If you have a damaged tooth that has not responded to restorative dental treatment, your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction. In this procedure, your dentist surgically removes the affected tooth, which will require some time to heal.
As the surgical site heals, blood clots form naturally, and they should not be disturbed or dislodged. If this occurs, you could be at risk of developing dry socket.
This painful condition will require further dental intervention to eradicate, so you should avoid this issue if possible. Dr. Denise Halliburton, a dentist located in Ellicott City, MD, offers tips for preventing dry socket formation while recovering from a tooth extraction.
Tooth Extraction Recovery Tips
Practice Careful Oral Hygiene
After a tooth extraction procedure, you will want to keep your mouth clean, so you do not run a risk of contracting an oral infection as you heal. This means continuing to practice good oral hygiene, which entails brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing on a daily basis.
However, you should be gentle as you perform your oral hygiene regimen so that you do not disturb any blood clots over these healing sites and cause dry socket. Pay close attention to any aftercare guidelines that your dentist provides after your surgery so that you can maintain good oral health without harming your smile.
Avoid Sucking Motion Through Your Mouth
The flow of air combined with the muscle movement created when doing a sucking motion with your mouth creates a high likelihood of dislodging a blood clot over a healing surgical site. For this reason, dentists recommend that you avoid using a straw for at least a week following a tooth extraction procedure so that you can reduce your risk of dry socket.
Similarly, you may want to avoid smoking while you heal from this procedure because inhaling causes a similar risk. It may be easier to abstain from this habit during your recovery period if you reduce smoking prior to your oral surgery.
Stick to Soft Foods
When you return home after your extraction procedure and the anesthetic wears off, your mouth may feel sore. It will be easier to eat soft-textured foods at that time, including applesauce, mashed potatoes, and oatmeal. These foods can help you avoid dry socket as well because hard, sticky, or chewy foods could hurt a healing blood clot.
The day after your surgery, your mouth may feel less tender, so you can try eating more solid foods. However, you should revert to soft foods if you notice any pain.
Tooth Extraction Procedures and More Available in Ellicott City, MD
Halliburton Family Dentistry offers tooth extraction procedures and other general dental treatments to patients in Ellicott City, MD. Dr. Halliburton also specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, including periodontal disease treatment, for patients of all ages. To schedule a consultation with our practice, contact our staff online or reach us by phone at 443.232.0656.