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At Grace Family Dental in Worcester, Massachusetts, our dentist, Dr. Mundra, and her staff are dedicated to preserving your smile and helping you to look and feel your best. But from time to time, a tooth extraction may be necessary. A tooth may be damaged or decayed to the point that it cannot be saved. In that case, the dentist will remove the tooth, and will discuss replacement options with you during a later appointment. In other cases, a tooth may need to be removed to relieve tooth-crowding or because wisdom teeth are coming in.

No matter the reason, if a dentist decides to extract a tooth, you will need time to recover. During that time, you will need to prevent dry socket. When a tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms in the socket. That blood clot is there for a good reason, which is to protect the socket while it heals.If that clot is ruptured or removed, you may feel very intense pain, and you will be vulnerable to infection.

To prevent dry socket, don’t chew food on the affected side of your mouth for the first 24 hours after the extraction, and try to stick to soft food. Stay away from drinks with sugar or caffeine, and don’t use a straw. It may seem like a good idea, but it can help rupture or remove the blood clot. If you use tobacco, you should not smoke or chew for at least 72 hours after the tooth has been removed. Not only can the activity endanger the clot, but the chemicals in tobacco will keep you from healing.

If you have been experiencing pain or discomfort in your teeth; or if it is just time for your cleaning and exam, you should contact our office at 508-425-7180 for an appointment.