A dry socket is a highly painful condition that can occur after you get a tooth removed. Knowing how to prevent a dry socket after tooth extraction can help you avoid any interference with the proper healing of your extraction site.
About 2% to 5% of tooth extraction surgeries lead to dry sockets. This condition occurs when the blood clots in your extraction site fail to form, are dislodged, or are accidentally removed before the surgery site has completely recovered.
Blood clots form a protective layer around the nerves and the underlying jawbone. Intense pain occurs when these nerves and the bone beneath get exposed, making the extraction site swollen and irritated.
It is vital to be aware of how to prevent a dry socket after tooth extraction. And we are here to give you all the information about just that!
Table of Contents
The Risk of Experiencing a Dry Socket
The risk of experiencing the symptoms of a dry socket is high during the first 3 to 4 days after your tooth extraction. It is obvious that some pain and discomfort are normal after getting a tooth extracted. But it is also extremely important to know the risks of experiencing it and how to prevent a dry socket after tooth extraction.
Risk Factors That Can Lead to a Dry Socket
A dry socket is extraordinarily uncomfortable and tends to delay healing. Multiple risk factors can lead to a dry socket. These include but are not limited to:
Failure to care: Not taking proper care of your oral cavity immediately after extraction is the number one reason for being exposed to the risk of a dry socket.
Smoking & tobacco use: Harmful chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products can prevent healing of the extraction site. The act of sucking on a cigarette can also pull the blood clot early.
Birth-control pills: Birth-control pills contain high estrogen levels that can lead to problems with healing in your tooth socket.
Tooth or gum infection: Any infections that you might currently or previously be suffering from can increase the chances of your suffering from a dry socket.
Other risk factors may include:
- Not having good oral hygiene
- Having a difficult tooth extraction
- Having a tooth extracted from the lower jaw
- Having experienced a dry socket previously.
Symptoms of a Dry Socket
If you are suffering from a dry socket, you might experience the following symptoms:
- An empty socket with no blood clots
- Pain in the extraction site a few days after the removal
- Underlying jawbone that is visible through the socket
- Pain that spreads from the socket to your ear or any other part of your face on the same side of the tooth removal
- A foul taste in your mouth
- Suffering from bad breath
5 Tips on How to Prevent a Dry Socket After Tooth Extraction
As mentioned earlier, a dry socket usually occurs when the blood clot on your extraction site gets dislodged before healing. This can also happen if the blood clot never formed in the first place.
There are several tips that you can follow to understand how to prevent a dry socket after tooth extraction.
Using a straw requires you to suck. Sucking on a straw creates a great amount of suction using air and cheek muscles. This action could dislodge the blood clot, leading to a dry socket. We recommend that you refrain from using a straw until at least 48 hours post-surgery.
Stay Away From Smoking & Tobacco
Avoid smoking or using any kind of oral tobacco after your tooth extraction. Research states that dry socket occurs in at least 12% of people who undergo tooth extraction and are smokers. The fast inhalation of the cigarette can dislodge your blood clot. The chemicals in tobacco can prevent fast healing.
Stick to Soft Foods
Stick to soft food during the first few days after your tooth extraction surgery. Follow the dietary restrictions provided by your dentist. Consume lots of yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, puddings, and other soft foods after your surgery.
You can start adding normal foods into your diet one week after your extraction or after a follow-up consultation with your dentist to ensure the tooth extraction site is healing properly.
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene
Keeping your mouth free of germs is one of the best ways to know how to prevent a dry socket after tooth extraction. Good oral hygiene can help prevent germs and infections in your extraction site.
Refer to your dentist and ask for tips on how to best clean your teeth following a tooth extraction. Your dentist might recommend you simply follow a rinse-out routine during the first day and start brushing very gently the next day.
Avoid Spitting Vigorously
Quite similar to using a straw, sipping also tends to create a lot of pressure and suction in your mouth and could result in the dislodgement of your blood clot. Do not use excessive force while spitting your mouth after rinsing post a tooth-extraction surgery to prevent a dry socket. Instead, let the water drip out gently.
A dry socket is a highly painful condition that can occur immediately after your tooth extraction procedure if proper care is not taken. It is crucial that you follow the care instructions provided by your dentist to reduce the risk of developing a dry socket.
They will likely recommend you avoid smoking, refrain from eating crunchy foods, and practice proper oral hygiene following the extraction procedure. If the pain around your extraction site worsens over time, contact your dentist immediately.
Contact us by ringing 763-421-4002.
Can you stop a dry socket from forming?
- You can certainly prevent a dry socket from forming if you follow your dentist’s instructions about resting for one whole day after your extraction surgery. You also need to follow the care and recommendation tips provided by your dentist when you get back to your normal routine. The tips mentioned in the article above can also help you learn how to prevent a dry socket after tooth extraction.
What is the number one cause of a dry socket?
- Dry sockets after tooth extractions are caused due to multiple factors, the foremost of them being trauma from tooth extraction, an underlying infection in your mouth that can affect the empty socket, or previous problems with the jawbone.
When is the highest risk of a dry socket?
- The highest risk of suffering from a dry socket is between 2 to 3 days after your extraction. The risk of a dry socket has more or less passed away after day 4 of your extraction procedure.
What foods cause dry sockets?
- Foods containing processed sugar and soda bubbles are the worst for your natural teeth and even more so for a dry socket. Refrain from consuming too many carbonated drinks, as the soda bubbles can loosen the blood clots in your tooth socket. Also, avoid crunchy foods such as nuts, popcorn, and chips, as they are fairly hard to chew and can get stuck in the extraction site.