How to Prevent Dry Sockets after Wisdom Tooth Extraction

The last thing someone wants to deal with is dry sockets after wisdom tooth extraction. While most wisdom tooth extractions go smoothly, a tiny percentage of patients end up with dry sockets after the procedure. Luckily, there are some things that can be done to lower your risk of getting dry sockets.

Why do dentists remove wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to emerge, and they tend to be the most problematic. Given their location at the back of the mouth, they are harder to clean than the other teeth, and this makes them more vulnerable to tooth decay. Wisdom teeth are also more likely to be crooked, impacted or disfigured since most of the space on a person's jaw has already been taken up by other teeth by the time they erupt.

Wisdom teeth are also the only set of teeth that are not necessary. This usually leads to dentists recommending to have them extracted the moment any issues arise.

What is a dry socket?

Sockets are holes in a person's jawbone where a tooth was removed. A dry socket occurs when the blood clot that developed to stop the bleeding in the socket become dislodged. It leaves the socket exposed to air and the irritants in the person's mouth like bacteria, saliva and food particles. The loss of the blood clot slows down the recovery process, and it can lead to excruciating pain.

How dry sockets occur

Smoking or drinking with a straw creates suction forces that can dislodge a blood clot. Once the clot is removed, particles enter the socket and irritate the opening. Poor dental hygiene, birth control medication and constantly touching the site of the extraction increase the odds of a dry socket developing.

How to prevent dry sockets

Here are some simple things that reduce the odds of you developing a dry socket after tooth extraction:

  • Practice regular dental hygiene
  • Use a medicated rinse as instructed by a dentist
  • Rinse the mouth with salt water after meals to reduce bacteria
  • Do not touch the socket
  • Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours after the procedure
  • Do not eat foods that leave particles behind, such as peanuts and popcorn
  • Eat only soft foods
  • Stay away from fizzy drinks

Detecting a dry socket

The first sign of a dry socket is a painful opening at the site of the wisdom tooth extraction. You may also feel throbbing pain that starts roughly two days after the extraction. It typically radiates from the socket to the rest of your head. If you have a nasty taste in the mouth or bad breath, then you may have dry sockets.

Treatment options

A dentist can remove any particles that are lodged in the socket. They will also fill the socket with a dental paste that facilitates the recovery process. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the infection and pain.

Do you think you have a dry socket?

The pain of a dry socket after wisdom tooth extraction can be unbearable. Set up an appointment with Asha Dental to have it treated immediately.

Are you dealing with dry sockets in the Leawood area? Get more information at

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Wisdom Teeth Extraction.

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