What to Know About Avoiding Dry Socket

Are you about to have your wisdom teeth extracted? One of the potential complications you can run into with wisdom teeth removal surgery is a dry socket. Here is what you need to know about avoiding dry sockets.

Bite Down on Gauze 

There are a few things you need to do right after your wisdom tooth extraction. You'll be given gauze to gently bite down on to stop the extraction site from bleeding. Make sure that you swap out the gauze as necessary until the bleeding slows down and turns darker in color. This is a sign that a blood clot is forming, which is what you need for the gums to heal. 

Avoid Spitting Forcefully

Chances are that you'll want to rinse out your mouth because of the blood that has come out of the extraction site. However, the spitting motion can put a lot of pressure on that socket and cause the blood clot to become dislodged. You should avoid spitting because of this. Instead, you can gently move the water around in your mouth to collect any blood on the surfaces and let it drip out of your mouth. 

Avoid Straws

In addition, sucking liquids through a straw can also cause that blood clot to become dislodged. As tempting as it is to relax with a drink that has a straw, you are better off sipping directly out of the glass to preserve the blood clot. The same sucking motion is why you should also avoid smoking cigarettes as well.

Avoid Exercise

Know that physical activity can increase bleeding at the extraction site. As much as you may want to get back to your exercise routine while you are sitting around recovering, it is best to take things easy to not put any additional stress on your body. 

Avoid Hard Foods

Pay attention to the types of foods that you are eating while recovering. You want to avoid hard foods that can irritate the extraction site. Things like chips that can poke at the blood clot can cause it to become dislodged, and eventually lead to a dry socket. Stick to soft foods that are going to be gentle on your gums. 

Brush Gently

It's important that you do not brush forcefully around the extraction site. Be very gentle with how you touch the gums since you run the risk of dislodging that blood clot. You should also remember to avoid any forceful spitting as well, since you may do it out of habit on accident.