Oral Health: Don't Ignore Your GumsOral Health: Don't Ignore Your Gums

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Oral Health: Don't Ignore Your Gums

When you go to your dentist, you are likely concerned about cavities and the stains on your teeth. If you are like me, then you probably never thought much about your gums. Unfortunately, this caused me to form a serious gum recession condition. My dentist said that hard brushing practices, poor flossing techniques, and even the consumption of sugary foods led to the recession. After some deep scaling treatments, I was informed that I needed a gum graft procedure. The gums are extremely important to your health. They provide your teeth with the nutrients they need and they protect the sensitive dental roots. The gums even keep bacteria away from your jaw bone. Don't ignore your gums like I did. Read my blog and learn about proper oral care techniques. Prevention practices can easily save your gums from necessary restoration.

What Happens to the Hole in Your Gums & Jaw After a Tooth Extraction?

During a tooth extraction, your dentist breaks up the tooth and then pulls it in pieces from your jaw. Do not worry; you will be numbed and/or sedated for the procedure, so you will not feel a thing. After, there is a hole in your jaw bone and a hole in the soft tissue of your gums. If you are worried about the holes, here is some information on what happens after the tooth is out to help alleviate your concerns. 

The Hole in Your Jaw Bone Will Heal on Its Own

Bones are designed to knit themselves back together. In the case of a tooth extraction, the hole in the jaw where your tooth was will begin creating new bone growth within a couple of weeks. The hole itself will fill with new bone cells within a few months, and within a year it will be as though there was never a tooth there at all to begin with. Ergo, the dentist tends to leave the hole in the jaw bone alone and let the body do its own thing.

The Hole in the Gum Tissue Will Be Addressed By the Dentist

A dentist has to use special tools to loosen and cut gum tissue away from a tooth that needs to be removed. Once the tooth is out, you have all of these little flaps of gum tissue that have nothing to adhere to or enclose. The gum will most likely bleed a lot, but the dentist will pack it and your cheek with plenty of spongey dental gauze to absorb the blood and apply pressure to the gum tissue.

They will also surgically stitch the hole in the tissue closed over the socket where the tooth once was. The stitches are made with dissolvable dental-approved surgical filament, which means that after a few weeks, the tissues will have healed, and most of the filament will have dissolved completely. If there are any filament pieces left, the dentist can gently remove them, or you can work them out yourself if they are really loose. While all of this is happening with the gums, the bone and the empty socket underneath are filling in and becoming solid to help support the healing soft tissue above. 

You'll Get a Care Kit 

Most dentists will send home instructions on how to care for your mouth after an extraction, as well as a "care kit" that includes prescriptions for pain medications and antibiotics. If the pain is tolerable to you, you can skip filling the pain prescription. However, you should fill and take the antibiotics to avoid infection in your mouth while the extraction site heals.

To be better prepared for a tooth extraction, contact a local dental clinic.