Dry Socket Prevention: 4 Things to Avoid

If you’re going to have a tooth extracted, you’ll be told about dry socket. When a tooth is taken out, a clot needs to form within the socket – when that clot comes out, it’s referred to as ‘dry socket’. Dry socket is often very painful, and your recovery time will greatly increase. As such, you’ll want to avoid the following four habits and activities.

  1. Walking Home

Your dentist should tell you not to walk home after having a tooth extracted. This isn’t because you’ll be wracked with pain or suffering from disorientation – it’s because walking home will increase the risk of dry socket. Though walking is a low-impact activity, it can still jostle the fresh clot loose, and the increase in your heart rate through even moderate exercise can also impact healing. Even if you feel absolutely fine after having a tooth extraction, make sure you don’t walk home.

  1. Intense Exercise

You can walk after a few hours without having to worry about dry socket, but more rigorous activities are something else entirely. Your heart rate goes through the roof when you exercise, and most forms of exercise are quite high impact. All that jostling and pressure can easily dislodge a clot, so make sure you talk to your dentist about when such exercise can resume.

  1. Smoking

When you draw on a cigarette, you create a vacuum inside your mouth. This can serve to pull a clot right out of its socket. Additionally, the smoke will dry out your mouth, making the clot brittle and more prone to falling out. Why not see this as an opportunity to kick the coffin nails altogether?

  1. Using a Straw

Puffing on a cigarette isn’t the only activity that creates a vacuum in the mouth. You’ll create similar pressure around your clot when you drink through a straw – in fact, you’ll probably create even more. Until the extraction site has completely healed, make sure you sip instead of suck.