Preventing Dry Sockets After a Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The last thing you need after wisdom teeth surgery is to develop a dreaded dry socket. A dry socket is a painful condition caused when the blood clot which normally forms in the area to protect and aid healing cannot develop or becomes dislodged. Not having the clot exposes underlying bones and nerves. This causes pain to radiate across the face.

The Causes of Dry Sockets

Pressure changes within your mouth can dislodge the clot. Pressure changes occur due to suction or excessive breathing. Infections can break down the clot. Not being gentle with the extraction area can remove the clot. Another cause of dry sockets are medications and other substances that reduce the chance of clots forming. 

How To Avoid Dry Sockets

Now that you know the causes, what activities should you avoid to prevent dry sockets? 

Do Not Use Straws for at Least a Week

The suction that occurs when using a straw can easily remove the clot. 

No Strenuous Activities Like Working Out or Running

Exercise involves heaving breathing. Deep inhales and exhales can dislodge the clot, similar to the way suction through a straw can dislodge the clot.

Don’t Smoke or Use Tobacco

Of course, not smoking is always good advice. But it’s especially important when preventing dry sockets. Studies show patients that smoke are three times more likely to experience dry sockets. 

Like using a straw, smoking involves suction that can dislodge the clot. But cigarette smoke and other tobacco products also contain chemicals that can slow your healing and encourage infection. It’s best to use nicotine patches for the first few days after a wisdom tooth extraction.

Use Proper Oral Hygiene

Infections can break down the clot. Keeping your mouth clean is necessary to avoid infection after oral surgery. 

Be Gentle With the Extraction Area

You need to keep your mouth clean, but you can’t brush in the way you usually do. Brushing the extraction site can dislodge the clot. Your dentist will instruct you on how to clean your mouth during the crucial healing days following the extraction.

You also need to avoid using the area for chewing until it has healed. And follow your Panorama City dentist’s instructions regarding the foods to eat while healing. It’s likely they’ll recommend soft foods like yogurt for the first day. 

Avoid Substances That May Prevent Clot Formation

It’s important to discuss any medications you’re taking with your dentist or oral surgeon before wisdom teeth surgery. Medications such as blood thinners make it difficult for the clot to form. Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide instruction on how to handle this issue.

It’s best to avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen as they affect clot formation. You also need to avoid alcohol since it makes it more difficult for the clot to form. 

By taking it easy and using these tips to prevent dry sockets, you should have a relatively pain-free recovery after a wisdom tooth extraction.

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