When you have a tooth removed, you develop a blood clot over the removal site to protect and heal your underlying bone and nerve endings. This clot should stay in place until your gums have healed and your mouth is back to normal.

If the blood clot is accidentally removed from the socket you will experience a complication known as dry socket.

Here are some tips to prevent dry socket:

  1. Avoid putting stress on the affected area
    • Don’t use straws
    • Do not brush or touch the socket area
  2. Keep your mouth clean
    • Wait 24 hours before you start cleaning the extraction area
    • Gently brush your teeth and tongue, avoiding the affected area
    • 24 hours after the extraction, you can regularly rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash or salty water
  3. Avoid smoking
  4. Only eat soft food
  5. Drink plenty of liquid
    • Water is the best option
    • Avoid sugary, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages
  6. Be aware of medical interactions
    • Some medications may prevent a proper blood clot from forming
  7. Rest
  8. Avoid participating in sports or other physical activities that could disturb your mouth

Call your dentist if you observe any of the following symptoms a few days after the surgery:

  1. Pain radiating from the socket into the rest of your face and head
  2. The blood clot is totally or partially missing
  3. Bad breath