How to Prevent Dry Socket

Dry socket is a painful condition that could occur after you have a permanent tooth extracted. This is the most common complication associated with extractions and often happens when the wisdom teeth are removed. If you are scheduled to have a tooth extraction, there are several things that you can do to prevent dry socket.


Preventing dry socket is something that you can start working on before your surgery. First, make sure that you are seeing an experienced oral surgeon with experience in extractions. You should also try to stop smoking as soon as you know that an extraction is scheduled, as smoking can increase your dry socket risk. Finally, be sure to discuss any medications that you might be taking with your oral surgeon or dentist, as they could potentially interfere with blood clotting.


You’ll be given instructions on how to properly care for your teeth after your extraction surgery, and they will address the issues that can prevent dry socket:

  • Diet. Be sure to only eat soft foods the day following your procedure. After that, feel free to start eating harder foods as long as they can be tolerated. Be sure to drink plenty of water following your procedure, but avoid carbonated, caffeinated, and alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours. Drink straight from the glass and don’t use a straw for a week, as the sucking action could dislodge the blood clot found in the socket.
  • Oral hygiene. Begin gently rinsing your mouth after your surgery, but avoid the extraction site. You can start rinsing with a warm salt water solution after the first 24 hours.
  • Avoid tobacco. Don’t smoke for at least 48 hours following your surgery, and don’t use chewing tobacco for a week. Tobacco products are known to delay healing.

If you suspect that you are experiencing dry socket or need additional information on how to prevent it, please contact our office.

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