After your wisdom teeth removal, your oral surgeon will give you careful instructions for post-surgery recovery, including how to avoid dry socket.
Dry socket occurs when the blood clot that forms over the socket (the hole in the jawbone where your tooth has been removed) becomes dislodged. Without this protective clot, the socket will be exposed to air, food, or fluids and can experience tremendous pain. It can even delay your recovery if it leads to an infection.
Keep reading to learn how to avoid dry socket after your wisdom teeth removal.
How to Avoid Dry Socket: 4 Simple Steps
1. Avoid Smoking or Tobacco Use
If you smoke or use any tobacco products, your likelihood for developing dry socket increases. Smoke inhalation or exposure to chemicals in tobacco products can break up the protective clot. Oral surgeons recommend that you refrain from any tobacco products during your wisdom teeth recovery.
2. Don’t Use Straws
You may want to drink a delicious smoothie or sip on some iced water during recovery. But you should never use straws at any point during your wisdom teeth surgery recovery. Dry socket often develops when a patient creates too much suction in their mouth, causing the blood clot to break or become dislodged. Remember how to avoid dry socket: gently sip your drinks straight from the cup. Check out our recommendations for safe food to eat during your wisdom teeth recovery.
3. Watch Your Medication
Let your oral surgeon know if you are on any medications. Some studies suggest that use of oral contraceptives may increase your risk of developing dry socket. Your oral surgeon will be able to recommend the best option for you, as well as determine if any other medications could stop proper blood clotting.
4. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to ensure that you will not develop a painful dry socket. Brush gently during the days after surgery and use the mouth wash that your oral surgeon will provide for you. This will help prevent bacteria from getting into the socket and causing periodontitis, or an infection of the jawbone.
Now you know how to avoid dry socket. You have a great chance of a healthy recovery if you follow the instructions of your oral surgery team following your surgery. However, if you happen to develop dry socket, seek help from your oral surgeon immediately. If you have any questions or want to schedule a consultation about painful wisdom teeth, call East Brainerd Oral Surgery today.