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5 Tips to Prevent Dry Socket After Tooth Extraction

Dry socket is a condition that can happen after a tooth extraction. Whenever you have a tooth extracted, a blood clot forms over the bone and nerves, which protects the bone from infection. After you have a tooth extracted, the bone and nerves where the tooth was can become incredibly vulnerable to infection. Dry socket happens when this blood clot dissolves too soon, thus leaving the bone exposed. Germs, bacteria and other harmful materials can very easily make its way into the tooth socket, thus causing extreme pain. Although dry socket only happens to a very small percentage of people, it is still important to know what to do in order to prevent dry socket from occurring.

  1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco products. Tobacco smoke and the fluid released from chewing tobacco can cause dry socket. Basically, the harsh chemicals in the smoke or tobacco product can cause the blood clot protecting your socket to become dislodged sooner rather than later. If this happens, not only can bacteria cause dry socket, but so can further tobacco consumption. So, you may want to think about quitting or abstaining while you are recovering.

  2. Wash your mouth out regularly with mouth wash. You may not be able to brush your teeth, especially around the area where the tooth was extracted, but you will be able to gurgle some mouthwash. It is important to do this two to three times a day, because you want to be sure that the bacteria in your mouth is gone. So, make sure that you rinse your mouth out after big meals – especially after big sugary meals. The last thing you want is for your sweet tooth to get the best of you and cause dry socket.

  3. Ask your dentist about taking birth control pills. When it comes down to it, some birth control pills can cause the blood clot to thin and dissolve. So, after you have your teeth extracted, be sure to ask your dentist. A dental clinic, like the Saginaw family dental clinic, will be able to answer this question and any other questions you may have about dry socket. If you are on birth control, you may have to take a lower dose or take a break for the first few days of recovery.

  4. Don’t spit or drink through a straw during the first few days of having a tooth extracted. Spitting and drinking through a straw can increase the chances of the blood clot becoming lose. If you do have to spit, be sure to take precautions – don’t spit too hard and don’t suck too much air in or out of your mouth. Dry socket can occur with the littlest amount of pressure.

  5. If dry socket does occur, or if you are afraid it will occur, your dentist will schedule an appointment for post-surgical care. Basically, your dentist will fill the socket with a dressing, which will kill the germs and heal the problem. After a few days, you should be out of the woods.