A tooth extraction involves the removal of a damaged tooth through oral surgery. Your dentist usually reserves this treatment for teeth that resist other restorative solutions, and you can anticipate some downtime in order to recover properly from this procedure.
As you heal, the surgical site forms a natural blood clot. If this clot becomes disturbed or dislodges, you could form an excruciating condition on the site called dry socket.
This will require further dental intervention to amend, so you should take precautions to prevent this dental emergency. Read on to find tips from your dentist that will help you avoid painful dry socket as you recover from a tooth extraction procedure.
How to Prevent Dry Socket After Tooth Extraction
Practice Careful Oral Hygiene
Your dentist will provide you with aftercare guidelines when you complete a tooth extraction procedure. You will return home after this treatment with pain management tools as well as instructions to take care of the surgical site while it heals.
Though you will not want to disturb the healing blood clot at the site, lest you cause dry socket, you will still need to continue your oral hygiene regimen. Otherwise, you could put your smile at risk of further dental problems when plaque and bacteria linger on your teeth. Adhere to your dentist’s instructions, and brush very gently near the surgical site.
Avoid Sucking Motions with the Mouth
When you suck through a straw or perform a similar motion, the combination of airflow and muscle movement can cause you to dislodge a healing blood clot over an extraction site. This could put you at risk of forming painful dry socket and needing emergency dental work.
For this reason, your dentist will ask you not to use a straw as you heal from this tooth removal procedure. Similarly, you should not smoke during your recovery. The inhalation creates the same risk of hurting your surgical sites.
It can be easier to abstain from smoking if you cut back on this habit prior to your procedure. Then you can recover without the stress of a heightened risk of forming dry socket and needing urgent dental care.
Eat Soft-Textured Foods While Healing
When the anesthetics wear off from your oral surgery at home, your mouth might feel sore. Your dentist will advise you to eat soft-textured foods for 24-48 hours after this dental work to avoid pain. But this will also stop you from getting dry socket.
Hard, sticky, or chewy foods could disturb a healing blood clot. So you should stick to softer foods like applesauce, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and yogurt to prevent a dental emergency.
After the first day or two of recovery, you can begin introducing more solid foods to your diet. But if you feel pain when eating these, revert to chewing soft foods only. If you notice abnormal pain or other symptoms, do not hesitate to call your dentist. Ask your dentist for more preventative dental care tips as well to help you heal quickly and effectively.