After a wisdom tooth extraction, some people experience a condition called “dry socket” that can make the recovery process quite painful and uncomfortable. While it can be treated, patients should take every step they can to prevent dry socket from occurring. Continue reading for a few tips on how to avoid dry socket after getting your wisdom teeth pulled.
What Is A Dry Socket?
A dry socket starts when an adult tooth, such as a wisdom tooth, has been removed and the bone or nerve in the socket becomes exposed. A clot will typically form to protect this area in your mouth, but if it doesn’t, anything in your mouth- food, water, or even air, can make the area painful and prone to infection. While it is common to have some discomfort after a wisdom tooth extraction, if you notice intense pain, it could be a dry socket and it is important to contact your dentist.
Preventing Dry Socket
Your dentist will go over the risks of dry socket and any questions you may have, but it’s essential to know that you are at a higher risk for dry socket if you smoke, had a traumatic extraction due to an accident or infection, have a history of poor dental hygiene, take medication that inhibits blood clotting, and more.
It’s also crucial to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions on how to prevent a dry socket after getting a tooth pulled. This typically includes no drinking from straws, no rinsing or spitting for 24 hours, avoiding hot foods and drinks, avoiding very crunchy foods, avoiding alcohol, and limiting your physical activities for a few days.
Treating Dry Socket
Dry socket only occurs in about 2-5% of patients, but it is vital to know the steps to take if you happen to experience it. Your first step should always be to call your dentist or oral surgeon, as they will know your history and the best recommendations for treatment. Treatment options may include pain relievers, topical medications, or simply to avoid drinking sugary drinks and using straws, as well as following proper oral care practices.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.