How to Prevent Dry Socket

Closeup of a blonde woman touching her cheek due to painful dry socket

Although we do everything in our power to protect and repair natural teeth, sometimes a tooth extraction is necessary. Luckily, modern dental technology has advanced to make this procedure quicker and less painful than ever before. In most cases, having a tooth extracted will ease any pain you may be experiencing – whether it’s from wisdom teeth that are improperly growing or from a tooth that is infected. If you need a tooth removed, you are probably wondering how to promote a smooth recovery free of complications. Read on to learn about dry socket, a painful complication after a tooth extraction.

What Is Dry Socket?

When a tooth is extracted, your body immediately responds by forming a blood clot over the tender extraction site. This blood clot serves as a shield that protects the exposed tissue and bone underneath. With the proper care and the passage of time, your extraction site will heal on its own under the clot. Dry socket occurs if the blood clot is dislodged or if the clot doesn’t form properly, which exposes the underlying nerve and bone. This condition is extremely painful until the new gum tissue grows in. Moreover, the unprotected extraction site can become infected if not kept clean.

How Can I Prevent Dry Socket?

To help prevent dry socket after a tooth extraction:

  • Do not consume nicotine, which impairs healing
  • Do not use a straw, which can dislodge the clot
  • Do not vigorously spit or rinse, which can also dislodge the clot
  • Follow the recovery instructions given to you by Dr. Bartels
  • Keep your mouth as clean by gently brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing every day
  • Eat a soft diet and chew on the opposite side, if possible
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Rest

We Are Here to Help!

As you recover from a tooth extraction, give your body the rest it needs to heal and consume a nutritious diet. Get in touch with our office to ask any questions about recovery or to schedule your next visit to Troy Bartels, DDS. And if you believe you have developed a dry socket or are experiencing new, unusual pain after oral surgery, call our office immediately.
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