How To Prevent Dry Socket After An Extraction

At Sutter Dental Collective, we always try to preserve natural teeth since they play an essential role in your oral health and face structure. However, there are moments when we have to extract one or more teeth, such as when the tooth is severely affected by decay or when you need to undergo orthodontic treatment

While a lot of people fear tooth extractions, they are quite simple and standard procedures. If everything goes well, you will be in and out of our office in less than 30 minutes.

However, what you do after the tooth extraction can make a world of difference in your recovery. 

What Is a Dry Socket?

Recovering after tooth extraction can be tricky. That's because if you are not careful and don't follow the instructions provided by your dentist, you can develop a painful condition known as a dry socket. 

A dry socket occurs when the blood clot that forms at the extraction site is dislodged or dissolves too soon. When that happens, the underlying bone becomes exposed, leading to pain, inflammation, and difficulty healing. 

How to Avoid a Dry Socket 

Here are some tips to help you prevent dry sockets after tooth extraction:

Follow Your Dentist's Instructions

Your dentist will provide you with a list of instructions on how to care for the extraction site and how to promote healing. Be sure to follow these instructions to a T, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions. 

Don't Smoke

Smoking will not only slow down the healing process but also increases the risk of dry sockets. The sucking action of smoking a cigarette can dislodge the blood clot, so it's best to quit or at least avoid this habit at your doctor’s recommendation after tooth extraction. 

Don't Drink Through a Straw

Similarly to smoking, sucking on a straw can dislodge the blood clot and increase the risk of dry sockets. 

Avoid Hard and Crunchy Foods

Eating hard and crunchy foods can also dislodge blood clots and increase the risk of dry sockets. Instead, stick to soft foods for a few days, and chew on the opposite side of the extraction site.

Be Careful with Oral Hygiene

While maintaining your oral hygiene is essential, you should avoid brushing and flossing near the extraction site, as this can dislodge the blood clot and impede healing. Gently rinse your mouth with salt water to remove any food debris or bacteria and avoid infection. 

What to Do If You Develop Dry Socket

If you experience severe pain and swelling, or if you notice that you have a foul taste in your mouth, it's important to get in touch with your dentist immediately. These are all signs of a dry socket, and it's important to get proper care to avoid further complications. The dentist may flush out the extraction site, disinfect it, and prescribe you pain medication to help alleviate the pain and promote healing. 

Get Excellent Dental Care at Sutter Dental Collective

Whether it's preventive, restorative, cosmetic, or implant dentistry, we here at Sutter Dental Collective offer a wide range of services. 

Call us at (415) 781-4725 or send us a message online to learn more about our services and book your appointment

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