What Is a Dry Socket & How Do I Prevent It?

October 31, 2021 9:36 am

Man with dry socket cringes due to radiating pain in his jaw

Dry socket, also called alveolar osteitis, is a common complication that can occur after a tooth is removed.

What Causes Dry Socket?

After you’ve had a tooth extracted, your body creates a blood clot in that area as part of the healing process. This blood clot works to protect the nerves and bone there. If that blood clot dissolves, gets dislodged, or doesn’t form correctly, then we have the issue of a dry socket.

Not only can a dry socket be quite painful, but it also makes the extraction area more vulnerable to bacteria. It can slow down your post-surgery recovery process too.

How to Prevent Dry Socket

Needless to say the last thing you want to be dealing with after a tooth extraction is throbbing dental pain from a dry socket. To help prevent it from occurring, it’s important that you avoid using straws. The suction that comes with drinking through a straw is a common way blood clots get dislodged. Along with that, stick to soft foods that don’t require too much chewing for the week or so after your surgery.

Another way to prevent a dry socket is to avoid smoking or using tobacco. Not only is this bad for your overall health, but it significantly increases the chances of you developing a dry socket.

If you have more questions about preventing dry sockets, or questions in general regarding tooth extractions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our Amber Hills Dental team is always here to help with your smile needs. You’re also welcome to book an appointment at our Henderson office so we can discuss any oral health issues you’re dealing with in person.


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