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Oral Surgery/Concerns after tooth extractions

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Question
I had two tooth extractions (upper molars) 3 days ago so that I am able to have braces put on, and am now a bit concerned about the extraction site. Since the extractions, I have been very careful to only eat soft foods (e.g. mash potato, creamy soups etc.) and have been doing salt water mouth washes each morning and evening over the past two days. However, I have noticed since yesterday that there is a small white ball of 'something' (looks kind of soft, not solid like a piece of tooth) that is on the extraction site. I poked at it softly with a cue tip and it did not come loose, so I figured it was not food. I am experiencing some slight tenderness but overall I am not feeling any pain. Is this normal? I am worried that this might be an infection. If this is not an infection, what could it be? I wasn't really told what I should expect to see on the extraction site afterwards, so I am a bit nervous when seeing this. What should I do?

Answer
Bec - Of course not being able to examine you I cannot be 100% sure, but what you describe is actual normal healing.  Early on in the healing process, the extraction socket fills with blood and after a few hours the clot solidifies.  It becomes a bridge to allow for and promote the growth of cells to help heal the socket.  The only thing you should do, since it sounds like you are experiencing normal healing, is to do warm salt water rinses after meals and a couple of other times a day.  The rinsing will help to speed the healing.  

So it sounds like you are healing well.

Any more questions, feel free to contact me again.

Oral Surgery

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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