Getting a tooth pulled or having your wisdom teeth removed isn’t something that anyone looks forward to — especially when it’s unexpected. But sometimes, it’s necessary to keep your dental health intact and avoid harmful infections. While the procedure is usually low risk, a dry socket is something you need to be aware of in the days after your tooth is removed.
At Lancaster Dental Care Associates, located in Lancaster, California, our team does everything they can to help you avoid this painful complication after a tooth extraction. Our skilled team of dentists features experts in many dental procedures, including a tooth extraction.
Understanding a dry socket
When you need a permanent adult tooth removed, it leaves a hole in your gums that takes a week or so to heal. During this time, a small blood clot forms over the hole to protect the bone and nerves where your tooth used to be.
The blood clot is also important for the formation of new tissue over your tooth socket and the development of new bone growth. However, if this clot doesn’t develop or falls out before the socket is healed, it leads to a condition called dry socket.
Dry socket is a condition that causes severe pain in the empty socket after you have a tooth extracted. The pain is due to the unexpected exposure of the nerve endings and bone left after your tooth is pulled.
Often, food and other debris get caught in the empty socket, which may lead to even more inflammation and increased pain. You may experience pain in the socket itself or along the entire side of your face. Dry socket pain usually happens about a day or two after your tooth is removed.
While a dry socket is very painful, it’s, unfortunately, one of the most common conditions that you could experience after having a tooth extracted, especially your wisdom teeth. But there are steps you can take to lower your risk of developing a dry socket.
Tips on preventing a dry socket
Dry socket is a very uncomfortable and painful condition — so you want to take every precaution possible to avoid it. While there’s no certain way to prevent it, there are steps you can take to lower the probability of getting a dry socket. The following are a few prevention tips:
Don’t use a straw
Using a straw to drink liquid can create a strong suction in your mouth. That suction not only can break the clot loose from your socket but also slows the healing process.
Smoking, no matter substance, can also create suction in your mouth. It also slows your socket from healing. Smoking increases your blood pressure as well, which leads to more bleeding in your mouth after the extraction.
After you have your tooth pulled, it’s important to wash your mouth out gently. If you rinse too often or rinse harder than you should, you run the risk of pushing the clot out of your socket.
Relax for 24 hours
When you have a tooth extracted, it’s essential that you avoid any strenuous activity for about a day or so. Intense physical activity may increase the bleeding at the site and prohibit a proper clot from forming.
Soft foods only
Eat soft or pureed foods after a tooth extraction. That prevents food particles from getting stuck in your socket before the blood clot can form. Foods like yogurt, applesauce, and smoothies are appropriate after your procedure.
These precautions not only help you avoid painful dry sockets but also allows your socket to heal quickly.
If you need a tooth extracted or are experiencing pain afterward, call our office to schedule a consultation at 661-282-7512, or you can book an appointment online.