Dry socket is one of the most common complications related to wisdom tooth extractions. Dry socket happens when the blood clot that grows over your extraction site becomes dislodged. This slows down healing and can cause serious pain and a higher risk of infection at the extraction site.
Luckily for you, it’s pretty easy to avoid dry sockets after your wisdom tooth extraction surgery at Five Pines Dental. Dr. Zeller will give you a full set of instructions to follow as you heal, but here are the top five steps you can take to prevent this complication.
1. Avoid Spitting Or Using A Straw For 72 Hours
Often, dry socket happens because suction or pressure in your mouth pulls the blood clot out of the extraction site. So to reduce your risk of dry socket, you should avoid spitting forcefully and using a straw for at least 72 hours after your procedure. When rinsing or brushing your teeth, just let the liquid drip gently from your mouth when it’s time to spit.
2. Wait At Least 72 Hours Before Smoking
Like spitting or using a straw, the action of sucking on a cigarette or a vape can also dislodge the blood clot in your mouth, so you should avoid smoking for at least 72 hours. Ideally, though, you should stop smoking for a week or two.
This is because smoking can impair the natural healing process, and slows down your overall recovery after your tooth extraction. If you’re thinking about quitting smoking, wisdom tooth extraction is a great time to give it a shot!
3. Don’t Brush For 24 Hours After Surgery
You shouldn’t brush your teeth for the first 24 hours after your surgery. You can rinse your mouth with salt water or a prescription mouth rinse. Remember not to spit, though! After 24 hours, you can brush your other teeth. Brush gently and carefully near the extraction site to avoid irritating it and dislodging the blood clot.
4. Start With Soft Foods, Incorporate Firmer Foods Into Your Diet Slowly
If a piece of food gets stuck in the extraction site, it could dislodge your blood clot and raise your risk of infection. That’s why eating soft and liquid foods for a few days after your procedure is so important. We recommend smoothies, yogurt, pudding, and soft scrambled eggs.
After 3-4 days, you can incorporate some firmer foods like bread into your diet. However, you should continue to avoid crunchy, sharp, and tough foods like popcorn, pretzels, and chips for at least 1-2 weeks.
5. Avoid Messing With Your Extraction Site
Unless you’re changing the gauze pack over your wisdom tooth extraction site after your surgery, there’s no reason to touch or mess with the area. Don’t poke it or prod it with your fingers or tongue. The less you mess with the extraction site, the faster you’ll heal.
Follow These Steps To Recover Quickly After Wisdom Tooth Surgery In Portland
Wisdom tooth surgery is nothing to be scared of, and with the right steps after your treatment, you can reduce your risk of complications and heal more quickly. If you’ve got a painful wisdom tooth in Portland and think it may need to be pulled, Dr. Richard Zeller is here to help. Contact us online or call now at (503) 482-2160 to schedule a consultation and get the expert care you need in downtown Portland.