Patients can require tooth extraction surgery for a number of reasons, from wisdom tooth removal to advanced tooth decay treatment. They will need time to recover from the procedure, but if patients are not careful in this healing period, they may suffer from dry socket.
Dry socket is a painful issue that occurs when the blood clot that naturally forms while a tooth extraction site heals becomes dislodged. Dr. Alan Dechter and Dr. Matthew Moy, a dentist team in Silver Spring, MD, offer tips to prevent dry socket after a tooth extraction procedure.
Maintain Proper Oral Hygiene
After a tooth extraction procedure, your dentist will provide you with aftercare guidelines to help your healing process. The top of this list will ask you to maintain proper oral hygiene practices to get rid of plaque build-up and bacteria on your teeth and gums.
You will need to brush your teeth carefully around the surgical site to avoid soreness or disrupting the clot. Your dentist may also suggest using an antibacterial mouthwash to further sanitize your mouth as it heals.
Avoid Suction Through the Mouth
The combination of muscle movement and airflow when performing a sucking motion with your mouth can dislodge a blood clot and cause dry socket. For this reason, you should avoid using straws for at least a week after your procedure.
You should also stop smoking during the healing process too, as the inhalation can also disturb a blood clot. You may want to reduce tobacco usage in the days leading up to your oral surgery to prepare for this abstinence.
Choose Soft Foods
Your mouth may be sore directly after your procedure, so soft foods may feel more comfortable to eat. They are also a good choice because hard, sticky, or chewy foods can damage or get stuck in a blood clot.
Applesauce and yogurt are good examples of foods that should be comfortable to eat after a tooth extraction surgery. You may feel ready to eat more solid foods the day after your procedure, but you should revert to soft foods if you notice any pain.