The process of wisdom teeth removal can be quite unpleasant. Not only might you feel unwell and light-headed due to sedation, but you can also expect to experience a swollen and painful mouth. These discomforts can linger for several days or even weeks following the extraction.
Wisdom teeth are commonly extracted because they usually emerge at the back of the jaw when there is little or no room left in the gums. Consequently, they may come in crooked or get stuck, failing to fully erupt. This can lead to further issues like recurrent infection, which can be extremely painful and debilitating.
If you experience recurring problems with your wisdom teeth, your dentist may recommend extraction. This procedure involves removing the back teeth by loosening them from the socket or, in some cases, making an incision in the gum.
After the extraction, you will receive specific instructions for promoting healing and maintaining oral hygiene. One question many patients have is when they can start using mouthwash after the procedure.
What is Mouthwash?
Mouthwash is a widely used dental product that enhances the health and appearance of teeth. While numerous types of mouthwash exist, most contain antiseptics that help clean the mouth by flushing out food debris and bacteria, thereby preventing plaque acids and tooth decay. However, it’s crucial to note that mouthwash should complement regular brushing and flossing, not replace them. When used alone, mouthwash cannot achieve the same level of cleanliness as traditional brushing and flossing.
Can I Use Mouthwash after My Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Most mouthwashes are antiseptic, making them beneficial for eliminating bacteria, especially after a procedure that leaves a wound, such as a tooth extraction. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand that using mouthwash immediately after a tooth removal is not automatically safe. After the extraction, a blood clot forms over the affected gum area, which is vital for preventing excessive bleeding. Dislodging this clot by brushing or rinsing the area can trigger bleeding again.
While complete gum healing may take several weeks, most dentists advise refraining from mouth rinsing for at least 48 hours after extraction. After this period, it is recommended to rinse with a warm water and salt solution four times a day until the healing process is complete.
Although manufactured mouthwashes do not contain harmful ingredients, it is worth noting that they do contain alcohol. This can cause stinging when applied to the affected area and potentially lead to dry socket, a painful condition that commonly occurs after extractions. Therefore, it is best to wait until your gum is fully healed before considering the use of an alcohol-based mouthwash.
If you have a scheduled wisdom tooth extraction, your dentist will provide instructions on how to care for your mouth and gums in the days following the procedure. However, if you still have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us and speak to our dental team.
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