How to Prevent a Dry Socket After a Tooth Extraction

If you have a tooth extraction surgery coming up at our Peoria office, you may have heard of a somewhat common complication that can happen when you have teeth surgically removed: dry sockets. What exactly is a dry socket? Well, any time you have tooth extractions performed, there will be a hole left in your mouth that exposes your jawbone. But don’t worry – your body has a natural response to healing this wound, by covering it with a blood clot that forms pretty quickly after your tooth removal. However, certain activities you may do could dislodge the blood clot, which won’t form a second time.

To Prevent Dry Sockets, Make Sure You Don’t Do These Things After Surgery.

When you have tooth extractions surgery at AOS in Peoria, you’ll be discharged with a variety of post-operative instructions to follow. Make sure you do, in fact, follow these instructions to a “T.” There are several “don’ts” on this list, and many of them are in place to prevent you from suffering from dry sockets. When you have a tooth extraction, don’t:

  • Smoke cigarettes. When you inhale cigarette smoke, you can inadvertently dislodge the blood clot that has formed over your jawbone, thus causing a dry socket. In fact, it’s best to quit smoking altogether as tobacco products constrict blood flow, which may complicate your oral surgery and recovery process. If you need help quitting smoking, ask our doctors about entering a smoking cessation program.
  • Use your toothbrush too vigorously on your surgical site. If you brush too hard where your tooth was removed, you may inadvertently dislodge the blood clot over your exposed jawbone. Instead, rinse with salt water after your surgery, and gently brush everywhere but your surgical site so that you protect the blood clot.
  • Drink liquids out of a straw. You’ll need to spoon feed yourself all liquids after tooth extractions so you don’t perform a sucking motion with your mouth because that can also dislodge the blood clot over your jawbone.
  • Take birth control pills or estrogen supplements. Doing so may make it harder for a blood clot to form after tooth extractions.

Some causes of dry sockets may be unavoidable. These include having tooth extractions that are especially difficult or having a personal history of dry sockets after other Peoria tooth extraction procedures.

Ask Our Doctors About Any Other Questions Regarding Dry Sockets.

During your first consultation in which it’s determined you need a tooth extraction or your actual oral surgery appointment, you’ll have the opportunity to ask our Peoria doctors any questions you have about your recovery process. If you’re concerned about dry sockets, especially if you’ve had a history of developing them in their past, these appointments are the perfect opportunity for you to ask questions about this complication, and get personalized instructions to avoid developing them. You can also get a full explanation of what happens if you do develop dry sockets, which includes packing your open wounds with dental packing material to allow your gums to heal.

If you have any questions about tooth extractions or dry sockets, we want to hear from you. Contact us today at our Peoria office at (309) 326-9207.