If you've had pain for some time in one or more of your so-called "wisdom teeth", the procedure in which a dentist or oral surgeon extracts all of them is a relief. While you may already expect some discomfort as you heal, what you might be wholly unprepared for is alveolar osteitis, or "dry socket". That may happen if the blood clots which begin forming after extraction are disturbed, dislodged or accidentally spit out. The exposed nerves cause an unrelenting pain that is considerably worse than normal recovery. This excruciating condition isn't common, but it can make recovery almost unbearable. Adhering to these recommendations might prevent this painful situation.
1. Stick with Foods that are Soft
You probably had to do some fasting before your extraction; by the time the procedure is over, you're probably going to be very, very hungry. As the hours pass you might feel eager to feast on something other than water and yogurt, particularly if your initial pain isn't terrible. However, understand that many "regular" foods and certainly harder ones such as popcorn, granola and pretzels could disturb or dislodge the clots where teeth were. Should that happen, dry socket is likely to set in. Instead, restrict yourself to softer foods including mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, soups and protein drinks.
2. Rinse Regularly
Your oral surgeon or dentist may have already told you to rinse every few hours with some salt mixed into very warm water. This is sometimes a hassle, especially if you've had to return to work or school and just can't seem to find the time to drop everything and rinse.
However, realize that as you have been eating mashed potatoes, soup and other soft foods, particles could be left behind which could affect the clots. For example, chicken and rice soup can be hot and enjoyable, but the rice could become stuck in a hole and affect the clot. Rinsing frequently can move particles along so the clots aren't bothered. One cautionary note: rinse gently. Rinsing that is too vigorous could also dislodge the clots you want to protect.
3. Avoid Straws
The bright idea of bypassing the clots altogether by using straws for soups, smoothies and shakes is not such a bright one. The movement your mouth makes when you suck liquid through straws provides enough force to affect blood clots. Just steer clear of those tools altogether.
If you fear that dry socket is setting in or you know that you've lost one of the clots, contact emergency dental services immediately. The dentist will pack the hole with materials which should ease the terrible pain.
Visit a site like dentistofmanchester.com for more help.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!