Reducing The Risk Of Infection After Soft Tissue Injuries
If you bite the inside of your cheek, sustain a friction wound from an ill-fitting denture, or cut your gum on a wire from your braces, you may be at risk for an infection. The first thing you should do after sustaining an oral soft tissue injury is to consult with a general dentistry professional such as your dentist or hygienist. In the meantime, here are some things you can do at home to help reduce your risk of infection.
Maintain Good Nutrition
Poor nutrition can raise your risk for all types of infections, including those of the soft tissues inside your mouth. Make sure that you consume foods high in vitamin C, such as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, bell peppers, kiwi, kale, and spinach. Eating foods high in magnesium, potassium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 will also promote healing of soft tissue injuries of the mouth and will also help boost your immunity so that you are less likely to develop an infection.
If you are unsure of which foods you should eat to help lower your risk of an oral infection, talk to your dentist, your physician, or a nutritionist. If you believe you have a nutritional deficiency, your dentist may recommend that you take a vitamin and mineral supplement to support your oral health.
Rinsing your mouth out with saltwater also helps prevent oral infections caused by soft tissue injuries. Saltwater has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is often recommended by dentists to treat gingivitis and tooth infections.
You can make your own saltwater rinse by combining a half teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water. After the salt is dissolved, take a sip of the solution and swish it around your mouth for a few seconds before spitting it out.
Instead of making your own saltwater rinse, you can buy an over-the-counter oral saline mouthwash. In addition to saltwater rinses, your dentist may also recommend a hydrogen peroxide-based mouthwash to treat your soft tissue injury.
If you injured the inside of your mouth, consider the above interventions and make an appointment with your dentist. While maintaining good nutrition and using saltwater rinses can help reduce your risk for oral infections, you will still need to see your dentist. If you do get an infection, he or she may need to prescribe antibiotics or a prescription mouthwash. For more information, reach out to dentists like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA.