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What is a Dry Socket?

Tooth extraction is done by dentists and can be done safely. It is normal to feel pain following surgery. But if you notice a throbbing pain that becomes intense after a few days, it may be one of the symptoms of a dry socket.

A dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis, is a painful condition that occurs after wisdom teeth are extracted. It occurs when the blood clot at the tooth extraction area fails to form or when it dislodges or breaks before the lesion has healed.

The type of tooth extraction determines the likelihood of a dry socket. Dry socket, while still uncommon, are more prone to developing after your wisdom teeth are extracted.

A dry socket can be a debilitating condition that needs proper treatment from a dental health professional. At Byford Smiles, our dentists can help you with the interventions available for a dry socket.

What should you do if you experience a dry socket? What are the symptoms and causes of dry socket? What treatment options exist for dry socket? All these questions will be answered by reading this blog post!

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Common Symptoms of a Dry Socket

When the underlying bone and nerves are exposed, it causes severe pain in the socket and along the nerves spreading to the side of your face. The socket gets irritated and may become clogged with food particles, increasing the pain. When you have a dry socket, the pain usually starts one to three days after tooth extraction.

The common signs and symptoms of a dry socket may include the following:

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Common Causes of Dry Socket

A blood clot is expected to form when a tooth is extracted from the bone and gums to protect the hole in your gums as it recovers. A dry socket can occur if the blood clot does not fully form or becomes dislodged from your gums.

However, what keeps a blood clot from forming? The researchers are unsure. Bacterial contamination, whether from foods, fluids, or other substances that enter the mouth, is thought to trigger this response.

It is also possible to suffer a dry socket as a result of trauma. It can happen after a complex dental extraction or during the healing period. For instance, accidentally poking the extraction site with your toothbrush may cause the socket to be damaged.

There are many possible reasons why a dry socket occurs. These may include the following:

Other additional risk factors that may contribute are:

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Dry Socket Treatment Options

The primary goal of dry socket treatment is to relieve symptoms or alleviate pain.

Your dentist or oral surgeon will take measures to ensure proper socket healing and to prevent dry socket. These steps may include prescribing one or more of the following drugs to reduce dry socket:

It is necessary to follow your dentist aftercare instructions. A week after your extraction, you’ll most likely have a follow-up appointment. Your dentist will examine the damaged area and advise you on the next steps.

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FAQs About Dry Socket

How is dry socket diagnosed?

If you are experiencing intense pain several days after having a tooth extracted, your dentist may suggest a dry socket. In addition, your dentist will look for other symptoms, such as exposed alveolar bone or blood clotting in your tooth sockets. Dental x-rays may be necessary to rule out other illnesses, including osteomyelitis (bone infection) or bone fragments left over from surgery.

Is it possible to prevent a dry socket?

You can lower your risk of dry socket by applying essential precautions before tooth extraction:

  • Consult with a dentist who has experience performing tooth extractions.
  • If you smoke, it is recommended that your dental and overall physical health not smoke before or after surgery, as research shows that smokers are more likely to develop dry sockets.
  • Inform your dentist if you are already using an over-the-counter or prescription medicine, because these medications may compromise the healing process and proper blood clot formation.

After dental extraction, the dentist will inform you regarding what to expect during the recovery period. Proper at-home care promotes normal healing, protects the wound, and prevents the risk of dry socket.

  • Take a rest. It is vital to take enough rest following surgery and limit your food and beverage consumption. Follow your oral surgeon's advice on when to resume normal activities as well as how long to avoid strenuous exercise and sports that could cause the blood clot in the socket to dislodge.
  • Limit your food and drink. Ask your dentist the list of soft foods and beverages you can consume during the healing time.

Oral care. Ask your dentist about oral products you can buy and use to clean the wound. They may recommend antibacterial mouthwash, antiseptic solutions, and medicated gauze or gel.

Who is likely to get a dry socket?

If you've already suffered a dry socket, you may be more susceptible to experiencing one again. Before the scheduled tooth extraction, inform your dentist or oral surgeon about your dry socket and any other health concerns you may have.

  • Smokers
  • individuals who use oral contraception, such as birth control pills
  • Improper wound care after extraction.
  • Poor dental hygiene habits.

How long does it take a dry socket to heal?

A blood clot forms at the area of tooth extraction to repair and protect it. The clot either dislodges, dissolves too quickly, or never forms at all with a dry socket. As a result, a dry socket exposes the bone, tissue, and nerve endings.

Typically, a dry socket lasts seven days. Pain might be felt as early as the third day following extraction.

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Why Choose Byford Smiles To Treat Dry Socket

It is common to have some pain and discomfort following a tooth extraction. However, with the pain reliever provided by your dentist or oral surgeon, you should be able to manage normal pain, and the pain should reduce over time.

If you have new or increasing pain in the days following your tooth extraction, consult your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

Byford Smiles is here to assist you! We understand how inconvenient this painful problem is, hence why we want to assist you in finding treatment as quickly as possible. Our team will work closely with you during the process to give treatment alternatives that are appropriate for your specific situation and needs. Allow us to treat your dry socket symptoms so you can get back to living your life without pain.

Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our dentists!