How to avoid dry socket after a tooth extraction

This article will discuss how to avoid a dry socket. We will also explain the symptoms of a dry socket, some ways to take care of your extraction site, and when to see a doctor.

1. Stay away from straws.
When you use a straw, your muscles work in such a way that it can disturb your blood clot. For at least 7-10 days after your extraction, avoid sucking with straws.

2. Eat only soft food
During the initial days after your surgery, only go with soft foods such as mashed potatoes, boiled veggies, soft fruits, and yogurt. On the second or third day, you can eat a little heartier foods. But if you feel any pain or discomfort, return to soft foods.

One food item to avoid is soup, as it may disturb the blood clot. Item to avoid include seeds, nuts, chips, and all sticky foods.

3. Maintain good oral hygiene
One of the best ways to avoid a dry socket is maintaining proper oral hygiene. Keeping your mouth clean can help prevent harmful bacteria from dislodging the blood clot.

Consult your dentist and ask the proper way to brush your teeth after the extraction. Most of the time, the recommendation is to wash your mouth on the first day and gently brush on the second day. Depending on your oral health, your dentist may prescribe you antibacterial mouthwash.

4. Avoid smoking and tobacco.
Smokers are at a higher risk of dislodging a blood clot after tooth removal surgery. Avoid smoking or tobacco intake for a few weeks before the extraction.


The symptoms of a dry socket include soreness, inflammation, and pain.

Other possible symptoms include:

  • throbbing pain in the jaw or gum
  • missing blood clot
  • bad smell from the empty socket
  • unpleasant taste from the socket
  • pain that travels to the face

Moreover, you may see an exposed bone on the site of extraction.

Taking care of the tooth extraction site

To speed up the recovery process after extraction, follow the instructions of your dentist. Many people get better within a few days after the surgery and completely heal in 5-7 days.

Tips for tooth extraction aftercare include:

  • brush your teeth very softly
  • drink lots of water and other fluids
  • don’t exercise or get involved in strenuous activities that may disturb the blood clot
  • to minimize the swelling, hold an ice pack outside the surgery site
  • rinse your mouth with salt water a few times

When to see a dentist

If you think you have a dry socket, immediately set an appointment with your dentist. Early treatment will speed up recovery and minimize the pain.

Your dentist will ensure if the discomfort and pain are due to a dry socket or infection. Infection can result in severe problems and can cause severe swelling.

You should see your dentist if you are experiencing the following:

  • pus from the extraction site
  • throbbing pain
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • continuous bleeding

Schedule an appointment

If you live in Houston, Texas, and are looking for an emergency dentist near you, visit Vintage Smile Family Dentistry. To schedule an appointment, call (281) 251-7770.


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