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You might have heard some of the horror stories associated with getting a tooth extraction and then developing dry socket. The condition is painful and requires a trip to the dentist to provide relief and placing a medicated ointment to heal the socket; it is also very preventable. In fact, if patients follow some strict guidelines, we provide at Cannon Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, you can most likely sidestep the condition altogether.

If you haven’t heard of dry socket, the first thing to do is get educated on the condition. Alveolar osteitis is a painful condition that occurs very shortly after tooth removal. When a blood clot forms over the extraction site, it allows the socket to heal over. If the clot becomes dislodged, or never forms in the first place, the jawbone becomes inflamed. Dry socket is a rare occurrence that happens in about 2% of patients, but most of the time can be prevented.

The most important thing to avoid includes not drinking through a straw or smoking, so as not to dislodge the healing clot. For the first few days, do not vigorously rinse your mouth, just rinse gently. Brush and floss your other teeth, but avoid the teeth neighboring the extraction site. Also, avoid exercise or anything that can interrupt healing time. If perchance, you do develop dry socket, get a hold of our dental team for an evaluation with our oral surgeon, Dr. Daniel Cannon. You can reach us at 918.743.1351. We are dedicated to ensuring you get the best dental care in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so call us for any questions or concerns about dry socket.