When you undergo a tooth extraction, the last thing you want is to experience the discomfort of a dry socket. Though relatively uncommon, a dry socket can be painful and disrupt the healing process. In this blog, we will explain what a dry socket is and provide you with easy-to-follow tips on how to prevent it after your tooth extraction or dental implant procedure.
What Does It Mean To Have A Dry Socket?
After a tooth removal, you have a space left in your mouth where the tooth used to sit. This socket has exposed nerve endings and is prone to infection until it heals properly. Naturally, your body starts making blood clot over the socket, shielding it from harmful bacteria.
However, even with a blood clot, there is still a chance that you might develop a dry socket if it dislodges or damages, leaving the area vulnerable to excruciating pain and complications.
7 Tips to Prevent Dry Socket
Here are some sure shot ways to prevent this from happening:
- Avoid Straws for 24-48 Hours: When you use a straw, it creates a strong suction action in your mouth, which has the ability to displace the fresh blood clots. Therefore, it is best to not use straws at least 48 hours post-surgery.
- Be Gentle While Rinsing: After rinsing your mouth, steer clear of vigorous spitting, as it can create pressure, leading to blood clots moving away from its place. Instead, let the liquid gently drip from your mouth.
- Say No to Smoking for 48 Hours: Smoking and oral tobacco products stop blood flow and hinder the healing process around the fresh extraction site, increasing the risk of developing a dry socket.
- Avoid Direct Brushing on the Site of Extraction For 3-4 Days: We are not asking you to stop taking care of your oral hygiene. Instead, you do not have to brush the extraction site directly. Use a prescription mouthwash or warm saline solution. You can continue brushing your other teeth as usual. Generally, after 4 or 5 days post-extraction, it is safe to start brushing near the extraction site.
- Opt for Soft Foods: Food plays a major role in the recovery period. Stick to a soft-food diet after tooth extraction. Edible items like yogurt, smoothies, applesauce, pudding, and mashed potatoes are gentle on your mouth. After the week is over, gradually reintroduce solid foods.
Moreover, stay away from crunchy, hard foods for at least 14 days, as they can disrupt the blood clot, damage it, or leave irritating debris behind.
- Keep Up with Adequate Hydration: Proper hydration is pivotal for healing. Drink plenty of water to maintain moisture in your mouth, which helps a lot in the healing process.
- Diligently Follow Post-Op Instructions: Ask your dentist for specific post-operative instructions. It is a must to follow their guidelines to ensure a smooth-sailing and minimize the risk of complications like dry sockets.
You can minimize your risk of pain due to a dry socket after tooth extraction by following the tips we have mentioned above. Remember, proper care during the healing period is crucial for a smooth recovery. You can always contact the dental experts from Lone Star Dental to learn more about extraction and aftercare. Dial (281) 233-0333 to connect with us.