Why is it necessary to avoid straws After oral surgery?

After tooth extraction, one of your first post-operative instructions is to not drink through a straw for at least 24 hours. If you or a household member has ever had a tooth removed, you may have heard this sign, but are you aware of its significance?

This article goes into great detail about how your body reacts to teeth extractions and why it’s so important to follow this and any other post-op instructions.

What Takes Place After a Tooth Extraction?

Because some surgeries are more invasive than others, the physiological response to a tooth extraction may vary depending on the characteristics of the procedure. However, in all cases, the healing process is very similar. After all, dental surgery results in a wound, so the body will react the same way it would to any other traumatic event.
The empty tooth socket is filled with blood as soon as the surgeon removes the tooth. The blood becomes thicker after a few minutes and eventually forms a blood clot. Despite its importance to the healing process, this blood clot can easily slip out of the tooth’s socket. To avoid this inconvenience, oral surgeons typically choose to stitch the wound. However, patient cooperation is still essential to avoid post-operative complications.

When I have surgery, why can’t I use a straw?

Because drinking through a straw creates suction, this blood clot can be easily removed. As previously stated, this clot is essential because it serves two primary functions:
Stop bleeding out of control: The bleeding that will unavoidably occur after oral surgery is stopped by this clot. If it gets loose, the socket will start bleeding again, and if it doesn’t stop on its own, you might need to go to the emergency room. Please do not hesitate to contact our office or the emergency room if you experience uncontrolled bleeding, as this can be dangerous!
Beware of dry sockets: The blood clot keeps bacteria from infecting the remaining bone tissue. Alveolar osteitis, also known as dry socket, is a severe infection that necessitates immediate dental care. Visit the dentist as soon as possible if you begin to feel pain after an extraction; dry sockets can resolve on their own within a few weeks without medication or dental treatment.

Other Post-Operative Instructions 

In addition to avoiding straws, the following are additional instructions you should follow following oral surgery to avoid additional discomfort:
  1.  After the appointment, bite on a gauze pad for forty-five minutes.
  2. It should be replaced whenever it gets wet.
  3. After surgery, do not rinse or spit for 24 hours.
  4. Brushing close to the area requires extra caution.
  5. Follow the advice given to you by the oral surgeon.
  6. Keep your tongue and fingers out of the surgical site.
  7. For the first 48 hours, apply ice packs to the surgical area (on the cheek side) to prevent severe swallowing (20 minutes on, 10 minutes off).
  8. You should not smoke for at least 48 hours after surgery.
  9. Choose foods that are soft and, ideally, warm or cold. The perfect dessert is ice cream!
  10. After surgery, do not lift heavy weights or exercise for at least three to four days.

Oral Surgery in Calgary

You can set up a consultation with one of our oral surgeons at steve bureau oral and maxillofacial surgery, if you have any additional inquiries about this or other post-operative care instructions. Our team is always available to assist!