How To Stop A Post-Op Emergency

Your gums and jawbone are particularly vulnerable to infection after oral surgery. This is one of the reasons why postoperative instructions are so particular and why there are so many of them, to minimize the risk of infection and of developing dry socket. It is vitally important that you follow your instructions to the letter, but even if, you can still be unlucky and somehow catch an infection. By spotting an infection early on, you can save yourself a lot of trouble, pain and money. Here are some of the signs that warrant a call to your emergency dentist. 


Some swelling is to be expected after a surgery or an extraction, but if the swelling does not go down after three days, you definitely have a problem. If the swelling does not stop getting bigger with 12 hours after surgery, you may also have a problem that warrants the attention of an emergency dentist. 


You may have some bruising on your face or on your gums depending on what kind of procedure you had done, and this  is completely normal and to be worried about. If your gums start to turn a different color, that may be a sign of a bacterial infection. Directly after surgery your gums will be sore and probably quite red, but they should slowly return to their original color within a few days at most. If the gums start turning grey or colorless, that is definitely a sign of a problem, and if the area that is discolored is raised or swollen, that is also an indication that you may have an infection.


A blood clot should form over an extraction or implantation site, and if it does, it is vitally important that it stays where it is and is not disturbed or removed. If a blood clot does not form and the wound itself is exposed, or the blood clot falls off and the area is sensitive, you should go back to the dentist immediately. With extractions and oral surgery, some residual bleeding can always be expected, but it should not be constant, and it should not continue for more than a few hours. You may still see blood in your sputum when you brush your teeth for days after surgery, but if this does not return to normal after a week, you may have a bruised or hurt gingiva. 


Your mouth may be sore for maybe even a few days after surgery, and you may have chafed your lips and the corners of your mouth during the procedure, but this too should subside rather quickly. If the area is sore or tender after a couple of days, you may have a problem. If the pain is constant after a day or two, and is sharp, that can also indicate an infection. Sensitivity to warmth is usually an indication that there is a bacterial infection present. The site may be sensitive to cold indefinitely, but sharp reactions to cold may be caused by nerve damage, or an exposed bit of dentine (the layer of tooth under the enamel), or even nerve tissue.

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