Avoiding Dry Sockets After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Team Oral Surgery, Wisdom Teeth

Dry socket is a painful condition that can occur after wisdom teeth removal. When a tooth is removed, a hole (known as a socket) is left in the bone. As part of the natural healing process, a blood clot forms in the socket to stop bleeding from the extraction site. Sometimes the blood clot can become dislodged or dissolve, leaving the underlying bone and nerves exposed. This is very painful and can even lead to infection.

Dry Socket After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Dry socket affects approximately two to five percent of patients after wisdom teeth removal. There are a few risk factors that can make you more likely to develop dry socket than the average patient. Here are a few ways in which you can change your behavior to reduce your chance of developing dry socket after wisdom teeth removal.

Do Not Smoke
Smokers are at much greater risk of developing dry socket than non-smokers. Avoid smoking for at least a couple of days, preferably a week after you have your wisdom teeth removed. Avoiding smoking for as long as possible will reduce your risk of dry socket by allowing the extraction site to heal without being irritated by the harsh chemicals in cigarette smoke.

Oral Hygiene
One of the most important factors influencing the likelihood of dry socket is oral hygiene. Follow Dr. Erakat’s advice to keep the extraction site clean. This advice will probably include rinsing gently every day with salt water or a mouthwash recommended by our office. The extraction site will probably be too sore to clean with a toothbrush, so sticking with the rinsing schedule recommended by us is the best way to keep it clean.

Avoid Straws And Spitting
Drinking through a straw or spitting can dislodge the blood clot and lead to dry socket. Try to avoid these activities for a few days after the surgery.

To learn more about preventing a dry socket, contact Prestige Oral Surgery at 732-297-7000.