Ask a Dentist

Q: Six days ago I had a molar pulled and they put a gel-like thing inside the hole. I was rinsing my mouth today and it came out... is that normal?

A: Sometimes a "gel foam" is placed after the extraction to assist in the healing. It's good to have it checked to make sure everything is fine.

Tooth removal leaves a vulnerable hole that is first protected with a blood clot. If the clot falls out in the first week, call your dentist as we may be able to prevent further discomfort for you. A dry socket post-tooth removal could cause complications. Gums take time to heal and cover the extraction site. It can be difficult to keep the area free of food debris in the meantime. We can assess the healing and give you tips if you are having trouble.

Make sure you’re rinsing with warm salt water after the first 24 hours of healing are complete. Sometimes an antibacterial mouthwash is prescribed to keep the area clean. Rest and take ibuprofen if the aches and pains are bothering you. Follow the eating, drinking and hygiene instructions your dental team walked you through at your last appointment. Straws, sugary drinks, caffeine and smoking get in the way of your recovery and may complicate your implant procedure.