Can You Rinse With Hydrogen Peroxide After Tooth Extraction?Faizan Khan
Have you had a tooth extraction recently or in the past? You may be wondering about the after-care of the surgery. The first 24 hours after a tooth extraction is the most sensitive time period where you need to take extra good care of your oral hygiene.
One common ingredient in antiseptic mouthwashes is hydrogen peroxide. Apart from its teeth whitening properties, it also has good antimicrobial efficacy. The European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology concluded that hydrogen peroxide is a suitable ingredient for mouth rinse solutions against microorganisms.
Experts do not recommend rinsing your mouth for the first 24 hours. After this time period, you can start swishing slowly and gently. This process will help your mouth and gums to heal effectively.
If you rinse and swish your mouth with a lot of pressure and force, the solution can irritate your gums and even lead to a dry socket. Furthermore, it can cause complications and delay healing.
So, read on and discover how you can go about this in the best way possible, as suggested by experts!
What Exactly Happens After Tooth Extraction?
Tooth extractions occur for many reasons, such as problematic wisdom teeth, damaged or decayed teeth, fractured teeth, or crowded teeth.
It is done by completely removing your tooth from its socket in the gums. The ultimate goal of this surgical procedure is to eliminate bacteria and improve your overall oral health.
Depending on your tooth and gum conditions, your dentist may need to make incisions and stitches. Usually, the procedure is done under local anesthesia. After removing your tooth, the gum socket is disinfected and cleaned thoroughly.
Afterward, your dentist puts a sterile gauze piece on the extraction site and asks you to close your mouth, clenching your jaw with firm, steady pressure.
This is to promote healing by reducing bleeding as a blood clot forms. You can remove the gauze piece as soon as the bleeding comes to a minimum, even though you may feel light bleeding over the next few hours.
You may feel numb for some time due to the local anesthetic effects. Your dentist may prescribe you a painkiller to minimize the painful effects as the anesthesia wears down.
The general rules are keeping the extraction area clean and avoiding strenuous activity. It depends on the case’s complexity, but most individuals recover several days to a week.
Why Should You Rinse After Tooth Extraction?
Generally, you should only rinse the area of a tooth extraction with an antimicrobial mouthwash two to three times a day.
This is to ensure that the gum socket is clear of food and debris as well as prevent bacterial growth. Dentists tell you to avoid brushing directly over the surgical site, but you can floss and brush other teeth just as regularly.
To Prevent Oral Infections
According to the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, mouth rinses following a tooth extraction aided in warding off numerous oral infections.
This includes acutely inflamed gum sockets, alveolar osteitis, and acute infection gum socket. The study recommended a twice-daily mouth rinse regimen for convenience, patient compliance, and keeping bacteria at bay.
You can use a DIY saltwater solution to rinse your mouth or even for brushing to keep your gum socket clean. This solution creates an environment that is hostile to oral bacteria and other microorganisms. This also helps in better healing while decreasing the chances of complications.
To Stop Any Possible Bleeding
The most common way to stop any possible bleeding after a tooth extraction is by using a dental pack. Simply wet a clean gauze and bite down firmly on it. Keep it that way for about 20 minutes to stop any bleeding.
Warm water mixed with hydrogen peroxide is great for rinsing the mouth after a dental procedure. Just dissolve a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and gently swish the solution in your mouth. Repeat twice daily. In a day or two, no bleeding or infection will develop.
Properly rinsing the mouth can also prevent and treat gingivitis, the main reason for gum bleeds. It also helps reduce inflammation to soothe swollen, sore, and bleeding gums.
Can You Rinse With Hydrogen Peroxide After Tooth Extraction
You can use hydrogen peroxide as an excellent antiseptic after dental surgeries. Mix a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water in equal parts at a 1:1 ratio. It is practical and efficient for safe use for treating dry or bleeding gum sockets.
Moreover, hydrogen peroxide can help relieve minor mouth irritations such as gingivitis, dentures, cold or canker sores, and orthodontic appliances. It is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene to aid in faster recovery after tooth extraction.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Rinse After Tooth Extraction
You can begin rinsing your mouth the evening after surgery. The most critical time to do so is after a meal or snack to avoid debris remnants in the gum sockets. You can use your hydrogen peroxide solution 4-5 times a day.
Although dental experts do recommend using salt water solution as the first mouthwash after the procedure. This neutralizes the mouth’s pH to allow better hydrogen peroxide efficiency later.
#1 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Rinse a Dry Socket
Did you know that dry sockets are one of the most common dental complications post-operatively? Start by swishing your mouth gently with warm water. This will help cleanse the extraction site and reduce bacteria and other microorganisms.
The Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery published a study in 2010 that suggested using hydrogen peroxide and sodium iodide for mouth irrigation.
This combination showed to prevent dental plaque and gingivitis. Another 2014 study concluded that diluted hydrogen peroxide successfully treated dry sockets in 90% of a control group.
What You Need
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Clean water
How to Use
A study discusses the management of dry sockets using hydrogen peroxide as an irrigant. Patients were thoroughly irrigated at the dry socket area with 15 ml of hydrogen peroxide in its pure form. This process continued for five consecutive days.
The research showed that patients treated with hydrogen peroxide had better effects than those treated with conventional treatment.
At home, you can mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Gently swish the solution in your mouth about 4-5 times a day, particularly after eating. For a soothing effect, you can put a cold compress on the area for pain relief.
Precautions You Must Take
After your extraction, a blood clot should form as one of the steps in the healing process.
A dry socket occurs if it does not form or is accidentally removed. If you suffer from a dry socket, you must brush your teeth gently around the affected area.
Most dentists advise avoiding using straws for a day or two as it may dislodge the dressing and aggravate the problem.
You should also eat and drink cautiously, taking care to avoid caffeine and carbonated beverages. You should note that the risk of a dry socket is there until the area has healed completely.
#2 Using a Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse to Prevent General Oral Infections
The Australian Dental Journal investigated safety issues relating to hydrogen peroxide use in dentistry. It was reported that a low concentration used on a daily basis is not damaging to oral soft or hard tissues.
However, the volumes, application times, and concentrations of hydrogen peroxide solution should be carefully controlled.
This powerful antiseptic aids in fending off general oral infections and even healing minor wounds faster. It works by releasing oxygen when applied to the affected area, which causes foaming. This ultimately helps to remove mucus and cleanse the area.
What You Need
- 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Clean water
How to Use
Start off by mixing one part of hydrogen peroxide with two parts of clean water. You may use the cap provided by the manufacturer to measure your dose carefully.
This is for the liquid form, but if you are using the gel form, you can simply apply a few drops to the affected area.
Use the solution to gargle and swish the solution all around the mouth. For even better results, you can tilt your head back and continue to gargle for up to a minute. Once done, spit it out but do not swallow.
Use it daily, four to five times, or as prescribed by your dentist.
Precautions You Must Take
Some individuals may have a reaction like stinging, redness, or irritation at the application site. Always remember that while this product is safe and efficient, it is recommended to use only when the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
Nonetheless, be sure to use the disinfectant as a mouthwash and never swallow the solution.
Do discuss with your dentist if you are already taking other medications if you intend to use this product. This is to prevent any drug reactions. You can safely use it during pregnancy and lactation, as this product is unlikely to pass into breast milk or cross the placenta.
How Long After Tooth Extraction Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide?
Dental experts recommend waiting about a day before using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse after tooth extraction. It is better to use salt water rinse for the first 24 hours.
A study concluded that there was a reduction in bacteria count when hydrogen peroxide was used postoperatively as a mouth rinse.
After 24 hours, you can rinse with diluted hydrogen peroxide multiple times a day until the site has healed.
Some kinds of toothpaste also contain hydrogen peroxide, as it is an excellent whitening agent. You should also avoid these toothpaste tubes at the earlier wound stage and only use a gentle, medicated one to prevent dry sockets.
What Hydrogen Peroxide Concentration Is Best For an Oral Rinse?
The Journal of Prosthodontics underwent a study comparing different hydrogen peroxide concentrations on various microorganisms.
Even though concentrations of 0.5%, 1.25%, 1.5%, and 3.0% all showed results with varying species of microorganism, the 3& concentration proved to be the most effective as it covers a broad spectrum.
A higher concentration for bleaching or industrial use can become a chemical irritant for oral soft tissues. Undiluted and/or high hydrogen peroxide concentration can burn your organs and cause internal bleeding.
It may also cause you to vomit a foamy substance which is your body’s way of flushing the peroxide out of your system.
Why a Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse Is Perfect After Tooth Extraction
Hydrogen peroxide is a brilliant disinfectant that can help relieve pain after dental surgery. It helps kill bacteria by releasing oxygen once it comes into contact with the affected area.
This alters the environment of anaerobic bacteria, making it a hostile ground and inhibiting their growth.
1. Antiseptic Properties Kill Microbes
Hydrogen peroxide is an active ingredient used in many antiseptics as it is an effective killer of many microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and spores.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated several disinfectants. Hydrogen peroxide demonstrated fantastic results as a bactericidal and viricidal.
The 3% hydrogen peroxide contains an extra oxygen atom, making it a strong oxidizer. This formulation is strong enough to overcome pathogens without harming the human body when used correctly.
2. Antibacterial Properties Prevent Infections
Apart from oral mouth rinses, hydrogen peroxide can also be used on various parts of the body to prevent infections of scrapes, cuts, and burns.
In the mouth, it helps to remove mucus and relieve minor mouth irritation and pain after a tooth extraction or any dental procedure. The mechanism of action of hydrogen peroxide is by destroying the cell walls of bacteria, a process called oxidation.
Gargling with hydrogen peroxide is a great way to treat minor mouth problems and promote healing and prevention of canker sores.
If the wound is small, you can simply dip a cotton swab into the diluted peroxide solution and dab gently on the affected part. Spit out any excess, taking care not to swallow any.
3. Non-Toxic Byproducts Make it the Safest Option
The main products that form from the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide are water and oxygen when the oxygen-oxygen bond breaks. If the decomposition takes place at a larger scale through the anthraquinone process, it produces carbon dioxide as a by-product.
Neither of the ultimate products is toxic to living organisms or the environment.
This makes hydrogen peroxide a very environmentally friendly disinfectant chemical to use for multipurpose reasons. Even when placed in water, hydrogen peroxide is not toxic to aquatic life.
What Are the Signs of Infection After Tooth Extraction?
Sometimes, poor wound healing may occur due to systemic or local reasons.
If you have an infection after a tooth extraction, you may notice a white or yellow discharge, occasional pain, and even swelling from the surgical site. If that is the case, be sure to visit your nearest dental center immediately.
Most infections present within a few days after the surgery, but some may even occur up to four weeks later. Until you have healed properly, you have to continue to pay attention to your mouth as well as overall health to avoid overlooking any problem.
If you leave the infection untreated, you can go into sepsis. This is a complicated infection that enters the bloodstream and impairs flow to the vital systemic organs.
It is absolutely normal to have some level of pain and to swell a few hours after the surgery as the local anesthesia wears off.
You should take the utmost care, especially during the first 24 hours, to prevent any further complications. Do ensure to call your dentist if the pain and bleeding are severe even after four hours postoperatively.
You may be given over-the-counter painkillers or antibiotics to speed up healing and manage postoperative discomfort.
Every individual heals at different rates, but most people have tenderness lasting only a few days after tooth extraction. Ensure to maintain your oral hygiene well.
So, give hydrogen peroxide a try and order your set today!