How to Prevent Dry Socket - 7 Post Extractions Tips That Always Work

7 Tips to Prevent Dry Socket Formation After Tooth Extraction

Are you experiencing severe pain after tooth extraction? 

Formation of a dry socket can be one of the prominent reasons why your teeth hurt days after extraction. It results in pain and hinders the normal healing process after tooth extraction. 

Tooth pain that lasts for days after extraction is a standard indicator of a dry socket. So, if your child complains about tooth pain that lasts for days, consult the dentist. 

You can book an appointment with the best Pediatric Dentists via Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics and get the problem diagnosed. 

A dry socket is a common side effect after dental extraction. But what is a dry socket, what are its causes, and how can you prevent its formation? 

Let’s learn more about this post-extraction complication.

What is a Dry Socket?

In regular teeth extraction, the healing starts with a blood clot formation at the extraction site. However, in some cases, the blood clot may not form or be dislodged or dissolved before healing, leading to a dry socket.

A dry socket, also known as fibrinolytic or alveolar osteitis, is a socket that forms at the tooth extraction site and exposes the beneath bone and nerves. This exposure to food, bacteria, and air can result in other dental complications such as infection. 

The chance of dry socket formation is 3% in routine dental extractions. The incidence can increase up to 30% in the case of impacted mandibular third molar extractions.

A dry socket hinders the normal healing process after the extraction and can result in other complications such as infections, pain, etc. 

Read: What Can I Eat After Tooth Extraction?

What are the Symptoms of a Dry Socket?

Dry socket formation has the following signs and symptoms:

  • Absence of blood clot at the site of extraction
  • Severe tooth pain that lasts days after tooth extraction that radiates to your eye or ear
  • An empty socket
  • Visible teeth bone
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth

What Causes Dry Socket Formation?

The formation of a dry socket occurs when the blood clot doesn’t form or leaves its place. There can be various factors that could affect the formation and displacement of a healing clot. 

Sometimes, the blood clot may not form due to unknown reasons. In other cases, food particles or existing infections can affect the normal healing process and the formation of blood clots.

Even though the exact cause is unknown, several factors increase your risk of getting it. These include:

  • Use of tobacco or smoking
  • Use of blood thinners or contraceptives (raise estrogen level)
  • Improper after-care
  • Existing oral infections

How to Prevent Dry Socket Formation?

Here are the best ways to prevent the formation of dry socket and heal after extraction:

1- Wise Food Choices

One of the most essential things to minimize your odds of getting a dry socket is to make wise food choices. After tooth removal surgery, add soft foods to your diet and avoid crunchy foods.

Also, avoid sticky foods as they can stay on your tooth without going unnoticed. Some of the best food options after tooth extraction can be:

  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed veggies
  • Icecream
  • Soup 
  • Oatmeal
  • Hummus
  • Fruit puree, etc.

2- Avoid Using Straws

Many people find it convenient to use a straw for sipping liquids, but it can easily dislodge the blood clot, leaving behind a dry socket.

The sucking action in your oral cavity can easily dislodge the blood clot at the site of extraction. So, ensure you don’t use one for at least a week after tooth removal.

3- Drink Plain Water

Another way to prevent the formation of dry sockets is to drink plain water instead of sugary beverages and juices. Also, avoid taking caffeinated drinks and drink at least eight glasses of water for a speedy recovery.

4- Proper After Care

After tooth extraction, your dentist will ask you to take proper instructions regarding cleaning the area, pain management, gauze placement, sleeping position, etc.

So, make sure that you follow your dentist’s instructions thoroughly after the teeth removal to avoid any complications like dry sockets. 

Read: Post Tooth Extraction Care: What To Avoid For Healing

5- Gentle Salt Water Rinses

Keeping the extraction area clean is crucial because proper cleaning minimizes your chances of infection.

Your dentist only asks you to avoid brushing the extraction site. You can even use the toothpaste 4-5 days after extraction.

However, it is better to perform salt water rinses throughout the day to keep the site clean and minimize your chances of dry socket formation. 

6- Avoid Smoking

Smoking is a significant risk factor that increases your chances of dry socket formation. It is better to stop smoking weeks before getting your extraction.

However, smoking is wholly forbidden after surgery as it is a significant risk factor for dry socket formation. Other than the blood changes it induces, the smoking action increases the chances of dislodging the blood clot.

So, make sure you don’t smoke or use tobacco products for proper healing.

7- Talk to Your Dentist About Your Risk Factors

Certain medications can also affect the formation of healing blood clots at the extraction site. So, tell your dentist about any medications you are taking. Also, tell them about your history of dry sockets so they can give you a plan accordingly. 

Bottom Line

A dry socket is a common complication after tooth removal surgery. It can be extremely painful, hinder the normal post-extraction healing process, and lead to other complications.

Certain factors increase your risk of having a dry socket. Pain that lasts after extraction is a warning sign, so don’t delay your dentist’s visit. 

A dry socket typically lasts for 4-5 days. However, your dentist can clean the area, prescribe over-the-counter painkiller medications, and recommend a gauze to treat dry sockets. 

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