5 Ways to Avoid Getting Dry Socket

woman in pain from dry socket holding her lower jaw

Dry socket can be a painful outcome after having a procedure like a tooth extraction. Dry socket or alveolar osteitis is when the blood clot that covers your tooth moves and becomes dislodged. There are things you can do to prevent this irritating side effect from happening. Here are five ways to avoid getting dry socket:

1. Food

Avoid hard-to chew foods right after the procedure to ensure you are not irritating the exposed tissue and bone. If you can, try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Try to eat soft foods for the first two days like mashed potatoes, soft ice cream, yogurt, etc. Avoid eating nuts, sugary foods like candy, chips, and additional chewy foods.

2. Drink

Drink plenty of water for the next couple of days to keep the extraction site clean and help wash out any unwanted food particles. Stay away from sugary drinks like soda, juice, and energy drinks.

3. Stay Away From Tobacco

If you are an avid smoker or chewer, please refrain from using tobacco for two days after your procedure. Tobacco use is one of the most common causes of developing dry socket and will prolong your recovery time. When you inhale, it’s very likely the blood clot will dislodge. If you know this may be an issue, consider using the smoking patch for the first 48 hours.

4. Maintaining Your Oral Hygiene Routine

Ask our team of dentists before the procedure what you should include in your post-op oral hygiene routine. We may give you a stronger mouthwash to ensure your mouth stays clean. Brush your teeth very gently and avoid the extraction site. If your mouth is bothering you, consider swishing once or twice a day with warm saltwater. Do not clean the extraction site directly for at least 24 hours.

5. Rest & Relaxation

Most tooth extractions require a patient to be placed on local anesthesia or a higher dose of anesthesia so it’s important for your body to rest. You may feel groggy after the procedure so plan for someone to bring you home. If you participate in direct sports, think about taking at least a week off to allow your mouth to heal. If you have any pain after the procedure, consider taking Advil or ibuprofen.

If you experience dry socket after a dental procedure, contact our office right away and we will help you rectify the problem.

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