How to Avoid Dry Socket After an Extraction

Alveolar osteitis, commonly known as dry socket, is a complication patients can experience after a tooth extraction. Preventing it is very important in the healing process and the success of the intervention, so it’s very important that patients follow after-care instructions rigorously. Also, the patient should contact their doctor after an extraction if there is any unusual discomfort. 

What Does Dry Socket Mean?

A dry socket is the inflammation of the tooth socket after a damaged tooth has been removed completely. It mostly happens when the blood clot that forms on the socket is dislodged or isn’t developed enough to protect it. 

Dislodging the blood clot usually happens because of mechanical actions that are too intense. In some cases, however, blood clot formation is affected by certain medications (like oral contraceptives, anticoagulants, aspirin, etc.). Before an extraction, the dentist should know if the patient is currently taking any medication. 

Post-Extraction Care

You can prevent dry socket by following after-care instructions carefully. The main aim is to avoid any actions that can disturb the blood clot and keep the mouth clean. 

The list of actions you should avoid after a tooth extraction include: 

  • Creating suction with your mouth, like when smoking a cigarette or drinking with a straw. 
  • Consuming Alcohol or Tobacco: Alcohol and tobacco should be avoided as much as possible during the healing period, as they can create more bleeding by raising blood pressure. Tobacco is also damaging because it makes you more prone to dental infections. 
  • Intense Mouth Rinsing: Many people like to vigorously rinse their mouth after brushing their teeth. Try to be more gentle after a tooth extraction, as the blood clot protecting your socket can easily be disturbed. 
  • Intense Physical Activity: Intense exercise or physical activity can increase your blood pressure and disturb the blood clot protecting your tooth socket. Rest more than usual during the week following the extraction.

When to Go to the Doctor

If you experience intense pain or show signs of infection following a tooth extraction, call your doctor and book an appointment as soon as possible. If the discomfort is intense, you should seek emergency dental care. 

Call a dentist in your area and describe your symptoms. They will be able to assess if you need emergency care or if you can safely wait for a day or two before seeing a doctor. 

Book an Appointment Today

If you need a tooth extraction or think that you are experiencing a dry socket, book an appointment at North Park Dental with Dr. Munoz or the other experts in his team. They have the expertise, experience, and technology needed to solve dental issues and complications without being more invasive than needed.

Contact us if you have any questions or if you wish to schedule a dental visit.