When you get a tooth extracted, it is important to pay close attention to how your mouth heals after the procedure. Thorough aftercare instructions will be provided to you, but if you notice something unusual or have additional questions, you can always call your dentist! One thing that may happen after a tooth extraction is an accumulation of white material on your tongue. Read more to learn what causes this and if you need to take action.
Potential Causes of a White Tongue Post-Extraction
Natural Healing Process: After a tooth extraction, your body goes into healing mode. White residue on your tongue is often a result of oral debris, such as dead cells, food particles, and other remnants from the healing area. The extraction site will develop a protective layer of tissue. So, as it heals, the tongue might collect some of this residue.
Bacteria with Antibacterial Properties: Your mouth is home to various bacteria, some of which are crucial for oral health and others that can lead to infections. During the healing process, the body naturally produces substances with antibacterial properties. These substances might create a temporary white coating on the tongue, which indicates that the body’s defense mechanism is at work.
Change in Diet and/or Oral Hygiene Practices: As your mouth heals, you will have to eat a diet of soft or liquid foods. This dietary adjustment can contribute to the accumulation of white residue on the tongue’s surface as particles from the healing socket may mix with saliva and coat the tongue. After an extraction, your oral hygiene may be neglected while you recover. It’s important to maintain your oral hygiene practices throughout the healing process—just be extra gentle around the extraction site.
When to Consult Your Dentist
While a white tongue is often a benign and temporary side effect of the healing process, it never hurts to be cautious when it comes to your oral health. If the discoloration persists or is accompanied by pain, swelling, or an unpleasant odor, consult your dentist promptly. These could be signs of an infection that requires professional attention.
Dental Excellence Made Personal in Columbia, SC
At Bethea Family Dentistry, we strive to provide the best care possible to each and every one of our patients. If you have questions about your tooth extraction aftercare, or anything else, don’t hesitate to call our dedicated team. You’re in excellent hands with Bethea Family Dentistry!Image by wayhomestudio on Freepik