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Although the dentist will do everything he can to make sure that you keep your natural teeth whenever possible, there are occasions in which a tooth has been damaged by trauma or disease to the point that it is no longer viable. When that happens, an extraction may be necessary.

After your tooth has been removed by our oral surgeons, a blood clot will form in the socket that is left behind. That blood clot is important. It protects the exposed bone and nerve from heat, cold and infection. If that socket is ruptured or dislodged, you will probably know it pretty quickly since it is a very uncomfortable experience. While dry socket can be treated, it’s best to avoid it altogether.

Preventing dry socket is not that difficult. After the extraction, you should not brush your teeth for the first 24 hours, although you can gently rinse your mouth. After that, you should gently brush your other teeth until the site has healed. For the first day, if you decide to eat something, you should stick to soft cool foods and chew on the side opposite the extraction site. Avoid smoking and any tobacco use. Smoking or chewing can dislodge or damage the clot, and tobacco in general will slow your healing process. The suction created by smoking or by using a straw can damage or dislodge the clot.

If you have a problem with a tooth, Kentuckiana Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates will be happy to see you. To make an appointment in Louisville, Kentucky, call 812-913-2283 today.