How to Prevent Dry Socket after Tooth Extraction

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in Business |

Dry socket happens when the tooth extraction site did not develop a blood clot or it dissolves even before the wound has healed. Blood clot formation is important because it protects the underlying bones and the nerve endings exposed after the tooth is extracted. The condition worsens when food debris fills up the exposed area.  

The primary symptom is a stinging pain in the area of tooth extraction. The pain usually exhibits one to three days after the dental procedure. Over the counter medication may not be enough to stop the pain. If the pain is unbearable, you need to go back to your dentist. If the dry socket is left untreated, it can develop into serious complications such as infection in the socket which can further develop into a chronic bone infection (osteomyelitis). 

To prevent dry socket after the surgery, you need to follow your dentist’s advice on what you need to do to take care of the wound. There are proper home care instructions that help promote healing of the wound. Here are some of them: 

  1. Avoid doing strenuous activities after the surgery. Take a rest for the first few days. The number of days you need to rest depends on how complicated your tooth extraction was. Ask your dentist when it is safe for you to do physical activities such as sports and exercises.
  2. Take pain relievers as instructed by your dentist. Normally, you will also need to put cold or hot compress outside of your face to reduce the pain and swelling. Follow your surgeon’s advice on the frequency and the correct way of applying cold or hot pack on your face.
  3. Drink lots of fluid. A cold water is preferred, not sodas, tea or coffee. Hot drinks are not recommended. Drink water directly from the glass or cup, not from a straw. Sipping a liquid from a straw creates a pressure to the affected area which can dislodge the blood clot in the socket.
  4. Eat soft foods for the first few days. Porridge and mashed fruits and vegetables are a great source of nutrition for people nursing a gum wound. Avoid very hot foods. Avoid chewing on the part that has undergone surgery.
  5. A salt solution composed of ½tsp of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of water is a good mouthwash for the first few days. Use it to wash your mouth several times for the first 24 hours. You can also brush your teeth, tongue, and gums as long as you will be careful not to touch the extraction site. 

If you will follow these instructions, it is not likely that you will develop a dry socket. But if it still happens, consult your dentist right away.