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When Can I Use Mouthwash After A Tooth Extraction

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By Author: James Franklin
Total Articles: 115
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Following a tooth extraction, you might find the experience to be quite unpleasant. If you have been sedated, you will feel light-headed and unwell upon waking up. A few hours after, you will have a swollen and painful mouth that can last for days and even weeks following the procedure.

There are many reasons for your dentist to necessitate or recommend a tooth extraction. This can be a tooth that is causing overcrowding in your mouth, a damaged one that can no longer be salvaged with root canal therapy, or maybe an impacted wisdom teeth that is putting you at risk for infection.

Following the extraction procedure, you will be furnished with specific instructions on how to keep your mouth clean and promote speedy healing. One of the most common questions patients have after a tooth extraction is if they can use mouthwash right after. Are mouthwashes really necessary after you get a tooth removed? Read on and find out.

What is a Mouthwash?

A mouthwash is a very common dental care product that supports both the health and look of the teeth. It is available in lots of variations, but most of them contain antiseptics that can aid in cleaning the mouth by flushing out bacteria and food debris that can cause plaque formation and tooth decay.

Despite the advertised benefits of mouthwashes, it is important to note that they need to be viewed as a mere addition to your daily brushing and flossing, and not as a replacement. Even the best mouthwash when used alone in the market today can never replicate the same degree of cleanliness that brushing and flossing gives.

Mouthwashes After Extraction

Being an antiseptic, mouthwashes are very useful for eliminating bacteria following a procedure that has left a wound – like a tooth extraction. However, this does not automatically make they safe for use following every kind tooth removal. Right after the extraction, a blood clot will form over the affected area that is rich in blood cells. If the clot is dislodged by rinsing or even with simple brushing, bleeding can happen.

It can sometimes take weeks for the gums to completely heal, but many dentists will already recommend that you refrain from rinsing your mouth for at least 48 hours after the procedure. In the meantime, you can only rinse with a salt and warm water solution a few times a day until the whole process of healing is complete.

There are no ingredients in manufactured mouthwashes that can harm you, but it is important to note that most of them contain alcohol. This can cause them to sting when used on the extraction site, and cause the development of a dry socket, which is a painful side effect of extractions. Because of this, it is recommended that you first wait until the gums have fully healed before you start using an alcohol-based mouthwash.

Recommended Mouthwashes

When it comes to mouthwashes, most dentists recommend chlorhexidine. Numerous researches have noted its effectiveness in eliminating pathogenic bacteria in the mouth. Also, unlike other antiseptics, it can remain active in the soft tissue for a longer amount of time. Chlorhexidine is a strong antiseptic, so you need to pick the right concentration and regime. Thus, it needs to be prescribed by a dentist.

If you are scheduled for a tooth extraction, ask your dentist beforehand on the best way to take care of your mouth in the days following the procedure. This way, you are assured of a quick, comfortable and problem-free recovery period. Before you know it, you will find yourself completely recovered and rocking your healthier and more beautiful smile!

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