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Dry Socket Prevention

Extracting teeth isn’t something we do lightly at All Coast Dental in Pacific Beach, but it is something we try to make as quick and painless for the patient as possible. In order to recover well, the patient needs to follow our instructions and contact us immediately if there’s a problem. A rare, but real risk following a tooth extraction is a dry socket, so in this week’s blog post, we wanted to discuss why they’re dangerous and how to prevent them.

When a tooth is removed, a bit of the jaw bone is exposed in the base of the empty tooth socket. Usually, a person’s blood will quickly form a clot that would seal moisture in and bacteria out. Sometimes, if a person is on certain medications, the blood clot may fail to form. But usually when a person gets a dry socket, it’s because the clot was torn away or dissolved prematurely. Most dry sockets occur in people who smoke; people who have recently undergone an extraction are advised to avoid sucking on anything for a week afterward, and should also avoid soup. However, they will also need to avoid foods that are crunchy or sticky, and favor those which are soft.

A patient may be able to see whether their blood clot has come loose prior to their return visit, but they should also schedule an emergency appointment if they experience severe pain. They should take anti-bacterial mouthwash as directed, and also be cleaning their mouths by swishing around saltwater. Dry sockets are treatable, and we don’t want fear of them to stop anyone from getting necessary dental work. We’ll be happy to further explain post-surgery protocols to any patient undergoing an extraction.

Drs. Julie and Joseph Boulos operate All Coast Dental at 2180 Garnet Ave, Suite 1-K, Pacific Beach, California, 92109. To schedule an appointment, call 858-270-4904 or visit All Coast Dental and fill out a contact sheet.

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