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In a perfect world, you would never need to have a tooth extracted. But in a perfect world, you would never need to see a dentist, either. But the world is an imperfect place, and sometimes, a tooth needs to be extracted. It may be too damaged or diseased to be viable, or it may need to be removed to relieve overcrowding in your mouth, or to make room for orthodontic work. Whatever the reason may be, if you undergo a simple (non-surgical) extraction, you run the risk of dry socket if you don’t take care of yourself after the procedure.

After a tooth is removed, a blood clot will form in the socket. You may not realize it, but once a tooth is extracted, the bone and nerves in your jaw will be exposed. The blood clot forms to protect the socket. Without it you will be vulnerable to infection, and most likely in quite a bit of pain. Since the pain will be pretty impressive, you will know you have lost the blood clot. Your dentist can clean and protect the socket, but the best thing to do is to avoid dry socket altogether. You can do that by eating soft foods and chewing on the side of your mouth opposite the extraction site. You can brush your other teeth, but avoid the area of the socket for at least 24 hours. Tobacco is off the list for at least 48 hours, since tobacco use will increase your chances of infection, slow the healing process and disrupt the clot. This may even be the perfect opportunity to quit the habit. The suction created by smoking, and for that matter using a straw can rupture the clot or cause it to break loose.

If you are experiencing a problem with a tooth, our dentist, Dr. Sunny Pannu can help. It is our goal to help you keep all of your teeth, but if an extraction is necessary, we can help you avoid dry socket and other problems. To make an appointment at New York Dental Group in Vestal, New York, call 607-777-1340 today. We’re looking forward to seeing your smile!