Dr. Sam Greenstein

General and Cosmetic Dentistry

Tips for Avoiding Dry Socket

Tips for Avoiding Dry Socket

Losing a tooth is never a fun experience. Even if the tooth being extracted is a wisdom tooth that has caused you some level of discomfort, the process of having a tooth removed is one that most patients desperately want to avoid. While procedures like the placement of dental implants in Oregon City by our team can help to fill the void left by a missing tooth, there’s one potential complication of having a tooth removed that you’ll want to take every step to prevent: dry socket.

Dry socket is a condition that occasionally develops when a tooth extraction doesn’t properly heal. While having a tooth extracted can cause a lot of unwanted stress, the discomfort patients experience after the procedure is generally fairly mild. However, if the protective barrier that covers the exposed nerve breaks free before the socket has had the opportunity to fully heal, it can cause extreme discomfort. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent dry socket so your mouth can properly heal.

What is Dry Socket?

Following the extraction of a patient’s tooth, the socket or hole that remains where the tooth once sat takes time to fully heal. In most cases, a socket develops a clot that protects the delicate nerve that lies beneath from any outside stimuli, such as food and hot or cold temperatures.

If the clot becomes dislodged or removed before the socket has healed, it exposes the delicate nerve. When that nerve experiences any type of stimuli, you will experience sharp pangs of discomfort that can feel quite extreme.

How Can You Prevent Dry Socket?

While some of these tips may seem obvious, it’s important that you take as many precautions as possible to prevent dry socket. Whether following the removal of wisdom teeth or while waiting to fill a gap in your smile with the placement of dental implants in Oregon City, here’s how to avoid dry socket.

  • Don’t touch or probe the site of your tooth extraction with either your tongue or finger.
  • Rinse your mouth with salt water twice a day following your tooth extraction to keep the socket clean.
  • Do not under any circumstance drink from a straw or smoke anything. The sucking motion can pull the clots free from your socket.
  • Use a cold compress on the side of your face for 10 minutes on and then 10 minutes off. Repeat this process for the first 24 hours following your extraction.
  • Follow all of the aftercare instructions provided by Dr. Greenstein.

How Can You Treat Dry Socket at Home?

If you experience significant discomfort following your extraction procedure, contact Dr. Greenstein. He can prescribe any necessary medication to help alleviate any discomfort while also helping the socket heal more comfortably.

If you believe the clot over your socket has been dislodged, call Dr. Greenstein. He can clean the socket and pack it with gauze to help protect the exposed nerve and bone.  Dr. Greenstein will also continue to monitor the healing process following your extraction procedure to make sure that your oral health is ready for the placement of dental implants in Oregon City or what procedure you may need to restore your smile back to health.

Don’t underestimate the discomfort dry socket can cause. Fortunately, by taking just a few precautions and talking with Dr. Greenstein, you can avoid any complications from procedures like dental implants in Oregon City could that undermine your oral health and the health of the implant. If you have any questions about dry socket, make sure to ask any member of our team during the next time you visit Oregon City Dentistry.

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