What Is Dry Socket?

When a dentist removes a damaged tooth from your mouth in an extraction procedure, you are left with a surgical site that requires time to heal properly. As it heals, a blood clot forms naturally. If this clot becomes disturbed or dislodges from the site, the nerves and bone where the tooth once sat become exposed.

This incredibly painful condition is known as dry socket. You will need urgent care from your dentist to resolve this problem.

So to avoid this dental emergency that will require extra dental work, follow aftercare instructions from your dentist as you heal. Adhere to this advice from your dentist to avoid forming painful dry socket after a tooth extraction procedure.

prevent dry socket after tooth extraction

Dry Socket Prevention Tips

Practice Careful Oral Care

When you return home from your tooth extraction procedure and start to recover, you will need to be gentle with your surgical site. The healing blood clot is delicate. So you will not want to aggravate it in any way to avoid dry socket.

But you still need to practice oral hygiene to avoid complications with the surgical site and harming the rest of your smile. Use gentle, careful movements when brushing around this site so that you do not disturb the clot.

Follow aftercare guidelines from your dentist during this recovery period. They will provide you with instructions on how to properly care for your smile without hurting your surgical site.

Avoid Sucking Motions with the Mouth

One of the primary cautions a dentist will give you when you recover from a tooth extraction is to avoid making sucking movements with your mouth. The combination of airflow and muscle motions with this action can easily disturb a healing blood clot and give you dry socket.

This means that you should not drink out of a straw for at least a week following this oral surgery. You also should not smoke or vape during this time, as this creates a similar risk for dry socket.

To make it easier to abstain from this habit during your recovery, you should cut back on smoking prior to your dental work. For more recovery advice, consult with your dentist.

Choose Soft Foods

When you return home from a tooth extraction, your mouth may start to feel sore as the anesthetics wear off. Your dentist will provide you with pain management advice. You should also try to avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that will put pressure on your teeth. They could also have a high likelihood of disturbing a healing blood clot and leading to dry socket.

Stick to softer foods like mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and yogurt definitely for the first 48 hours of your recovery. You can start to introduce more solid foods after this point. But switch back to soft foods if you notice any pain. If you do feel severe pain and suspect you have dry socket, do not hesitate to call your dentist.