A painful condition that may occur after a tooth has been extracted is known as a dry socket. Once a tooth has been pulled, a blood clot usually forms where the tooth was and protects the underlying bones and tissues while the site heals. When a dry socket arises, the blood clot does not form, exposing the bone and nerves.

Fortunately, there are several ways you can reduce your risk of experiencing a dry socket. Although you likely won’t feel hungry immediately after your extraction, when you do, you should opt for soft foods and try to chew on the side of your mouth that’s opposite to the extraction site. Drink plenty of water but refrain from drinking alcohol, coffee, or any sugary drinks. Using a straw to drink should be avoided as well as the suction may dislodge the blood clot.

Since smoking is one of the most common causes of dry socket, it’s best to avoid it before and after the procedure. Smoking can slow healing and lead to painful consequences. If you are worried about not being able to quit, consult your dentist or doctor.

It’s also important to wait at least a day before you clean the extraction area so that the blood clot can form and work its magic and protect the site of the extraction. If you’d like you can use a soft bristled toothbrush to gently brush your other teeth and tongue. You can also ask your dentist to apply stitches or sutures at the surgery site to help prevent this condition. After getting a tooth extraction or wisdom teeth removed, we suggest you do not drive, play sports or perform any strenuous activities.

Contact Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

If you have further questions on dry socket prevention, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable dental team. Call us at 703-439-1214 today.