Curly-haired woman in black cringes in pain and touches her cheek due to dry socket in Bellevue

How to Prevent Dry Socket

October 1, 2021 1:48 am
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When you undergo a tooth extraction, a blood clot should develop at the extraction site to stop the bleeding and protect the area from damage and infection. When the blood clot becomes disrupted and dislodged, however, you run the risk of developing alveolar osteitis, or dry socket.

Signs of Dry Socket

Signs of dry socket include:

  • Throbbing pain at extraction site
  • Missing blood clot in socket
  • Bad breath
  • Ability to see bone in the socket
  • Radiating pain into the jaw

Dry socket can prolong the healing time for your extraction site. Here are some of our tips on preventing dry socket.

  1. Avoid Tobacco Products
  2. Smoking constricts blood flow to your gums so you are far more likely to develop dry socket if you use tobacco products leading up to or after your tooth extraction.

    It’s best to quit entirely for the sake of both your oral health and overall health. Some of the ways you can reduce your chances of developing dry socket as a smoker are:

    • Wearing a nicotine patch
    • Refraining from smoking 48 hours before your tooth extraction
    • Receiving stitches in your surgery site for added protection
    • Refraining from nicotine gum or chewing tobacco

  3. Avoid Straws
  4. Because straws force your mouth to constrict in a sucking motion, you are more likely to dislodge the blood clot and develop dry socket. Instead, carefully sip your beverages directly from a glass or cup.

  5. Avoid Chewy or Hard Foods
  6. After your surgery, it’s important not to disturb the extraction site. One way to keep it clear from food particles and bacteria is to eat soft foods, like soup, applesauce, mashed potatoes, banana, yogurt, and smoothies. You should eat a soft food diet for a few days after your extraction until the affected area is healed. Once it is, you can slowly resume eating textured foods.

  7. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
  8. The day of your extraction, avoid brushing the affected area and do not vigorously rinse or spit. Be sure to brush and floss all your other teeth, and brush your tongue. After 24 hours, you can very carefully brush next to the extraction site. After 48 hours, begin gentle salt water rinses to keep your extraction site free of bacteria. About a week later, you can start gently brushing the extraction site to stimulate blood flow.

Stress-Free Tooth Extractions in Bellevue

Getting a tooth extraction doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Bellevue Dental Oasis offers a comfortable and relaxing environment for you to receive the dental care you deserve at a price that fits your budget. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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