Most tooth extractions have no serious complications, but “dry socket” can occur in 2-5% of patients. What is this, and how can you avoid it? Find out now in this blog from Santo Dental Group.
What Is Dry Socket?
When your tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms in the now-empty socket. This protects the underlying tissue, and functions as a “scaffold” around which new tissue can grow. Because of this, the blood clot is absolutely essential for the healing process.
Dry socket happens when this blood clot is damaged, does not form properly, or is knocked out of place. This exposes bone and nerve tissue, interferes with healing, and causes a lot of pain. Treatment for dry socket will require a follow up with your dentist, who will clean the site and treat it with a special type of medicine.
What Can I Do To Prevent Dry Socket? 5 Simple Steps
Dr. Michael Santo, Dr. Miles Santo, or Dr. Katelyn Domingues will give you a set of instructions to follow after your extraction surgery. Following these closely is the best way to prevent dry socket. A few of the recommended steps will include:
- Avoiding the use of a straw – Using a straw puts a lot of pressure on the socket, and can dislodge the blood clot. You must avoid using a straw for at least 2-3 days to make sure this doesn’t happen.
- Rinsing the extraction site instead of brushing it – You can brush your other teeth, but don’t brush the extraction site for at least 3-4 days. Instead, you can use a prescription mouth rinse or salt water rinse to clean it. This ensures you do not disturb or damage the clot.
- Not spitting forcefully – After rinsing your mouth, don’t spit vigorously. Like using a straw, forceful spitting puts lots of strain on your blood clot, and can knock it out of place.
- Eating soft foods – Eating soft foods after an extraction isn’t just easier and more soothing as you heal and recover. It also helps prevent damage to your blood clot. Eat soft foods like yogurt, ice cream, and smoothies for about 2-3 days. You can introduce foods like oatmeal, pasta, and mashed potatoes into your diet after this. Avoid hard, crunchy, and tough foods for at least 1-2 weeks.
- Not smoking – You should not smoke for at least 3-4 days after your extraction, and ideally for a week or longer. Smoking can dislodge your blood clot. And, even if this doesn’t happen, smoking interferes with proper blood flow and can lead to a long healing and recovery process.
Contact Santo Dental Group For Tooth Extractions In Red Bank, NJ
At Santo Dental Group, our dentists can provide you with the gentle care you need, extract troublesome teeth, and eliminate your pain and discomfort. If you think that you need a tooth extraction in Red Bank, we’re here to help. Contact us online or call today at (732) 530-1003 to schedule a consultation, and see if a tooth extraction is right for you.