Your dentist might extract a tooth from your mouth to treat overcrowded teeth or stop dental damage from worsening. This oral surgery will require a few days of rest and up to a few weeks to completely recover.
During this time, you should be careful with the surgical sites of the extraction. If you disturb the healing blood clots at these sites, you might form a painful condition called dry socket.
The main symptom of a dry socket is pain at the extraction site or radiating pain in the jaw.
The exposed nerves and bone in the site can feel excruciating and will require intervention from your dentist to alleviate. Read on to find three suggestions from your dentist to help you prevent dry socket as you heal from a tooth extraction procedure.
Tips to Avoid Painful Dry Socket
Practice Careful Oral Hygiene
Your dentist will give you aftercare instructions to take care of your surgical sites and the rest of your mouth after a tooth extraction. One of these guidelines will be to continue practicing your oral hygiene routine. This means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once per day.
A clean mouth will mean that you will reduce your risk of an oral infection. However, you will need to do so gently. Brush carefully, especially near your surgical sites, so that you do not disturb the healing blood clots in these areas.
If you do notice any issues as you heal, do not hesitate to call your dentist. You should not suffer through the pain of dry socket, as you might sustain severe dental damage from this issue.
Avoid Sucking Motions with the Mouth
Certain oral actions could harm a healing blood clot over an extraction site. Sucking motions counts as one of these activities. For this reason, you should not use a straw while you recover from this dental procedure.
Similarly, you should smoke while you heal. The inhalation action creates the same risk of hurting your surgical sites. To make it easier to abstain from this habit, you should reduce or cut back on your frequency of smoking. Then you can feel more prepared to recover without disruption or pain from dry socket.
Choose Soft Foods During Recovery
Your mouth may feel sore after the anesthetics wear off when you return home after this oral surgery. To remain comfortable, your dentist will advise that you eat soft-textured foods for the first 24-48 following your procedure. But this instruction can also help you avoid developing dry socket.
Hard, sticky, and chewy foods might disturb your healing blood clots. Stick to soft foods like applesauce, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and yogurt to prevent a dental emergency.
After the first day or two, you can begin introducing other foods to your diet. However, if you feel pain when eating these, revert back to chewing soft foods only.
Ask your dentist for more preventative care and recovery tips during a consult appointment. Your dentist will also have thorough instructions to help you heal quickly and thoroughly.