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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Tooth Extractions

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Having questions when choosing a dentist is natural! After all, your oral health is an important part of your overall health. Here is a list of some of the most common questions we receive. If you do not see yours listed below, please give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tooth Extractions

Cup of water | Gretna LA Dentist In one word, yes. Your mother and grandmother were right when they told you to gargle with salt water when your mouth hurts.  

Using warm salt water does help the mouth recover after surgery, and Dr. Schafer does recommend it. A study in 2014 showed that patients who had their wisdom teeth removed and who rinsed at least two times per day after surgery were less likely to have complications and post operative pain. The use of salt water has been documented by ancient Egyptians as well as ancient Greeks. It is great because it is cheap and safe.

Now generally it's best to gargle with salt water the day following the surgery so that the clot that has formed around the surgical site can set and heal. Make the water super salty and not boiling hot but warm enough to be slightly uncomfortable. 

Man holding jaw from toothache pain | Dentist Gretna LAIf you have a toothache, you should call us at NOLA Dentures and General Dentistry or another friendly local dentist to get an appointment as soon as possible.  If you have a fever or swelling and you cannot make it to the dentist quickly, then you should either go to a local Urgent Care or to the Emergency Room for an evaluation.  Thankfully though most toothaches do not cause a fever or swelling. Unfortunately, though, a toothache rarely happens on your schedule, but rather it happens at the most inconvenient time possible. Ignoring the pain is not a good thing because it will likely get worse and make any dental treatment more difficult and more expensive. If the pain goes away though, that does not mean that the problem is gone but more likely the tooth's nerve has died and that you can no longer feel the pain from the infection.

Steps to Take to Temporarily Relieve Toothache Pain

To help relieve the pain temporarily, using common over the counter pain medication works. For minor toothaches, generally whatever you take for aches and pains works best.  For bigger toothaches, alternating Advil or ibuprofen and Tylenol or acetaminophen every 3 hours works well to control the pain if your physician allows you to take ibuprofen. Do not place aspirin near the site of the pain as it will cause a burn to the gums as it is acidic. Also, gels and pastes like Oral-gel do not work very well as they cannot penetrate deep enough.

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