A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
Do you need one of your teeth extracted? This can happen because it broke due to trauma, or it simply because you need to make some room for other teeth. It is worth knowing what the extraction site should look like to ensure that it is healing properly. Here are two specific things to look out for:
A Dark Socket
Take a look at the center of the socket where the tooth was extracted. Does it look like a dark black or red color? You may think this is a reason to be concerned, but it's actually normal. When you suffer a scratch on your skin, you immediately start to notice a scab form in its place. However, it is moist inside your mouth, and blood will start to fill in your empty tooth socket, which will then harden. The process is known as blood clotting, and they can be quite dark when they form.
The purpose of a blood clot is to give your jaw protection from all kinds of bacteria that can get into the empty socket. The clot also prevents the socket from continuing to bleed. They typically form within a day of the tooth extraction, which is indicated by the area no longer bleeding.
Be concerned if you see red spots that surround the socket and the bleeding continues past a day; this means you could use some additional help getting a blood clot to form. Your dentist may use a special dressing to stop bleeding and speed up the blood clotting process.
A White Patch
When a scab develops over the extraction site, the color will change to white. This happens when the material that makes a scab starts to absorb moisture, which causes the scab to expand and change color. For a comparison, consider how a scab looks after you have soaked it in a bath and how it turns white. Since your mouth is so moist, it is natural for a scab in a tooth socket to look the same way.
Once the scab eventually breaks apart on its own, you'll notice new gum material underneath the scab. The color will look pinkish which is a good indication that things are healing properly. There will also be a small dip in your gums when the scab goes away, which will eventually heal over time.
Speak to your dentist when you have more questions about how gums heal after a tooth extraction. You can also visit sites like http://www.treasuredsmilesdentistry.com for more information.