Dry socket is the premature breakdown of the blood clot. This typically occurs between the third and fifth day after surgery. It is more common in females. It is more common in patients that smoke or have medical conditions that affect healing. If you overexert yourself physically then you are more likely to get a dry socket. Symptoms that may indicate you have a dry socket include increased pain and a bad taste in the mouth. Typically, the pain radiates to your ear. If you have these symptoms, please call our office and we can schedule a time to see you.
We encourage you to drink lots of liquids and maintain a soft diet. Avoid hot liquids as this may prematurely dissolve the blood clot. Do not drink alcohol as this can have compounding effects with pain medicine and may alter the effects of other prescribed medications. We recommend foods that are soft, thick, and creamy for the first 5 to 7 days. Avoid popcorn and all seedy type food (e.g., raspberries) and any other food that may get caught easily in the extraction sites. Avoid spitting, using straws for liquids, and smoking for at least one week following the surgery.
Prescriptions should be taken as directed. They are prescribed to provide pain control. As healing occurs the pain will decrease. As the pain decreases you may decrease the frequency of taking the pain medication.
PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU ARE TAKING BIRTH CONTROL PILLS AND ARE PRESCRIBED ANTIBIOTICS, STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT ANTIBIOTICS CAN DECREASE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BIRTH CONTROL PILLS FOR UP TO 30 DAYS.
As soon as possible, brush your teeth gently. Brush on the tops of teeth only as you near the surgical sites with your toothbrush. Continue to brush your teeth and keep your mouth as clean as possible. You may rinse with salt water (warm water mixed with a small amount of table salt) 48 hours after surgery. Instead of salt water, you may use common antiseptic mouth rinses (e.g., Listerine®).
No activity that increases your heart rate should be performed for the first 5 days following surgery. The incidence of dry socket increases when a physical activity that raises your heart rate is performed.
If you have stitches, they have been placed to control bleeding and encourage healing. They dissolve on their own in 10 to 14 days.
Swelling to some extent follows nearly every tooth extraction. This is nature's way of beginning the healing process. An ice pack applied Intermittently for up to 48 hours may help to reduce the swelling. The swelling will usually reach a maximum in 36 to 48 hours. Note: Please do not blow your nose for one week after having upper molar teeth removed, as this can lead to healing complications.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE INSTRUCTIONS OR ANY CONCERNS, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE (406) 752-4375.
PLEASE NOTE THAT PRESCRIPTIONS WILL BE FILLED OR REFILLED DURING OFFICE HOURS ONLY SO WE ARE ABLE TO VERIFY OFFICE RECORDS.