How Can I Prevent Dry Socket After Tooth Extraction?

Dry Socket Preventive Care

Dry socket is found in 1 to 5% of all tooth extractions, about one-third among wisdom tooth extractions. What happens is that the blood clot that usually forms over the extraction site either doesn’t form or becomes dislodged. This leaves the nerves and bone exposed to the air and the site becomes painful. There are ways to prevent this from happening.

Dry socket signifies a delay in the healing process, something that could have been prevented.

The ADA recommends a guide so that patients avoid the complication of dry socket.

  • Must avoid creating a suction effect. This means not smoking or drinking through a straw or even spitting because these things create a suction effect that may lead to loosening and dislodging of the blood clot. 
  • Must not smoke (better not in the next 48 hours). Smoking impedes healing, thickens the blood, increases high blood pressure, among others.
  • Must avoid alcohol beverages and mouthwashes with alcohol content (at least for 24 hours). Refrain from carbonated or hot drinks. All these can disturb the blood clot and cause it to be displaced, can encourage more bleeding, and delay healing. 
  • Must not engage in vigorous mouth rinsing. This activity can dislodge the blood clot. However, after at least 24 hours, gentle mouth rinsing is recommended.
  • Must not engage in physical activity. Avoid or limit strenuous activity for at least the first 24 hours after your surgery; means no to exercise like jumping, lifting, or other. Rest is prescribed to reduce bleeding and help blood clotting.
  • Must only consume soft or liquid foods. Avoid hard or crunchy foods, including starchy foods that can be stuck on tooth surfaces. While you are still in the healing process, avoid chewing on that side of the extraction site. 
  • Must still keep your mouth clean. For the first 24 hours, avoid cleaning the teeth along the extraction site while you can clean the rest of your teeth. After this, the next day, you can give your mouth a gentle rinse with a warm mix of water and salt. If you have hypertension, warm water rinse will do.

Remember to adhere to your dentist’s post-extraction care instructions to significantly prevent dry socket. 


Towards Preventing Dry Socket in Lynnwood

When considering tooth extraction, particularly of wisdom teeth, consult with us at Song Dental in Lynnwood. Rest assured that we do safe and effective dentistry in Lynnwood.