Dry Socket: Minimising the Risk When Using Oral Birth Control

21 December 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If you undergo a tooth extraction, you may have an increased chance of developing a condition called dry socket if you also take oral birth control. Dry socket is a painful condition which occurs when a blood clot fails to form on the site of the extraction, leaving the wound exposed and preventing healing. However, there are some steps you can take to help to reduce the chance that you will develop dry socket.

Consider the timing of the extraction

Birth control pills contain the hormone oestrogen, which is used to control your menstrual cycle. However, oestrogen may also impact on the ability of your blood to clot properly. By monitoring your menstrual cycle, you can time the extraction, so it occurs when your oestrogen levels are at their lowest. According to Womansday, this is normally just after you have had your period. Doing so will reduce your risk of developing dry socket.

Follow any advice from your dentist

You should let your dentist know if you are taking oral birth control pills so they can factor this in before they carry out the procedure. Your dentist may also offer special advice which will help to increase the chance that a blood clot will form and will stay in place, allowing the wound site to heal properly.

Your dentist may suggest:

  • Avoiding exercise: If you do exercise in the days immediately after the treatment, you may dislodge the blood clot.
  • Avoiding smoking: Sucking in a large quantity of hot, toxic gas will not create the ideal environment for a blood clot to form. If you smoke, you should abstain for a few days and use nicotine patches to deal with any cravings. You should also consider using this as a springboard to quitting completely, as smoking has a devastating impact on your dental and general health.
  • Not using drinking straws: While it may be tempting to use a drinking straw after a tooth extraction, the sucking motion increases the chance that the blood clot will fail to form or will dislodge. You should avoid eating or drinking in the hours immediately after the treatment.
  • Monitoring the wound: You should pay special attention to the wound site and monitor it for signs of clot formation and to check the clot is staying in place. If you notice that a clot is not forming or that the clot has dislodged, you should contact your dentist for further advice and treatment.

If you have any concerns about your dental health, contact a dentist today.