Dry Sockets - Causes / Risk factors.
This page discusses some of the factors that can make it more likely that you'll experience a dry socket. They include:
- Not following your dentist's post-operative instructions.
- A history of experiencing one after other tooth extractions.
- Having a difficult or surgical extraction.
The second page of this series explains how smoking, birth control pills, age and tooth location can also be risk factors.
A) Not following your dentist's post-op instructions.
(We've listed this factor first because it is something that every dental patient has a great amount of control over.)
It's a fact. People who follow their dentist's directions after having their tooth removed (especially those pertaining to blood clot formation and protection) will have fewer postoperative complications.
1) Clot formation.
Most dentists will advise their patients that:
- After having their tooth pulled, they should place firm biting pressure on the gauze packing that has been placed over their extraction site for the next 30, and preferably, 60 minutes.
Doing so will help to insure that a proper blood clot has a chance to form in the tooth's socket.
2) Blood clot protection.
Once a clot has formed, a patient must be careful not to disrupt it.
- During the first 24 hours after an extraction a dental patient should avoid vigorous rinsing, refrain from actions like sucking on a straw or drawing in on a cigarette, avoid alcohol and tobacco use in general, minimize physical stress and exercise, and avoid hot liquids such as coffee and soup (these may tend to dissolve the clot).
Your dentist should provide you with a comprehensive list of instructions. If they don't, ask. (We outline post-extraction instruction in general here.)