Dental medicine is constantly evolving. In many cases, a tooth that might have had to be extracted in the past can be saved today. However, there are still some occasions in which an extraction is necessary. If your mouth has too many teeth, some may need to be removed to relieve the problem. Teeth may need to be removed to prepare the mouth to accommodate orthodontics. A tooth may be extracted if it has been damaged by trauma or disease to the point that it is no longer viable. Once your tooth has been extracted, your dentist may close the socket with a dissolvable stitch, or he may send you home after setting up an appointment to check your progress and possibly discuss replacement options.
While you are recovering from the extraction, you will need to be careful to avoid a condition known as dry socket. A blood clot has formed in your tooth socket, and if that clot is removed or ruptured, the jawbone and nerves that the clot has been protecting will be exposed. You will be vulnerable to infection, and more than likely in severe pain. If dry socket occurs, contact your dentist, and he will clean and dress the area. You can avoid dry socket by eating soft and cool foods for the first 24 hours after the extraction, and by chewing food on the opposite side of your mouth. You can brush your other teeth, but you should gently wash the area of the extraction with a saltwater solution or an antibacterial rinse. Tobacco slows the healing process, and smoking can create suction which damage or rupture the clot, as can using a straw.
If you have a tooth that can use some attention, our dentist, Dr. Glenn MacFarlane will be happy to see you for an exam and a consultation. If you live in the Red Bank, New Jersey area and would like to make an appointment at The Center For Holistic Dental Medicine, you can call our office at 732-530-4020.