How to Avoid Dry Socket After Tooth Removal


September 6, 2022

After your tooth has been extracted at RI Oral Surgery & Implant Center, a blood clot will form in the extraction site. If this blood clot is damaged or dislodged, this can cause a painful condition called “dry socket.” Not only does dry socket cause pain and discomfort, but it can delay the healing process. So how do you avoid it? Read on, and get a few top tips.

1. Don’t Use Straws Or Spit Forcefully For 72 Hours

You should not use a straw for at least 72 hours. This is because the sucking action of using a straw can dislodge your blood clot. So make sure you’re drinking your liquids directly from a glass, rather than using a straw.

Similarly, you should avoid spitting for at least 72 hours. Spitting can also dislodge your blood clot and cause dry socket. If you have liquid in your mouth that you want to spit out, such as mouthwash, just let it drip out of your mouth slowly, and don’t spit.

2. Avoid Smoking For At Least 72 Hours, And Preferably Longer

If you’ve had a tooth pulled, you should avoid smoking for 72 hours at a minimum. Like using a straw, the sucking action of smoking a cigarette can dislodge your blood clot and cause dry socket. This is true of vapes, cigars, and other such things, too.

Smoking also impairs the natural healing process. If you’re a smoker, you will have a higher risk of complications after tooth extraction. So while you must avoid smoking for at least 72 hours after an extraction, we recommend avoiding it for longer, if possible, or even quitting smoking altogether.

3. Eat Soft Foods To Avoid Irritating Or Damaging The Blood Clot

Soft foods are easier to eat after your surgery. But that’s not the only reason we recommend them. If you eat hard, tough, or crunchy foods, this could damage or dislodge your blood clot. For example, chewing on a piece of crusty bread or a potato chip could damage your extraction site.

For this reason, you should eat a diet of mostly soft foods for at least a week. After about a week, you can start eating more firm foods; however, we still recommend avoiding really crunchy foods for two weeks.

4. Don’t Brush Your Extraction Site Directly For 72 Hours

After your surgery, you can brush your other teeth normally after 24 hours. But you should not brush your extraction site directly for at least 72 hours. Your toothbrush can easily dislodge or damage your blood clot, causing dry socket.

Instead, you can use a saltwater rinse or any mouthwash prescribed by Dr. Ray English to gently clean the extraction site. And remember, never spit! Let the liquid drip out of your mouth slowly after you’re done rinsing. After about three or four days, you can start brushing the extraction site, but be gentle.

Proper Post-Surgery Care Is Essential For Avoiding Dry Socket

These simple steps will help dramatically reduce your risk of developing dry socket after a tooth extraction. Need more details? Don’t worry. After your appointment at RI Oral Surgery & Implant Center. Dr. English will provide you with a full set of recovery instructions. If you think that you may need a tooth extraction in Warwick, RI, we’re here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at 401-732-1188 to schedule a consultation with Dr. English right away.

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Are you interested in dental implants or in finding out if you’re a good candidate for oral surgery? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ray English III today! He’ll take the time to get to know you, and provide treatment plan options that are tailored to your unique needs, so you can get the care that’s right for you.

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