Q:

How do you avoid dry socket after an extraction?

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Quick Answer

Patients can avoid dry socket after tooth extraction by watching what they eat and drink, avoiding tobacco products and rinsing the mouth with salt water, according to Mayo Clinic. The dentist or oral surgeon can also prescribe medication before and after the procedure to prevent infection.

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Full Answer

Making the right food and drink choices can help prevent dry socket, Mayo Clinic states. Patients should avoid hard, sticky or spicy foods that could irritate the socket or become lodged in it. On the first day, it is advisable to eat soft foods, switching to semi-soft foods once they can be tolerated.

Drinking with a straw can dislodge the blood clot in the socket, Mayo Clinic explains. Patients should not use a straw for at least a week. Patients should drink a lot of water the days following the surgery and avoid beverages that are hot, caffeinated, alcoholic or carbonated for 24 hours.

Smoking and tobacco use can cause complications and keep the socket from healing, Mayo Clinic says. Patients are advised not to smoke for 48 hours after surgery and to avoid putting tobacco products in their mouths for at least one week.

Cleaning the mouth with warm salt water the day after surgery can help prevent dry socket, Mayo Clinic reports. Patients are usually instructed to avoid brushing or rinsing the area around the extraction for 24 hours, but after that, rinsing every two hours can help promote healing.

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