If you have every had a tooth extracted you may have heard of a complication call dry socket.
In this article we will explore what exactly is dry socket, how you can avoid it and if it does develop how it can be resolved quickly with the appropriate treatment.
What is dry socket?
Dry socket is a painful complication that can sometimes occur after having a tooth extracted.
When a tooth is removed, a blood clot should form at the extraction site. This blood clot helps protect the bone and nerves as the site heals.
Dry socket occurs when this blood clot doesn’t form or is dislodged, therefore leaving the bone and nerves exposed.
What are the risk factors?
It is important to note here that not everyone that has a tooth extracted will develop dry socket. No one is sure why some people develop it and other don’t, but there are some risk factors that may increase the risk of developing it- such as;
- smoking / chewing tobacco
- not following the proper care instructions after the extraction
- poor oral hygiene
- having had dry socket in the past
What are the symptoms to look out for?
- sever pain at the extraction site after approx 3 days
- no evidence of a blood clot forming at the extraction site
- bad taste in the mouth
- pain radiating to the ear on the side of extraction
Treatment of dry socket.
While some pain and discomfort should be expected after a tooth extraction, severe pain that does not improve should be investigated.
If you suspect you may have dry socket, please book an appointment with us to help you manage the pain. We will flush out the site to remove any debris that may be there, put some dressing on the site and also prescribe some pain medication for you. With proper care and maintenance dry socket can be treated quickly and should only last a couple of days.
How to reduce your risk of developing dry socket.
Before getting a tooth extracted, we advice the following to help reduce the risk of developing dry socket.
- try to stop smoking before the appointment
- stop taking any medication that can inhibit the formation of a blood clot developing. (as directed by a doctor or dentist)
After the extraction doing the below will further prevent the development of dry socket
- keeping the sterile gauze given by the dentist on the extraction site for at least 30 minutes
- avoid sports and other activities that may disrupt the blood clot out of place
- eating only soft foods the day after surgery
- don’t rinse your mouth for 24 hours after extraction. After that, rinse gently with warm salty water – half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water is enough.
If you have any questions or queries on dry socket, please don’t hesitate to contact us here on T: 01 4542022 or E: email@example.com