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Oral Surgery/White gums around teeth


Hello Dr. Tieg!

I had oral surgery on Thursday (3 days ago), in the roof of my mouth to uncover and bracket an impacted cuspid. The also put aTAD in the jaw bone of the same area. The surgery went fine except for the tremendous pain in the beginning due to the numerous, like 7 or 8 I think, novocaine needles. I haven't taken any pain meds other than the 800 mg ibuprofin they gave me in oral surgeon's office right after the surgery, just have been taking quite a few homeopathic remedy tablets (Traumeel) and the pain's been minimal. I've been doing the salt water rinses and another mouth rinse with sodium bicarbonate, essential oils, and COQ10 (ECO DENT). The terrible decay-like breath and smell have mostly gone away by today, but my gums in that area are super white. Is this something to be concerned about? Will the color return on its own? Is there something else I should do to help the healing process?

Kristin -  The whiteness of the gum tissue in the area of the surgery is not totally uncommon with the excess number of novocaine injections, the cutting of the tissue and the exposure of the tooth.  The color will return, but it is extremely important for you to keep the area clean.  I see that you are using warm salt water rinses, but you need to use warm salt water for about 5 minutes, 4-5 times a day to rinses, swish and soak that area of the palate.  Besides the warm salt water cleaning the area, the warmth is very important as it causes the blood vessels in the area to open more and provide more blood to the area to heal it.  In addition the warm salt water helps the body to form new blood vessels in the area to increase the blood flow and speed the healing.  

So do the warm salt water as I said an it will help to heal the area much quicker and allow the area to turn pink much quicker.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


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.


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

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

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

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