad breath and unpleasant smell and taste in the mouth.
To relieve the pain, a pain-killer can be taken. However, it is advisable to see your dentist again so that he can remove any food debris, clean the socket with antiseptics and fill it with medicated dressing to support healing process. He may prescribe you with antibiotics, if needed.
Smoking may increase the risk of having dry socket, therefore please refrain from smoking for at least a few days after an extraction.
More and more people are interested in getting their teeth bleached, especially among the young adult population, for aesthetic purpose. The most effective and safe way to do teeth whitening is to visit your dentist.
The in-office bleaching materials used by the dentists usually contain 15%-38% hydrogen peroxide, whereas the hydrogen peroxide content in off-the-shelves bleaching products ranges from 3% to 10% only.
The dentist will do a proper examination and diagnosis first. Every tooth decay or leaking filling must be fixed first. If not, your teeth will become very sensitive after exposure to the whitening material. The peroxide can also damage the tooth nerve if the decays or leaks are left untreated. Gum protection is important too to prevent chemical burns during the procedure.
Visit your dentist soon to get a bright and charming smile.
Baby bottle caries is also known as early childhood caries or nursing bottle decays. It is characterized by severe decay in the teeth of infants or young children. Since the milk/baby tooth is more susceptible to tooth decay than permanent tooth, the caries develop faster.
This type of caries is caused by frequent and prolonged contact between the child’s teeth and the sugar from milk, fruit juices and other sweet drink that is consumed. Decay occurs when sweetened liquids are given and left clinging to the teeth for long periods. Bacteria in the mouth use these sugars as food and they produce acids that attack the teeth. It is worse if the child drinks milk at night and sleeps with a bottle milk in his mouth. At night, the salivary flow is low. Thus the saliva cannot wash away all the milk. As a result, the milk stays in the mouth for a much longer time.
The good news is these decays are preventable. Please look out for our post next week on how to do so.