How Best to Avoid Dry Socket After Dental Extraction Surgery

Posted on: 16 August 2022

Dry socket is a common complication after dental extractions, especially for wisdom teeth extractions. This inflammation of an empty tooth socket happens when the blood clot that usually forms to protect the nerve endings and underlying bone fails to develop, dissolves, or dislodges.

Not only is dry socket uncomfortable and even painful, but it can also delay the healing process after dental extractions. The good news is that you can avoid the complication with the following, among other tips.

Avoid Using Straws

It's best to avoid drinking using straws for at least a week after dental extractions. Drinking through a straw will create suction, which may dislodge the blood clot at the removal site.

Avoid Smoking

As with drinking using straws, smoking also creates the kind of suction that may dislodge your protective blood clot. A dentist will advise against smoking for at least a few days following your dental extractions procedure. You should also avoid chewing nicotine gum during this time.

Keep the Extraction Site Clean

It is crucial that you keep up with a proper oral hygiene routine after dental extractions. Good hygiene will help to keep bacteria out of the removal site, preventing infections that would otherwise affect the blood clot. 

Brush regularly, but do it so gently to avoid dislodging the blood clot. Similarly, a dentist will advise against vigorously rinsing out your mouth as this may only disturb the blood clot. He or she may also provide you with a syringe to rinse the dental extractions site. Use the rinse gently, and avoid using it until a few days after the procedure to ensure the blood clot is in place.

Watch What You Eat

Stick to soft foods right after dental extractions. Hard foods or anything requiring too much chewing may get lodged in the empty socket and disturb the blood clot. Not only do you risk developing dry sockets, but it may generally hurt to chew hard foods for at least a few days after the tooth extraction.

Rest Up

Getting plenty of rest promotes healing after dental extractions. Avoid talking too much after the procedure so that your mouth rests and the blood clot can form in the empty socket. Additionally, you will want to avoid exercise and any strenuous physical activity that may raise your heart rate, as this can lead to bleeding.

Healing after tooth extractions can be a smooth experience. Follow these and more tips from a dentist to avoid dry sockets and speed up recovery.