Many people focus on the before and during periods of tooth extraction: how to prepare for the procedure, what it’ll be like, and whether or not it will hurt. But the aftercare is just as important — maybe more so — than all the rest.
One of the post-extraction dangers for which you should be prepared is dry socket. Fortunately, there are many easy, at-home remedies you can use to keep it at bay.
At Ueno Center Dental Specialists, we offer safe, quick tooth extractions that allow you to get back on your feet in no time. Still, Jeremy K. Ueno, DMD, as well as our other providers, want to ensure you have the knowledge you need to take care of yourself post-procedure.
Having your wisdom teeth removed is extremely common. According to a 2020 study, up to 80% of young people in Europe have had at least one wisdom tooth removed.
The procedure is safe and often helps with problems such as impacted teeth, pain, and shifting alignment. In most cases, people make a full recovery from having their wisdom teeth removed.
But whenever we pull a tooth, we’re on the lookout for dry socket. Dry socket is a condition wherein the clot that forms in the hole where the tooth used to be doesn’t form properly, is lost, or never forms at all.
This clot keeps the bone and nerves that were under the tooth safe as the wound heals.
Dry socket can then lead to infection, which can cause a host of problems with the post-extraction site. If left untreated, it can cause pain, abscesses, and more.
Luckily, you can easily prevent dry socket. That’s why we put so much emphasis on this key part of your aftercare.
Once you leave our office, you’ll probably still feel woozy and achy for the next few days. That’s why we recommend having someone stay with you. But you can easily prevent dry socket yourself with these techniques.
It might sound crazy, but these are all big no-nos for the first week or so after having your tooth pulled. The force of sucking in liquids through a straw or blowing your nose can cause the clot forming inside the socket to break.
Because of the chemicals in them, smoking cigarettes and using any kind of tobacco product can keep the necessary clot from forming properly. Still, the quick inhalation associated with smoking anything could lead to a broken clot, which puts you at risk.
Saltwater rinses are a great way to avoid dry socket while also managing pain and avoiding infection. Simply mix warm — not hot — water with salt, and gently swish it around inside your mouth. You don’t have to gargle, and don’t spit hard.
As instructed, eat soft foods and drink plenty of liquids. If you drink beverages that are too hot or eat items that are too hard, you can easily endanger your clot. After 3-5 days, you should be able to return to your normal diet.
Be extra aware of your oral health for the next several weeks. Brush regularly but softly, being careful not to hit the socket, and use an antibacterial mouthwash if prescribed.
If you follow our instructions, get plenty of rest, and avoid any strenuous activities, your extraction site will heal in no time, allowing you to return to your day-to-day life.
Are you ready to get rid of your pesky wisdom teeth? Call us today, and we’ll set you up with an appointment at our Campbell, California, office.