Getting a tooth extraction is considered a surgery once a dentist makes a surgical incision into the gums. Now, going through that can be lousy enough, even with anesthesia and numbing agents involved. It’s still not a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, for some people, the aftermath can be even worse.
Aside from the usual pain and swelling that comes after a tooth extraction, dry sockets are also a possibility. A socket is a hole in your bone where the wisdom tooth was removed. Usually, this wouldn’t be anything to worry about because blood clots and heals over the hole. But dry sockets or alveolar osteitis occurs when that clot is dislodged, exposing the socket and nerve to air, food, and bacteria.
Some common causes of dry sockets are suction, bad hygiene, spitting, coughing, and sneezing. This can lead to bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, excessive pain, and slower healing post-op.
As much as possible, you want to avoid prolonging your suffering, so be sure to follow these tips to prevent dry sockets:
Eat the Right Food
It’s a given that you should avoid food that requires hard chewing. Refrain from eating crunchy and solid foods for at least a week post-op. During your healing, dishes like soup, porridge, mashed potatoes, and ice cream are the only things you should eat. It’s not the worst diet you’ll ever be on. The important thing is that you don’t disturb the healing process by eating hard food.
Avoid Straws and Smoking
Stay away from straws, as this is one of the most common culprits of dry sockets. Any type of suction from your mouth can dislodge the clot and lead to a world of pain. Smoking is a big no-no as well. It’s not just the subtle sucking and inhales you have to take when smoking, but the tobacco, too. If this is an issue, switch to nicotine patches or gum while you’re healing.
Keep the Area Clean
Oral hygiene is always important, but even more so after you’ve had a tooth extraction. You have an open wound in your mouth, making you vulnerable to bacteria that can ruin the clot or cause an infection.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day while being careful not to aggravate the area where the socket is. You can try gargling with salt water to soothe the hole in your mouth and clean it more thoroughly. After five days, you can also try cleaning your mouth with a syringe to get rid of trapped food easier.
Get Plenty of Rest
Tooth extraction is stressful to your body. Not only would you be healing from oral surgery, but you’ll also be in quite a lot of pain.
The best thing you can do to avoid problems during your recovery is to rest. You may not feel it right away, but you will be exhausted, especially in the first few days after the procedure. It’s best to get as much sleep as you can to heal faster.
The Bottom Line
No matter how old you are, getting any tooth extracted is a painful experience. But, you have to do it. The best thing you can do is heal as fast as you can, so you can go back to your regular diet and everyday routine. You can do that by following these tips. For the most part, they’re not just effective at preventing dry sockets. They’re also great for promoting faster healing.
If your wisdom tooth has been bothering you for a while, it’s probably time to take it out. Find the best dentists in Chattanooga here at Shallowford Family Dental. Established in 1940, we bring our clients the best care along with years of experience. Your and your family’s dental health is safe with us.