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how to prevent dry socket after wisdom teeth extraction

How To Prevent Dry Socket After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Are you about to get your wisdom teeth removed, or have you recently had them taken out? If so, you must take all the steps necessary to keep your smile healthy and prevent dry sockets. It’s a common post-oral surgery complication that hampers your oral condition. Suppose you have a dry socket after tooth extraction. In that case, your healing process gets delayed, and there are increased chances of infection in the socket that might lead to bone infection. So, let’s discuss how to prevent dry sockets after wisdom tooth extraction. 

Warning Signs Of A Dry Socket

Dry socket or alveolar osteitis is regarded as a painful dental condition that happens after tooth extraction. It occurs when the extraction site fails to develop a blood clot and dissolves before the wound has healed. In general, a blood clot forms at the site of tooth extraction. It is a protective layer over the underlying bones and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. The following are the warning signs of a dry socket that requires urgent attention and are as follows: 

  • Severe pain within a few days after tooth extraction 
  • Partial or total blood clot loss at the extraction site 
  • Visibility of bone in the socket
  • Excruciating pain radiating from the socket to your eye and ears 
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth. 

Ways To Prevent Dry Socket After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Avoid Straws 

Having drinks with a straw tends to dislodge your blood clot. It’s because of the suction movement of air and cheeks. Also, using a straw might poke the extraction site, leading to increased bleeding. Once this happens, it leads to a dry socket that impairs the normal healing process of your teeth. Dentists recommend avoiding using straws for at least a week after your wisdom teeth are extracted. 

Maintain A Soft Diet 

After the wisdom tooth extraction, it’s crucial to focus on your diet. You inevitably follow a soft diet for a week after the extraction. Foods like yogurt and mashed potatoes can be consumed to accelerate the healing period. However, it’s also important to note that you should avoid having soup during this time, which might again dislodge the blood clot. Also, avoid nuts and crunchy foods like chips and sticky foods that might get stuck in your socket. Such a condition often leads to a dry socket and complicates your oral health. 

Practice Proper Oral Hygiene 

Ensuring proper oral health is essential and needs to be understood. So, keeping your mouth clean becomes a necessity for preventing dry sockets. You need to ask your dentist how you should brush your teeth after the surgery. To ensure proper oral hygiene during this time, you can use an antibacterial mouthwash and gauze pads for the extraction site. By doing this, you will be able to prevent dry sockets and heal your site. 

Avoid Smoking 

If you’re a smoker, you are at a higher risk of developing a dry socket. Smoking inhalation is responsible for dislodging blood clots in your extraction site. This eventually hampers the healing and increases the chances of getting an infection around the extraction site largely. 

Caring For The Tooth Extraction Site 

Wisdom tooth extraction becomes the most important, especially when it causes toothache and pain in your gums and teeth. Once it’s done, there are specific aftercare topics that you should follow. Following these instructions will help you achieve better oral health naturally. They include the following: 

  • Ensure to keep your mouth clean with salt water rinse 
  • Try to brush your teeth gently to reduce the risk of bleeding from the extraction site. 
  • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated after the extraction. 
  • Avoid any strenuous exercise for a few days after the extraction. Give the extraction site to heal, and then resume your exercise regime. 
  • The post-extraction swelling is inevitable- it will happen, and there is a better way to address it. Try to hold an ice pack to your cheek to reduce the swelling, which lasts 3 days. 

The Bottom Line 

A dry socket is a common and painful complication that can occur after wisdom teeth are extracted. To prevent dry sockets, it is important to follow the post-operative instructions given by your dentist or oral surgeon. These instructions usually include avoiding drinking through a straw, smoking, and eating hard or crunchy foods for the first few days after surgery. Special dressings can also be placed in the extraction site to help promote healing and prevent dry sockets. If you do develop symptoms of dry socket, contact your dentist so that they can treat it and relieve your pain. Don’t let dry sockets hamper your oral health; consult with your dentist and seek urgent help for a better future for your teeth. 

FAQs

 Does Water Prevent Dry Sockets? 

Drinking plenty of water after a wisdom tooth extraction is helpful. However, don’t consume carbonated drinks or caffeine; it might lead to dry sockets. 

Do Stitches Prevent Dry Sockets?

Stitches are placed after wisdom teeth removal but do not prevent dry sockets at all. 

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