Preventing Dry Socket: How to Avoid This Issue When Teeth are Pulled

After a tooth is pulled, there is a condition that can occur known as dry socket. This condition commonly occurs when wisdom teeth are pulled and can be quite painful. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid this problem. Learning more can help you to avoid the issue the next time a tooth is pulled.

Dry Socket

A dry socket will occur when a permanent tooth is removed and the nerve and/or bone inside the socket is left exposed. A clot should form in the socket as a form of protection but when the clot does not form, the area becomes very sensitive. Air, food, and fluids can cause sensitivity and leave the area open to infection.

If you have teeth removed, particularly wisdom teeth, and you notice a strong pain that continues to increase, then you may have a dry socket. An example of pain you may feel can include an intense feeling near the ear. You may also have a bad taste in your mouth with a dry socket.

Preventing Dry Socket

There are certain ways you can prevent being exposed to a dry socket. There are patients who will be at higher-risk of dry socket due to certain conditions. If you have a history of dry socket, have had a wisdom tooth removed, use birth control or smoke, you will be at a higher risk. Poor dental hygiene history as well as medication that stops blood clotting can lead to dry socket issues.

If you have a tooth extracted, there are steps you can take to prevent a dry socket. Following the proper precautions will help you to avoid the painful issue. Any oral antibiotics or antiseptic options provided by the dentist should be taken so that dry socket can be avoided. Always follow the instructions provided by the oral surgeon.

Instructions will include no spitting or rinsing for a 24-hour time frame. Do not drink from a straw and do not smoke for a minimum of 72 hours. Do not drink or eat any hot items and avoid anything crunchy. Avoid alcohol and limit your physical activity for a 5 to 7-day time frame.

Treating a Dry Socket

If you do happen to experience a dry socket, it is important to treat the issue correctly. You can take pain relievers, such as over-the-counter solutions or prescription medication. Topical medication may be recommended along with flushing and rinsing solutions. Do not smoke, use a straw or have sugary drinks when you have a dry socket.

Be sure to follow proper oral care to avoid damaging the area. The dentist will be able to provide you with the essential steps to caring for the dry socket, ensuring the issue is taken care of as quickly as possible.

Following the right steps to avoid a dry socket is essential to not having to deal with the pain of a dry socket. At Winn Family Dentistry, we can assist with teeth extractions and can provide proper instructions and oral health care needs to avoid dry socket problems.