If you are having a tooth pulled, preventing a dry socket is key to healing properly. This issue occurs when the blood clot that forms and the socket where the tooth used to be is dislodged. This leaves the underlying nerve endings and bone unprotected. While a dry socket is painful, it can also cause delays in the healing process. Keep reading to learn five warning signs that you’re developing a dry socket, four tips that will help you prevent it, and how your dentist can help.
5 Warning Signs to Look Out For
After having a tooth extracted, it’s completely normal to experience some discomfort. Fortunately, getting plenty of sleep, using a cold compress, and taking over-the-counter pain medications are usually enough to minimize discomfort and inflammation. During the healing process, you should also keep an eye open for signs of a dry socket, such as:
- Pain that gets worse a few days after the tooth is extracted
- A blood clot that’s partially missing or an empty socket
- Pain in the head that stems from the socket
- Bone being visible in the socket
- Bad breath
4 Tips for Avoiding Dry Socket
Try socket can sometimes occur when a blood clot never forms in the first place. Even so, it’s usually the result of the clot getting moved by something. Avoiding a dry socket is the best way to ensure that you heal properly. You can do this by:
- Avoiding smoking cigarettes or other tobacco use for several days after the procedure
- Implementing a good oral hygiene regimen that consists of brushing and flossing
- Not using a straw for at least a week after the tooth is extracted
- Eating soft foods, like applesauce, yogurt, and oatmeal
How Your Dentist Can Help
If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, get in touch with your dentist as soon as possible. Setting up an appointment with them will allow them to examine your mouth and determine the best way to alleviate discomfort.
Depending on your situation, your dentist may rinse out the socket, apply medication, and prescribe you a painkiller. With some rest, best practices, and the proper treatment, you should feel as good as new within a week.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki is the skilled dentist who leads the team at Jacksonville Dental Specialists. He earned his dental doctorate from the University of Florida College of Dentistry and proudly serves as a member of several dental organizations, including the American Dental Association and the Florida Prosthodontic Association. He provides patients in Jacksonville and the surrounding communities with a wide range of high-quality, comprehensive treatments, including tooth extractions. If the extraction site isn’t healing properly, he can also administer treatment for dry sockets. If you’d like to set up an appointment with Dr. Nawrocki or to learn more, visit his website or call his office at 904-323-0928.