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Whenever possible, you should try to keep all of your natural teeth, since nothing is better suited for your mouth. However, there may be times when one of your teeth becomes damaged from disease or trauma and can’t be saved with a crown, inlay or filling. When that happens, the dentist refer you to MSL Surgery for the extraction of the tooth and then work with you later to replace the tooth.

After an extraction, a blood clot will form in the empty socket. This is your body’s way of protecting itself from pain and infection, since it covers the exposed bones and nerves. If you lose this clot, which is a condition known as dry socket, you will be vulnerable to infection, not to mention in intense discomfort. So, it’s in your best interest to keep that blood clot intact.

Our oral surgeons may tell you not to brush for the first 24 hours, although you will probably be able to gently rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash. Eating will probably be the last thing on your mind, but if you do feel hungry, stay with cool, soft foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Do not use a straw since the suction can remove or damage the clot. After 24 hours, gently brush your other teeth, avoiding the socket until it heals. Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause an infection or disrupt or dislodge the clot.

If you have a tooth that has been giving you problems, Dr. Paletta and Dr. Banki can help. If you live in the Warwick, Rhode Island, area and need to make an appointment, call 401-739-5500 today.