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How to Prevent a Dry Socket After Tooth Extraction

July 27, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drlee @ 10:26 am
Dental forceps removing a tooth from a girl’s mouth

If you just had a tooth pulled, you’re likely glad the treatment is over. You may even want to put the whole experience behind you. At this point, though, you’ll need to stay cautious. Being careless could trigger a painful dry socket during your recovery. Still, you can always take steps to avoid this outcome. To that end, here’s a summary of how to prevent a dry socket after tooth extraction.

What Exactly is a Dry Socket?

Put simply, a dry socket is a problem that can occur after tooth removal. It happens when something goes wrong with the recovery process.

You see, a treatment site won’t instantly heal after an extraction. It needs time to restore the affected tissues and nerves. As such, it’ll form a blood clot to protect itself during the restoration. This clot stays in place until your gums have healed and your mouth is back to normal.

All that said, a dry socket occurs when the relevant blood clot doesn’t develop. The condition thus exposes your socket’s underlying bone and nerves. That exposure, in turn, can cause intense pain.

How Do You Know If You Have One?

Ultimately, the signs of a dry socket aren’t hard to spot. The most common ones include:

  • Intense pain a few days after tooth extraction
  • A visibly empty jaw socket with a missing blood clot
  • Pain that radiates from the socket into your face and head
  • Very unpleasant mouth taste or bad breath

When facing the symptoms above, see your dentist immediately. They can treat you with oral rinses, medication, and prescription painkillers. Once they have, you’ll feel better right away and see improvements in your situation.

How Do You Prevent Dry Sockets?

Of course, preventing a dry socket is better than managing one. Therefore, use the following tips after a tooth extraction:

  • Avoid Straws – While healing from an extraction, don’t drink from straws. The suction movement of air and cheek muscles would dislodge your blood clot.
  • Don’t Smoke – People who smoke and use tobacco are at higher risk of developing dry sockets.
  • Eat Soft Foods – On the first day after surgery, only have soft foods like applesauce, yogurt, and mashed potatoes. Hard items can easily keep your blood clot from forming.
  • Keep Your Mouth Clean – Truthfully, good oral hygiene prevents germs and infections from breaking down the blood clot.

Stick to the tips above if you want to prevent a dry socket after tooth extraction. They’ll ensure a quick and easy recovery!

About the Practice

Muskingum Valley Oral Surgery is based in Marietta, OH. Led by Dr. Jeff Lee, our practice provides patients with top-quality oral surgery services. In particular, we specialize in dental implant treatment, wisdom tooth removal, bite correction, and more. Our team is thus well-equipped to meet any and all advanced oral care needs. For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (740)-236-9392.

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