While having a tooth extracted can seem scary, our Oral Surgery Center at Dental Solutions of Columbus is designed to make the experience as easy as possible, so that you can get back to doing the things you love quickly. During each step of the way—from consultation to the procedure itself to caring for you during your recovery—our team will make sure you understand exactly what you need to do. Today, we want to talk about everyone’s least favorite potential side effect of tooth extractions (and how you can prevent them!): dry sockets.
What Are Dry Sockets?
Whether you’re having your wisdom teeth removed or an infected tooth pulled, any tooth extraction carries the risk of dry sockets during recovery. When a tooth is removed, your body naturally creates a blood clot in the socket. This blood clot functions as a protective shield that covers newly exposed and very vulnerable nerves and bone. If the blood clot is disturbed, it can result in an extremely painful dry socket that can slow down your recovery.
How Can You Prevent Dry Sockets?
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to care for your extraction site and avoid developing a dry socket. Our team will give you these instructions after your procedure, but just in case:
- Be sure to rest! You probably won’t feel up to much physical activity right after your procedure, and that’s totally normal. Give your body a chance to begin to heal itself without the chance of accidentally bumping your extraction site.
- Carefully follow our cleaning instructions. Each patient is different, but our team will probably advise you to wait 24 hours before you try to clean the extraction site. We will also give you an antibacterial mouthwash to gently rinse with that will kill germs that could infect your extraction site.
- Watch what you eat and drink. Most of our patients don’t feel hungry right after having a tooth extracted, but when you do get hungry you should start with soft foods and chew on the other side of your mouth. Drink plenty of water but avoid sugary or alcoholic beverages. Most importantly, do not use a straw until we tell you it is safe to do so! The suction created by a straw can easily dislodge a newly-formed clot.
If you follow these steps, you are well on your way to ensuring a smooth recovery from your tooth extraction. To ask us any questions or to schedule your next visit, contact us today!