While unexpected blood clots in your bloodstream are dangerous in other medical situations, a blood clot is expected and essential for healing after a tooth extraction. The presence of one shows that everything is looking good for recovery, which is why it’s important to make sure it stays intact until the area has completely healed.
Recovery After a Tooth Extraction
If you have a tooth removed, your body naturally forms a blood clot in that spot to start the healing process. The clot is composed of blood cells called platelets that clump together with sticky strands of protein called fibrin. The clot slowly shrinks as you heal. But if something happens to that blood clot before the area has fully healed, it can become a very painful condition called a dry socket. This can increase our risk of infection and prolong your recovery.
Avoiding a Dry Socket
Fortunately, there are a few easy things you can do to help prevent a dry socket from occurring. Eat soft foods for several days after your procedure and avoid hard, crunchy, and seedy foods. Additionally, do not use straws while drinking your beverages after a tooth extraction. The suction required to use a straw can actually dislodge the blood clot.
Another important thing you should do to prevent a dry socket is to stay away from smoking and tobacco. Smoking dramatically increases your risk of having a dry socket. The act of inhaling can dislodge the blood clot, similar to how sucking up a straw can harm the clot. On top of that, there are whole bunch of chemicals in tobacco products that suppress your immune system and make it harder for you to fight off infection.
Our Team Is Here to Help!
If you have any other questions about getting a tooth extraction or what to do after your tooth extraction to ensure a smooth recovery, our Spring Lake team would be glad to assist you. We are here to help you avoid complications after oral surgery and provide the care you need to achieve a healthy, pain-free smile!