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The human body is an amazing thing, and in many cases is capable of healing itself. A good example of this is your body’s reaction to a tooth extraction. If our oral surgeon has to extract a tooth, your body will act to protect the remaining socket. Without the tooth, the jawbone and nerves are exposed, and our body will create blood socket to keep you from feeling pain, and to keep infection from setting in. It’s up to you to keep that blood clot in place while your socket heals. If the blood clot is ruptured or dislodged, it creates a condition known as dry socket. Besides creating a health risk, it is an extraordinarily painful experience. You will want to avoid it.

To avoid dry socket, you should stick to cool, soft foods, if you feel like eating after your extraction, and chew on the side of your mouth opposite of the extraction. Don’t use a straw since the resulting suction can damage or remove the blood clot. Smoking can do the same thing, and tobacco use in general increases your chances of getting an infection.

Chances are that you won’t feel like brushing your teeth right away. That’s a good thing, since brushing during the first 24 hours can damage the blood clot. Instead, during that time, gently rinse your mouth with a salt-water solution or an antiseptic mouthwash. After 24 hours, you can start brushing your remaining teeth. If you do end up with a case of dry socket, contact our oral surgeon immediately, and he can clean it, and apply a dressing.

If you have been having trouble with a tooth, you should make an appointment to see Dr. Jose Lopez. If you would like to plan your visit to our office in Houston, Texas, call 713-481-5690 today.