Dry socket is a painful complication after a tooth extraction where the blood clot that protects all the sensitive bone, nerves, and tissue becomes dislodged.
Once a tooth is pulled out, your body goes into healing mode. The dentist will ask you to bite down on gauze to help encourage the blood clot to form. Part of your at-home care will include taking some crucial steps to protect this clot.
Here are five ways you can do that:
1. Don’t Touch the Clot
Avoid touching the clot with your tongue, finger, or even your toothbrush. Though you should continue to brush your teeth daily, skip the extraction site to avoid poking the clot.
If you want to be more thorough with your oral hygiene, you can rinse your mouth with saline water and gentle mouthwash.
2. Eat Softer Foods
It’s best to stick to foods that don’t require a lot of chewing for the first 1-2 days after your extraction and eat on the other side of the mouth.
These foods include:
- Mashed vegetables
- Yogurt, etc.
Harder foods, especially those that crumble, like crackers or chips, could make their way to the other side of the mouth and potentially dislodge the clot.
3. Don’t Spit or Drink Through a Straw
When you drink through a straw or spit, you create suction, which can increase the risk of a dry socket.
You may think drinking through a straw helps protect the extraction site, but it’s doing more harm than good. Drink your beverages as you normally would.
And when you rinse your mouth, instead of spitting, move your head over the sink and open your mouth to allow the liquid to gently exit.
4. Don’t Smoke
Smoking is bad news for your health, and studies have shown it can delay healing. Not only that, but tobacco also increases blood pressure, which can lead to unnecessary bleeding from the extraction site.
Smoking or vaping also create suction, so most dentists recommend kicking this habit at least until your extraction site closes.
5. Skip Your Workouts
Though most extractions are over in under an hour, they’re still considered a serious procedure. You will need to rest for a few days and give your body time to heal.
Strenuous physical activities and intense workouts increase blood pressure and can lead to dry sockets or bleeding. To be safe, you should skip any activity for the first few days, then slowly ease back into it while monitoring your body’s reactions.
Tooth Extractions in Oviedo, FL
Dr. Leidy Riano Galeano will always try to save a permanent tooth, but if the damage is severe, an extraction is unavoidable.
Schedule a consultation at Mint32 Dental now and come find out if your tooth needs extraction.
You can also call us at (407) 519-0634 for more information about our services.