When you have your wisdom teeth removed, blood clots form in the holes where your teeth used to be. After oral surgery, blood clots are a good thing, and you want to do everything you can to preserve them. If one or more clots becomes dislodged, you will develop a condition that is called dry socket. This condition can cause intense pain that can last for several days after your surgery. A dry socket also makes it easier for infection to set in. Here are four ways you can prevent dry socket after having your wisdom teeth removed.
Change The Way You Eat
After surgery, you probably won't be able to eat everything you want. You should eat only soft foods immediately following your surgery and slowly introduce semi-soft foods over the course of a couple of days. Avoid hard foods that might get stuck in your socket, such as potato chips or popcorn. Also, don't drink from a straw; the suction can dislodge clots. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages. Instead, drink lots of water.
Watch Your Activity Level
While it won't take you long to recover from having your wisdom teeth removed, you should try to limit your activity for a couple of days after your surgery. Avoid most activity for the rest of the day after your surgery and take some time to rest. Do not engage in any strenuous activity or rigorous sports for several days after your surgery because abrupt movements may dislodge the blood clots protecting your sockets.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Your doctor may prescribe an oral rinse for you to use after surgery or they may instruct you to rinse your mouth out with warm salt water every couple of hours or so. Be sure to keep up with your mouth rinsing routine, taking extra care to rinse thoroughly after meals. While you can brush your teeth gently, do not go near the extraction site.
Avoid Habits That Could Hurt
Avoid using any type of smoking or chewing tobacco after surgery. Tobacco products can increase your risk for complications, such as infection and dry socket. Also, if you chew gum a lot, you will want to avoid this as well.
As you can see, there are several things you can do to prevent dry socket after having your wisdom teeth removed. If you're careful after surgery, you shouldn't develop this very painful condition that can prolong your recovery. For more information, consider checking out websites like http://valleyoakdentalgroup.com/.