How Can There Be Leftover Bone And Tooth Fragments After A Tooth Extraction?

When a child loses a tooth, it's expected and generally follows an established timeline. It's different when an adult loses a tooth, which is never ideal, since that tooth was permanent and must be replaced with a prosthesis. But sometimes a tooth cannot be salvaged and restored, so a dentist must extract it. The process might not be pleasant, although it's not painful and is rarely complicated. However, those whose tooth was so deteriorated that it needed to be extracted in pieces may experience an unusual aftereffect.

Simple or Complex Extractions

A simple extraction is what the term probably suggests. The tooth is gently tugged, severing its periodontal ligaments, and is removed as a single unit. However, a tooth may be fractured while still in the socket, meaning these fragments must be removed individually. Sometimes a dentist must manually section a damaged tooth, as it will fracture even more if a dentist attempts to extract it whole. These complex extractions can result in small fragments of tooth (or even bone) remaining in your gum tissues, which have begun to heal over the extraction site. 

Bone and Tooth Fragments 

Bone and tooth fragments lodged in the gums are (as far as your body is concerned) waste. They no longer serve a purpose, so your body attempts to expel them. This means that following a complex tooth extraction, you might have fragments of bone and tooth exiting through your gum tissues as your body essentially takes out the trash. It can be a slightly alarming experience, but it's not painful, nor does it suggest further complications.

A Mild Irritant

The fragments may be noticeable under the soft, sensitive tissues of your tongue. At most, they're a mild irritant and a temporary one at that. Small fragments will be expelled into your mouth before being swallowed. The fragments are so small that you're unlikely to notice that this is happening. However, there might be some larger fragments that can warrant a trip to the dentist.

Removing Fragments

Your dentist can dislodge these larger fragments. Your gums may need to be numbed beforehand. A dentist will tug these fragments out with tweezers, although some fragments may need to be removed via a small incision in your gums. It might sound like an intense experience to have your body expel small bony fragments through your gum tissues. But it's not a major concern and won't necessarily require dental attention.

Be sure to follow your dentist's post-extraction instructions, and if you should be concerned about any bony fragments that might temporarily appear, please don't hesitate to seek guidance from your dentist.

Contact a dental practice like Galesville Dental to learn more.