Several years ago I decided to take a trip to the dentist after skipping multiple appointments for over 15 years. I truly had a dental anxiety and had a hard time getting over my fears. Thankfully, my dental visit went smoothly with only four cavities identified. What I did find from this dental visit was that there was a great deal of new information and technology that I had been missing out on. Laser-based technology and digital imaging are just a few examples. With this blog, I want you to understand that you can get over your fears and learn about this new technology like I did, so enjoy the information.
When you have a tooth extracted, the blood clot that forms inside the socket helps to protect the area while it heals and prevent exposure to bacteria that could lead to an abscess. However, if this clot is dislodged and falls out, it can lead to a dry socket that can cause you severe pain and increase your risk of infection. After your extraction, avoid making the following mistakes that could cause a dry socket.
1. Using a Dry Gauze on the Socket
After your tooth is extracted and before the clot fully forms, you may experience a small amount of bleeding from the socket. Because of this, you may be tempted to place dry gauze over the area to soak up the blood so that you do not have to taste it.
However, placing a dry gauze pad on the developing blood clot could cause a couple of issues. First, the rough, dry surface of the gauze may break the surface of the clot, preventing it from fully forming and allowing the blood to leak out.
Second, the surface of the clot may stick to the gauze. When you go to remove it before eating or changing the gauze, the clot could be pulled out along with the pad.
If you do need to cover the clot, either because of bleeding or per your dentist's orders, do not use a dry piece of gauze. Instead, dampen the pad with saline before you place it on the extraction site to soft the gauze. The moisture will also help keep the clot from sticking to the gauze.
2. Drinking Fluids Through a Straw
Once the local anesthetic wears off, you should be able to drink fluids again. Depending on the location of the extraction, you may be limited to fluids such as juices and broth on your first day. Because your mouth is still sore, you may be tempted to drink using a straw, thinking that it will help decrease any contact to decrease your discomfort and keep the socket clean.
However, drinking through a straw will usually result in a dry socket. When you wrap your lips around the straw and start sucking, this action creates a strong suction inside of your mouth. As you continue to suck, the vacuum created can pull the clot out of the socket.
Instead of using a straw, take small sips of liquids. To minimize contact with the extraction site, direct the liquid to the opposite side of your mouth.
3. Brushing Your Teeth Too Soon After the Extraction
As you probably already know, good oral hygiene after your tooth extraction is vital to keeping the site clean and preventing the buildup of bacteria. Because of this knowledge, you may feel as though you should return to your normal brushing routine as soon as possible.
However, if you brush the teeth adjacent to the extraction site too soon, you risk disturbing the clot and even pulling it out of the socket completely. This scenario is most likely on the day of and the day after your procedure.
Instead of brushing your teeth for these first couple of days, simply rinse your mouth to help remove food and drink residue. You may also want to ask your dentist about a mouthwash you can use that will not dissolve the clot but will keep the area clean.
Even if you try your best to avoid making the above mistakes, you could still dislodge the clot and wind up with a dry socket. If so, contact the dental office where you had your tooth extraction to find out the ideal way to treat your pain and discomfort and keep complication from developing. To learn more about dental extractions, contact a dental office like the AQ Denture and Dental Implant Center.Share
25 January 2019