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How to Avoid Dry Socket After Tooth Removal

Dry socket after tooth extraction


Tooth removal is a pretty standard procedure. By the age of 50, including wisdom teeth, an average American has extracted 12 teeth. Usually, tooth removal is a routine procedure. However, in some cases, complications do occur.

Even though only between 2% and 5% of patients experience dry socket after getting their wisdom tooth removed. Unfortunately, it can be a rather painful experience. What’s worse, when not handled properly, a dry socket can take a long time to heal.

In this post from Douglas G. Hope, DDS, we’ll discuss how to avoid dry socket after tooth removal.

What Exactly Is Dry Socket?

Let’s start by answering the question: what are dry sockets in the first place? When you remove a wisdom tooth, you’ll usually have a hole in the bone where the tooth had been. Your blood will usually clot, allowing your body to heal the wound. When a blood clot moves out of the socket, dry socket or “alveolar osteitis” can develop.

There’s a bigger chance of developing dry sockets when removing bottom wisdom teeth. 

One symptom of dry socket is the radiating pain that extends from the tooth socket that goes to your ear. Many patients describe this pain as throbbing. This pain can be so intense, that some patients report feeling it in their eye socket

These symptoms become noticeable roughly 48 hours after the tooth extraction procedure.

What Can Cause Dry Socket

When a blood clot is dislodged from the socket before it has had time to dry out and heal, your body starts sending you signals that something isn’t right, in the form of pain. That’s how you know that dry sockets are formed.

The dry socket situation can be caused by food getting stuck in your wound. If the food falls in, there’s a chance it can end up in your nasal canal and cause the problem to deteriorate. However, even seemingly insignificant things like sneezing and spitting can lead to dry sockets. 

Furthermore, studies confirm that birth control can increase the risk of experiencing dry socket after having a tooth removed. If you’re using birth control pills or if you have recently taken a “day-after” pill, make sure to talk to your dental professional.

How to Avoid Dry Socket

So, you want to get your wisdom teeth extracted? Then, you need to learn how dry socket can be avoided. American Dental Association guidelines explain that in order to keep the blood clot intact, you should do the following:

  • Stop Smoking: Not only will smoking increase your blood pressure and lead to more bleeding but it will also slow down the healing process significantly.
  • Rinse Your Mouth Often: After tooth extraction, it is important to keep rinsing the mouth gently and even use a saline solution as an antiseptic agent.
  • Stop Drinking Alcohol: Avoid alcohol or mouthwash containing alcohol during the twenty-four hours following tooth extraction. Alcohol promotes extra bleeding that could hinder your healing process.
  • Lessen Physical Activities: People should avoid strenuous activity while the clot is forming in order to reduce bleeding.

Tooth Removal Care at Douglas G. Hope, DDS

Now that you know how to avoid dry sockets after tooth removal, all you need to do is find the right dentist. At Douglas G. Hope, DDS, our focus is on achieving genuine dental health to alleviate patient discomfort and maximize functionality for life-long wellness.

To schedule an appointment in Escondido, you can contact us online, or you can call us at (760) 480-8883.

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