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After a tooth extraction, it may take awhile for the swelling to drop and for life to go back to normal. However, before and after your recuperation, you’ll want to be aware of a condition called dry socket.

Dry socket happens when the blood clot which is typically formed after an extraction is displaced, leaving the bone and nerves uncovered. This can be quite painful.

Here’s what you can do to prevent dry socket before the extraction:

-Take care of your teeth. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once. You may also want to ask Dr. Gary H Morikawa and our staff to give you a dental cleaning before the extraction.
-If you are a woman on birth control, time your dental extraction during the last week of your menstrual cycle, when your estrogen levels are lower. Estrogen can cause higher blood flow in the gums, creating irritation, so the lower your estrogen, the better.
-If you smoke, refrain from doing so least 24-48 hours before a tooth extraction. If you have longer to prepare, consider starting the process of quitting entirely.

And here’s what you can do after the extraction to prevent dry socket:

-Be gentle when brushing around the extraction site. Follow all instructions that Dr. Gary H Morikawa gives you about your oral hygiene routine.
-Allow the site to completely heal over before participating in sports or over-exerting yourself with exercise.
-Refrain from drinking through the straw; the force of the suction can dislodge the blood clot.
-Avoid excessive mouth rinsing.
-Eat soft foods and avoid hot drinks and foods.

If you have any queries or believe you may have developed dry socket, please contact Dr. Gary H Morikawa, at Gary H. Morikawa, DDS Inc at 808-949-8866. Treatment for dry socket in Honolulu, Hawaii can include pain medication, applying medicated dressing, and rinsing and/or cleaning the socket.