How to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction? – 5 Best Ways

    When you are having a tooth pulled, it is not a particularly enjoyable experience. Afterward, you no doubt expect to have some discomfort. When the pain becomes intense and perhaps worsens after a few days, it may be symptoms of a dry socket. This article will help you to know how to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction.

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    What is called a dry socket?

    Sometimes after you have a permanent adult tooth extraction, painful dental conditions like a dry socket happen to your teeth. In medical terms, this dry socket is also called alveolar osteitis. This condition of dry socket happens when the blood clot at the tooth extraction area fails to formulate, or it dislodges or dissolves the wound has healed. So we have to know how to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction to save our teeth and avoid the painful procedure.

    Check out this YouTube video to know more about it.

    How does it happen?

    First, we need to know how dry socket takes place to know how to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction. After tooth extraction, a blood clot forms in the area, and it serves as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve ending in the empty tooth socket. Also, the foundation delivered by the clot is for the development of new bone and the soft tissue over the clot.

    When the underlying bones and the nerves are uncovered, resulting in severe pain in the socket, the sockets may be filled with foods adding to the pain. The pain from the tooth starts to begin one or three days after your tooth is removed if you develop a dry socket. To know how to prevent dry socket after the tooth extraction, you need to know that it is the most common complication after the extraction.

    Dry sockets happen when the third molar or the wisdom tooth is removed from your teeth. If you want to treat dry socket, pain medication alone won’t be enough. Your dentist or the oral surgeon can offer treatment to relieve your pain. This article will discuss more how to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction to help you more.

    What causes dry sockets in teeth?

    A protective blood clot that does not form in the open space can cause a dry socket if a tooth is removed. Blood clot formation will be the first step in healing to cover and protect the jawbone. The bone will be uncovered if the blood clot is lost or does not form accurately, resulting in delayed recovery. Before we get into how to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction, let’s dive deeper into how you might get one. Tooth extraction is a procedure to get one of your teeth pulled out.

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    The reasons may be damaged or decayed tooth, or it can be crowded mouth or impacted teeth, infection, or sign of infection. A dry socket is one of the few complications of tooth extraction. Many factors lead to a dry socket like bacteria, chemical, mechanical and physiologic factors. Some oral bacteria in the mouth can cause the breakdown of the clot. If you already have periodontal disease before dental extraction, that can prevent the proper formation of a blood clot.

    Cigarette has nicotine in them that causes a decrease in blood supply in the mouth. For that reason, blood clots may fail to form. If you aggressively brush your teeth, suck through a straw, or drag on a cigarette causes dislodgement and loss of the blood clot. Poor blood supply hormones could be a factor that prevents blood clot formation.

    Symptoms of Dry Socket 

    When you look into your open mouth in a mirror, if you see the bone where your tooth used to be, you are probably experiencing a dry socket. You will feel unexplained severe pain in your jaw on the same site as the tooth extraction 2 to 3 days after the procedure. The person will feel discomfort such as swelling and soreness. Other possible symptoms could be

    • Missing blood clot from the socket.
    • Pain through the person’s gum and jaw can be intense and resemble a severe toothache.
    • From the empty socket, an unpleasant smell and a bad taste came.

    When to see a doctor?

    If you think you may have a dry socket, you should make an appointment with your dentist. Because they can make sure that the pain is not due to infection instead of a dry socket, an infection can spread into the bone, causing severe swelling. This person will require oral antibiotics to tackle the infection. If a person experiences fever or nausea, vomiting, and ongoing severe pain, they should go to the dentist. If they see pus coming out from the extraction site or any persistent bleeding, they should visit dentists to treat it.

    Diagnosis of the Dry Socket 

    When you are experiencing the symptoms of a dry socket, you should visit your dentist. The dentist will let you know how to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction. They will want to see you look at the empty socket and discusses the next steps. They may suggest x rays to rule out the conditions other than the dry socket. They will search for the possibility that bone or root fragments are still present in the extraction site.

    Dry Socket Treatment

    When you go to your doctor, they will tell you how to prevent dry socket from tooth extraction. At first, your dentist may give you an anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin or ibuprofen to ease the discomfort. If this medicine is not enough to relieve the pain, your doctor may prescribe a potent drug or anesthetize the area. Your dentist will remove any debris from the tooth socket and clean the socket.

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    Then the dentist fills the socket with a medicated dressing or a special paste to promote healing. Every few days, you will have to come back to the dentist’s office for a dressing change. Until the socket starts to heal and your pain lessens, you must come to the dentist. To prevent the socket from becoming infected, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics. You can rinse your mouth with saltwater or a special mouthwash every day in the home.

    Prevention of Dry Socket

    How to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction

    After the tooth removal, the blood clot that forms will protect the bone and the nerve tissues. These blood clots also help to heal your gums, so you want the blood clots to stay in place until you’ve healed. When something stirs or dissolves the blood clots from the socket, it causes a dry socket. Here we can give you an example of how to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction.

    #1 You need to avoid straws

    When you use a straw for drinking something, the suction movement of air and cheek muscle may dislodge your blood clots. That is why a dentist tells you to stop using straws for one week after the tooth extraction.

    #2 You have to avoid smoking and using tobacco

    How to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction

    The people who use nicotine through smoking and use tobacco are at a much higher risk of developing dry sockets after the extraction. The chemical of nicotine and tobacco products prevent healing and cause an infection. That is why the dentist tells you to reduce your tobacco intake for a couple of weeks. It also helps you to take a step towards quitting smoke.

    To develop this habit, your dentist may also provide you with resources. If quitting tobacco is impossible for you, you can try sometime to reduce the risk of dry socket. Like you can try to wait 48 hours after your surgery before smoking. You also have to avoid nicotine gums or chewing tobacco products as they can stick in your teeth.

    #3 Try eating soft food

    The dentist always suggests you eat soft food after the dental surgery. The foods you should eat like applesauce, yogurt, and mashed potatoes. You can wait for a few days after you attempt to eat slightly heartier foods. But whenever you start to experience the pain again, you should return to soft food. Some foods you should avoid after extraction, as soup might cause sucking that may dislodge the blood clots. The food that could stick in your sockets, like nuts, seeds, crunchy foods such as chips, and sticky foods, should be avoided.

    Your dentist will give all the information about the recovery and general guidance for care. They will provide you with all the information about how to prevent dry socket after tooth extraction. Your dentist will clear up all your concerns, but you have to follow all these directions. They might recommend you an antibacterial mouthwash, antiseptic rinses, medicated gels, and pain medication during recovery. They might give you antibiotics if your immune system has been compromised.

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    #4 Maintain a good dental hygiene

    After your tooth extraction, you need to keep the area clean to avoid infection. Keeping the area clean will help you prevent bacteria from entering the wound and harming the clot.

    #5 You should rest properly

    When you are healing from a wisdom tooth extraction, getting a lot of rest is very important. This will help your body to heal completely. When you are in feel sleep, the chances of moving your mouth are significantly less, which will help your wound heal over after your surgery; try to talk less and keep the gauge in your mouth to stop the bleeding. After the surgery, it is recommended to avoid exercise as raising the heartbeat may cause bleeding and complication.

    Home Remedies for Dry Socket

    Until you go to the dentist, you can temporarily use home remedies to reduce the pain. To reduce the pain, you could use an insulated ice pack of the affected area of the face. And to remove the food debris, you can rinse your mouth with saltwater. These home remedies are temporary relief of pain; you have to visit a dentist as soon as you can before the pain become intolerable. You can take a tea bag and place it against the extraction site. It will help you do reduce the pain. You can also use it as a soothing cold compress by putting it in the refrigerator.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q1. After the tooth extraction, how should I clean my mouth to avoid a dry socket?

    First, you need to know that you should avoid cleaning the teeth surrounding the extraction area for the day. But other teeth need to be thoroughly brushed and flossed. You can start cleaning the teeth next to the extraction area from the next day. You have to be gentle to rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. After having every meal, you need to wash your mouth with saltwater. If a person has high blood pressure, they should talk to the dentist about using saltwater.

    Q2. What are the signs of dry sockets?

    When dry sockets happen, the ongoing pain is present for a few days after the tooth extraction. This pain will radiate in different parts of your head, like ears and eyes on the same side of the face.

    Q3. How much time does dry socket take to heal?

    Dry socket occurs 3 to 5 days after the tooth extraction, lasting up to 7days. The pain of the dey socket is so severe that it can persist for 24 -72 hours.


    A Dry socket is a treatable condition even though the pain can be severe sometimes. One can feel better after the treatment starts, and symptoms will be gone in a few days. Call your dentist if your pain and swelling won’t disappear after five days. Having a dry socket once does not mean you won’t have it again. So if you ever have to remove your tooth, be sure to tell your medical history first. Also, here’s a way to deal with skin tags.


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