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How to Rock It Without Dry Socket After Tooth Extraction

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — franklindentalteam @ 11:29 pm
Man with tooth pain

While dentists aim to preserve teeth and prevent them from falling out, it can sometimes be necessary to extract a tooth for the sake of the health of the rest of the body. This can happen because a tooth is infected or injured beyond repair or because the mouth does not have enough room to accommodate it. After a tooth extraction, it’s important to take proper care of your mouth to prevent a painful condition called dry socket. Here are a few tips to keep your healing process smooth and free from dry socket.

What Is Dry Socket?

After your tooth is removed, the empty socket develops a blood clot to protect itself as it heals. Beneath this clot are nerve endings and the underlying bone structure. This clot must be allowed to stay in its place until the gums have healed and the mouth functions normally again.

If this blood clot is dislodged, the result is called alveolar osteitis, or dry socket. This condition is severely painful because it exposes the nerve endings and bone structure to the oral environment. In addition to being extremely uncomfortable, dry socket will hinder the healing process. Therefore, it is quite important for patients to take measures to avoid it after extraction.

How Can I Avoid Dry Socket?          

Thankfully, there are a few measures you can take to prevent dry socket from happening. A few tips for protecting your healing gums include:

  • Don’t use straws: Using straws requires a sucking motion of the cheeks and lips, and the shifting pressures within the mouth can cause the blood clot to dislodge. Avoid straws for about a week after extraction.
  • Don’t use tobacco: Smokers have a much higher risk of developing dry socket due to the sucking motion required to inhale. Nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco can also hinder your gums’ healing process and lead to infections.
  • Stick to soft food: Eat only soft foods for a few days after having a tooth extracted. This includes applesauce, yogurt, and mashed potatoes. You may return to solid foods as eating them becomes more comfortable.
  • Practice proper oral hygiene: Using oral hygiene methods to clean your mouth and kill germs will prevent infections that can dislodge a blood clot. This includes brushing, flossing, and using antibacterial mouthwash.

While dry socket is a miserable situation, it is also completely avoidable. By taking proper care of your mouth after extraction, you can heal well and quickly.

About the Author

Dr. Donna Franklin-Pitts earned her dental doctorate at Howard University in Washington D.C. and serves as a member of the American Dental Association, the East Texas Dental Society, and the Texas Dental Association. She provides excellent dental care with a gentle touch to patients of all ages. Her office in Tyler, TX offers general, pediatric, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry as well as wisdom tooth extractions. For more information on recovering from tooth extraction, contact the office online or dial (903) 730-6314.

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