The Dreaded Dry Socket
A dry socket would leave anyone shaking in their boots, including someone as spooky as Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Lucky for him, he doesn’t have teeth! Dry sockets are dreaded because of the infamous discomfort that they create after a tooth is removed. Essentially, a dry socket happens when a blood clot does not form or only partially forms over the treated area. Without a proper blood clot, sensitive tissues are exposed. Some dry socket symptoms you may experience include dull to immense discomfort, bad taste, and an icky smell. Although dry sockets are fairly rare, they really are worth avoiding at all costs. Here’s how to prevent a dry socket from happening in the first place.
1) Be Conscientious of Brushing
Preventing this nightmare starts with how you approach your oral health care. It’s still important to brush after tooth removal, but be sure to avoid brushing over the treated area and be extra gentle brushing. Practicing mindfulness is a great way to ensure that you’re doing your due diligence to avoid harming the extraction site. Stay focused by standing in front of the mirror and avoid engaging with other activities that may be distracting. Remind yourself that this is a time to be so very conscientious and focus on you.
2) Consider Your Rinse
The way you rinse matters to dry socket prevention. Rough and vigorous rinsing can get rid of the blood clot faster than you can say, “Jack Skellington.” Just like you did with brushing, make gentleness the main focus when rinsing. We recommend using warm salt water rinses too. Salt makes it tough for bacteria to survive, and it keeps debris away from the treated area, which makes room for quicker healing.
3) Avoid Straws
Until the treated area heals up, ditch the straws. Gentle sipping from glasses and cups is the way to go. Sucking from a straw is a really powerful and abrupt move. As a result, this motion can increase bleeding and cause the blood clot to dislodge. You’ll be at risk for developing a dry socket, which we know you’ll want to avoid this spooky season and beyond.
4) Do Not Smoke Before or After
As tempting as it may be, we cannot stress this enough. Smoking causes a multitude of problems for the area that is trying to heal. When someone smokes, they suck and exhale, which casts a troublesome spell on the treated area. Chemicals like Nicotine also increase bleeding and inflammation. This gets in the way of the healing process and makes a dry socket a more likely occurrence. Yikes!
5) Skip Hot Beverages and Opt for Soft Foods
Sorry coffee lovers. It’s best to take a break for a few days. Raising the heat could cause issues for the blood clot too. This doesn’t mean that you can’t eat tasty beverages or foods though. You just need to be a bit selective for a little stretch of time. You’ll definitely want to avoid foods that leave particles and pieces behind like popcorn and those Halloween M&M’s. Try these foods to make you happy instead.
Treating Dry Sockets
In order to treat a dry socket, you might find yourself Googling a quick fix to the problem. The bad news is that you’ll have to go back to your dentist. There is good news though. This means that you get to see us again! When you come to see us, we can place a medicated gel over the area, which will put an end to the dry socket nightmare. Once the socket is covered, you’ll feel so much better right away. After that, the nightmare before Christmas comes to an end.
Unlike Tim Burton characters, there’s nothing spooky about us. We want to help and make sure your mouth is feeling great. Call today.