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Drs. McMurray and Williams and their team understand that the best teeth for your smile are your natural teeth. However, from time to time, a tooth may become so damaged or diseased that it can’t be saved, or should be removed to preserve your oral health.

When a tooth is extracted, it leaves behind a socket. A blood clot will form at the bottom of that socket. That clot has an important job to do, which is to protect the exposed nerve and jaw bone from infection. If that clot is removed or ruptured, not only will you be vulnerable to infection, but you may also be in a remarkable amount of discomfort, to say the least. It is a condition known as dry socket. Our dentists can treat it by cleaning the socket and applying a dressing, but the best thing you can do is to avoid dry socket altogether.

The first 24 hours after the extraction may be the most critical. You should rinse your mouth gently with a salt and water solution, instead of brushing. You should stick to cool, soft foods, and chew on the side of your mouth opposite of the extraction. Avoid using straws or smoking. The suction can damage or remove the clot, and tobacco could slow the healing process. After the first 24 hours, you can brush your other teeth, but ask our dentists when you can start brushing around the extraction site.

If you have a problematic tooth, and you live in the Meridian, Idaho area, we can help! Call 208-888-3311 today to schedule your appointment at Legacy Smiles Family Dental.