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What increases my risk for dry socket?

Your risk for dry socket is increased if you smoke or use tobacco. Chemical compounds in tobacco can affect the extraction site, and sucking on a cigarette can dislodge the clot. Birth control is another risk factor; estrogen can cause the blood clot to dissolve. If you don't follow your doctor's instructions for caring for the extraction site, you can also increase your risk. Previous episodes of dry socket, oral infections in the teeth or gums, and an inexperienced oral surgeon can all increase your risk of dry socket, too.

The risk of dry socket, a condition where the blood clot dislodges after a tooth extraction, can be affected by your lifestyle choices. For example, smoking cigarettes greatly increases your risk of dry socket because the sucking motion can force the clot from the wound. Also, cigarettes contain toxins that prevent or delay your mouth's healing process.

You also increase your chances of getting dry socket by using birth control pills, which contain high levels of estrogen that can slow healing. In addition, activities such as spitting or eating hard foods increase your risk of dry socket. After your tooth is removed, take excellent care of your wound to avoid this painful condition.
Dry socket can sometimes occur after a tooth extraction. Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. It is usually best not to smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing.

After the extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regimen to follow.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.