Why Swish Salt Water After Tooth Extraction?

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It may be necessary for your dentist to pull a tooth when the tooth has been excessively damaged, either through disease or injury. Extraction is also indicated for an impacted tooth. Swishing salt water after an extraction can help you heal.

Why Salt Water?

  • Salt water, especially when made with sea salt, has the power to gently cleanse the wound. It helps shrink tissues to aid in the healing process. Regular mouthwashes, even those without alcohol, are too harsh. Make a salt water rinse by adding 1/2 tsp. of salt to a 4 oz. glass of warm water. Swish gently.

Caring for Your Extraction Site

  • After you have a tooth pulled, you have a hole in your gums that extends down into your jawbone. In a healthy person, the bone and tissue eventually fill in. In the meantime, you have to take care of yourself and the extraction site. It is recommended that you rinse with salt water three times a day for several days. In addition, keep your activity level at a minimum so you don't raise your blood pressure and cause the wound to bleed excessively. Soft foods are recommended but drinking through a straw is not, as it creates pressure on the site.

Considerations

  • Some tooth extractions are relatively simple, while other cases are more traumatic. Your age, dental health, and overall health will be important considerations in taking care of yourself and the extraction site after the extraction. Be sure to follow your dentist's instructions. Most will be able to give you written instructions to take home and follow. Almost all dentists will recommend using a salt water rinse.

References

  • Photo Credit tooth image by saied shahinkiya from Fotolia.com
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