Avoiding Dry Socket

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In many cases, advancements in dental technology allow dentists to save teeth that in the past otherwise may have been lost. But from time to time, a person may need to have a tooth extracted. This may be because you have too many teeth in your mouth and an extraction may be needed to relieve overcrowding. Or, an extraction may be required to accommodate orthodontics, or to address wisdom teeth problems. And in some cases, a tooth may be so damaged by trauma or decay that it is no longer viable.

If you have a tooth extracted, you will need to be careful to avoid dry socket. After an extraction, a blood clot will form in the socket. This clot has an important job to do, which is protecting the exposed bone and nerves. If that clot is ruptured or removed, you will be vulnerable to infection, and you will more than likely be in extreme pain. If you do experience dry socket, you should contact your dentist right away, and he will clean and dress the socket.

To avoid dry socket, you should wait stick with cool, soft foods if you are hungry during the first 24 hours after your procedure, and you should chew on the side of your mouth opposite the extraction site. Depending on your procedure, your dentist may or may not want you to rinse the area during the first 24 hours. But even if you can brush your other teeth, do not brush the extraction site. If you do rinse, use a salt and water solution, or an antibacterial rinse, and rinse your mouth very gently.

Tobacco use will slow the healing process. Smoking can create suction, which could damage the clot. You might think that by using a straw you are bypassing the blood clot. But, just like smoking you are creating suction that can could remove or disrupt the clot.

If you have a tooth that has been giving you some problems, our dentist, Dr. Mitchell Olson will be happy to help. If you live in the Bloomington, Minnesota, area, you can schedule an appointment at Olson Dental Care by calling 952-884-1308. We look forward to helping you get your smile back on track!