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How to Prevent Dry Socket After Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Pulled

Girl holding her cheek with tooth pain

Once you get any adult teeth pulled, but especially wisdom teeth, it can be normal to experience some pain as the mouth heals. However, dry socket—otherwise known as alveolar osteitis—is a condition that can occur if the mouth is not given the time to heal. A blood clot forms to protect the nerve endings and bone that the tooth previously covered, but when the blood clot cannot form or is dislodged, dry socket occurs.

Dry socket can be quite painful. However, there are simple steps to take to avoid it. Keep reading to learn more about how dry socket occurs and how to keep it from happening to you!

1. Get Some Rest

This might seem like an obvious one, but foods that take a lot of chewing are not the best choice after getting a molar removed. Molars are the teeth that are best at breaking down hard food, but when you now have a socket in place of a molar, you should allow the socket to heal by eating softer foods for the few days following your tooth removal.

Our bodies heal naturally when we sleep as well, so getting a full eight hours of sleep each night can also help prevent dry socket. Giving your body the natural time it needs to heal, while also avoiding any discomfort by sleeping, is always a good idea. Trying to avoid talking too much within the next few days after surgery can also help rest up your mouth and let the socket heal.

2. Avoid Using Straws

While getting nutrients from smoothies might seem like a good idea when your mouth is sore, straws actually create a lot of suction that can be problematic for clot-forming. As such, try to avoid using straws—you can still have smoothies and other such beverages, simply drink them without a straw until your mouth has healed.

3. Properly Clean the Socket

When it comes to proper oral hygiene, one might think that brushing the socket might be a good idea to help keep it clean. However, brushing the socket as one would a tooth can disrupt the healing process. Most oral surgeons would suggest instead using a saltwater rinse a few times a day to keep it clean, while otherwise brushing the rest of your teeth as you normally would. An antibacterial mouthwash is also a good choice if you greatly dislike the taste of saltwater —though remember, you can always rinse it and then have a soft snack that tastes great to avoid dealing with the taste as well!

4. Follow the Aftercare Plan

As always, the best way to avoid any complications after surgery is to listen to the aftercare plan laid out by your dental team and implement it to the best of your ability. Your dentist might suggest a different type of mouthwash, for example, or other techniques to help you avoid dry socket. Your dental team has the experience and knowledge to make certain that you stay happy and healthy following your surgery.

Clay & Associates DDS, PLC is a great dental team serving those in the Fort Dodge, Iowa area. Book an appointment with us today and see for yourself just how well we’ll take care of you and your teeth.


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