Understanding The Importance Of The Clot After A Tooth Extraction

Tooth extractions can be extremely nerve wracking, and you may be tempted to put off an extraction for as long as possible. However, the extraction itself is pretty quick, and anesthesia can make the procedure almost completely painless. When you get home from the procedure, you may think that you can rest easy. However, you still need to look after the extraction site. This involves making sure that the blood clot does not release from the tooth socket. Keep reading to understand why this is a concern and also what you can do to make sure the clot stays in place.

Why Is The Clot Important?

When your tooth is extracted, a big hole will be exposed where the tooth sat in the jaw. Blood will pool in the opening to fill in the hole, and platelets will weave together to create a gelatinous formation. The clot is typically quite big and about the size of a pea. This clot does several different things. It stops bleeding so the healing process can start, and it protects the jaw from damage and infection.

Jaw bone protection is extremely important. If the bone is not covered, then the bone will not heal. This can result in the death of the tissues in the area where the extraction took place. This is called jaw necrosis, and a portion the bone may need to be removed. Additionally, the exposed nerves in the socket will release strong sensations. You will go through a great deal of pain when this happens.

When it comes to soft tissue healing, new tissues from slowly underneath the clot. The socket fills in from the bottom up, and the clot is absorbed in the process. If the socket is open, then the healing process may not occur naturally. Scar tissue may form, or the socket may develop thin tissues.

How Do You Keep The Clot In Place?

If you want to heal properly and retain the blood clot in your tooth socket, then it is best to avoid activities that can release the formation. Any types of sucking actions can pull the clot out of place. Do not use a straw, suck on hard candies, or smoke cigarettes. You also do not want to scrape or damage the clot. This means avoiding hard foods like pretzels, chips, and other foods until the socket completely heals. 

You also should not rinse your mouth out with any substance for a day or two. About 48 hours after the extraction, you should rinse with either mouthwash, an antibacterial rinse, or salt water. However, tip your head to the left and right to move the fluid around. This will place far less pressure on the clot and keep it in place. Open your mouth above the sink afterwards, but do not spit. 

For more information on how to heal following a tooth extraction, contact a location like Renovo Endodontic Studio.