Prevent Dry Socket with These Tips

A dentist will recommend extraction surgery for patients with teeth that are damaged and do not respond to restorative treatment or with teeth that negatively impact oral health. You should prepare time to recover after this procedure to avoid unpleasant conditions like dry socket.

Dry socket can develop if the natural blood clot that forms over a surgical site after an extraction is disturbed and becomes dislodged. This condition is painful and will require further treatment from your dentist to heal. Dr. Matthew Gerald, a dentist practicing in Vienna, VA, offers three tips for preventing dry socket after a tooth extraction procedure.

dry socket prevention in Vienna Virginia

Continue Good Oral Hygiene Practices

When you return home after a tooth extraction, you will have to be gentle with your surgical site so that you do not interrupt the healing process and cause dry socket. However, you will still need to maintain good oral hygiene habits to keep your mouth clean and healthy.

You should be gentle when brushing and flossing after this oral surgery, especially near the extraction site. Your dentist can provide specific oral hygiene guidelines for you to practice while you recover.

Avoid Sucking Movements with Your Mouth

The combination of airflow and muscle movements that occur when you perform a sucking motion with your mouth could disturb a blood clot and lead to dry socket formation. For this reason, you should not use a straw for at least one week after a tooth extraction.

You should also avoid smoking during this healing period because inhalation with this habit creates a similar risk. To make it easier to abstain from smoking, you can limit the habit prior to your surgery.

Choose Soft-Textured Foods

When anesthesia wears off following a tooth extraction procedure, your mouth may feel sore. Dentists recommend that you stick to eating soft-textured foods after this type of surgery.

Hard, sticky, or chewy foods may feel uncomfortable and could also dislodge a blood clot and cause dry socket. The day after your procedure, you may feel ready to eat more solid foods, but you should revert to soft options if you notice any pain.

Learn More Oral Health Tips from Your Dentist in Vienna, VA

Dr. Gerald performs tooth extraction procedures and other general dental treatments for patients in Vienna, VA. Our practice also specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule a consultation or appointment with our team, contact us online or reach our office by phone at 703.721.4796.