How does a Dry Socket develop?
Usually after a wisdom tooth removal, a blood clot forms over the tooth socket. This blood clot guards the nerve endings in the bone and is a natural part of the healing procedure.
However, in some times, the blood clot either fails to develop or becomes dislodged. As a result, the bone and nerves in the socket get exposed to bacterial contamination. Dry socket is delayed healing, and it can be really painful.
- blood clot missing from the socket
- acute pain in a patient’s gum or jaw
- a foul smell from the empty socket
- a bad taste coming from the socket
- severe ear-aches
- pain radiates throughout your face
- there can be exposed bone at the area of the extraction
How to Prevent Dry Socket?
Dry socket prevention isn’t too hard; as long as you care for the extraction area properly, you’ll soon be back to normal. As per the American Dental Association (ADA), a patient should avoid the following:
- Creating suction: Smoking and drinking through a straw can generate suction. This may loosen your clot and delay healing. Avoid these for at least a week.
- Smoking: Smoking delays healing and also heightens blood pressure, which can result in more bleeding. Chemicals like nicotine minimize blood flow in the mouth and can disturb clotting.
- Hard Food and Carbonated Drinks: Consume soft-foods for quite a few days and stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. But don’t have any sugary items or drinks. Avoid hot food/drinks and chewing crunchy or spicy foods.
- Spitting: Avoid spitting for the first few days.
- Chewing from the same side: Chew on the side of your mouth opposite to the extraction side.
- Vigorous mouth rinsing: Do not rinse your mouth too vigorously. It is essential to do it gently to avoid interrupting the blood clot.
- Alcohol: You should not intake alcoholic beverages or use mouthwash containing alcohol for the first 24 hours. Or there is a possibility of the clot to become dislodged. Alcohol results in extra bleeding and delayed healing.
- Physical activity: Take some time to rest. You should reduce strenuous activity for the initial 24 hours after the extraction. This reduces bleeding and help the blood clot develop.
- Poor Hygiene: Wait for a minimum 24 hours before you clean the extraction area. Allow your clot to form. You can gently brush your other teeth and your tongue. Rinse your mouth with salt water after eating, to eliminate excess bacteria.
On the second day after your extraction, gently rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Don’t poke into the gap created with your tongue, finger, tissue, toothpick or other stuff. It may delay your healing time.
- Visit your Dentist: Make sure to visit your dentist for all scheduled follow-up visits.