Tooth extractions are not that uncommon and can sometimes be needed as part of cosmetic dentistry if, for example, you need to remove the wisdom tooth to correct the alignment of your teeth.
After a tooth extraction, you will have an empty socket that needs healing and is potentially exposed to infection and inflammation. One of the possible complications of tooth extraction is alveolar osteitis, commonly known as “dry socket”.
To prevent this complication, you need to follow the aftercare instructions given by your dentist and be aware of the healing site. To put it simply, you will need to be gentle in the first 2 days after the extraction and not touch the extraction site to keep the socket protected.
The main thing that protects the empty socket while the extraction site is healing is a blood clot that your body forms on its own. You want this blood clot to stay in place and protect the socket. Here is how.
Clean Your Mouth Gently
Rinse and brush very gently while keeping your mouth clean every day. Don’t rinse vigorously and avoid touching the extraction site with your toothbrush or floss. You can start going over the extraction site after it has healed.
Avoid Creating Suction
You can create suction by drinking liquids with a straw, by smoking or doing other similar activities. Avoid these actions after getting a tooth removed, because they can dislodge the blood clot and expose your empty socket, which can be very painful.
Avoid Alcohol and Cigarettes
Consuming alcohol and tobacco products right after a tooth extraction can delay the healing process and cause a dry socket, which is painful and can lead to other problems. Avoid drinking and smoking for at least 48 hours after the procedure, as both these substances affect your body’s ability to heal itself, and can cause more bleeding.
Tell Your Dentist About Your Medication
Certain medication you take, unrelated to the tooth extraction, can cause a dry socket. Even medication you think is harmless, like aspirin or oral contraceptives, could delay the formation of the blood clot or cause it to dislodge.
Limit Exercise and Effort
For at least 2 hours after a tooth extraction, avoid doing strenuous exercise or work, as it increases the blood flow in your body, your pulse, and your blood pressure. This can affect your body’s healing process and delay the formation of the important blood clot over your tooth socket.
Book an Appointment Today!
At Shine Dental, we take every measure possible to avoid complications following the procedures we perform. Dr. Katelyn Miller and her team explain each procedure step-by-step and give written instructions to the patients.
We are also available for follow-up questions and can see our patients if they worry about potential complications. Contact us for making an appointment or for asking any questions about tooth extractions, dry socket, or other procedures.