How to Avoid Dry Sockets

You might need a tooth extraction if you need a wisdom tooth removed, have suffered a traumatic dental injury, or are dealing with a case of advanced tooth decay. For most patients, recovering from a tooth extraction is simple and straightforward.

One of the common complications suffered by patients after a tooth extraction, dry socket, can be prevented with active care. At Chester Family Dentistry of Warren, Ohio, our providers inform our new and existing patients from around the Trumbull County area about how to correctly care for a post-extraction site.

By following the instructions you’re given for post-extraction care, you can help your gums heal and prevent dry socket.

Understanding dry socket

Your gums contain sockets that surround and hold each of your teeth, allowing your tooth roots to anchor in your jaw bone. After a tooth extraction, the empty socket needs to be properly cared for in order to avoid painful complications like dry socket.

For healthy healing, an empty socket should form a blood clot. While your socket heals, this blood clot protects your jaw bone and underlying nerves. This gives your body a chance to create new bone and gum tissue, filling in the empty space as the blood clot naturally dissolves over time.

If this blot clot doesn’t develop, you could suffer from dry socket. Due to the number of nerves in your jaw bone around your teeth sockets, dry socket can be very painful. Infection can also develop as a result of food getting trapped in the wound in your empty socket.

Caring for your socket after your procedure

During your extraction procedure, your provider uses antibacterial and antiseptic gels and solutions to protect the treatment area. After your surgery, we might prescribe antibiotics. You leave with a medicated dressing.

In the days after your extraction procedure, you need to take time to practice proper self-care. Take a day off of work to give your body time to rest. Avoid intense physical activity and exercise for a day or two, to give the blood clot a chance to form.

When you brush and floss your teeth after extraction surgery, be gentle when working around the extraction site. After the first few days, rinsing your mouth gently with warm salt water or an antibacterial mouthwash might be advised.

Helping yourself heal

After your procedure, you might need to use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to control pain and swelling. Cold compresses on your cheek can also help with swelling and discomfort for the first day. After that, switch to warm compresses.

Eat soft or liquid food the day of your surgery, and make sure to stay hydrated right after your procedure. Until the extraction site is fully healed, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth. Skip straws until you’re fully healed, too, as suction can cause the forming blood clot to become dislodged from the extraction site.

Nicotine and other harmful substances in tobacco can delay healing after your extraction surgery, so you’ll need to avoid smoking, vaping, or using any tobacco products for the first 48-72 hours. This is a good time to try to quit for good!

If you do notice symptoms of dry socket, you’re most likely to do so within the first three days after your surgery. If you start to develop severe pain in the days following your extraction, get in touch with Chester Family Dentistry right away. We can check out the area and help address a potential case of dry socket.

To inquire about oral surgery and post-surgery care, contact the team at Chester Family Dentistry today. You can schedule an appointment at our Warren, Ohio office over the phone, or book online now.

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