What is a Dry socket?
If you start experiencing severe pain 3–4 days after tooth extraction, visit your dentist or oral surgeon.
Alveolar osteitis, another name for a dry socket, is an inflammation of the jawbone that can lead to infections.
This condition is uncommon after tooth extraction. However, this condition is more common in patients who have extracted wisdom teeth.
Causes of Dry Socket?
After tooth extraction, a blood clot forms to protect the jawbone around the extracted tooth.
If the blood clot breaks or doesn’t form, your jawbone will be exposed, leading to infections and making you take longer to heal.
Several factors may cause a dry socket. From;
- Removal of wisdom teeth
- Poor oral hygiene
- Drinking fluids with a straw
Patients with a history of alveolar osteitis may also be victims of the same.
Learn More: How To Smoke After Tooth Extraction Without Getting Dry Socket
What are the Symptoms of a Dry Socket?
If you notice exposed jawbone white in color instead of a dark blood clot, chances are you might be having alveolar osteitis.
Below are the symptoms and signs of a dry socket:
- Severe pain after two to four days after tooth extraction.
- Bad breath.
- A long healing period that exceeds two weeks
How can a dry socket get treated?
Once you see or feel the above signs and symptoms, you should immediately see your dentist or oral surgeon.
Your dentist will examine your socket to determine if there is a dry socket. The dentist will clean the exposed jaw of any debris from the socket.
He will also prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen, Advil, and hydrocodone.
In addition, you will also be given antibiotics and mouthwash to prevent infections.
What is the healing time of a Dry Socket?
The time a dry socket takes to heal or recover depends on the patient. Some patients will recover quickly, while others will take time.
However, the average healing time is 7 – 10 days.
How to Avoid Getting a Dry socket?
Dry sockets can be prevented. One way is to go to an experienced dentist who uses sutures to protect the blood clot.
Some things should be avoided, like smoking, rinsing too hard, and spitting liquids into the mouth.
If you take birth control pills, you should discuss with your dentist whether they have an effect.
Follow all the instructions given to you by your dentist after a tooth extraction to avoid any other complication that may arise.
- MedicineNet: " Dry socket overview" Donna S. Bautista, DDS, William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR, 2018.
- WebMD: "Dry Socket " Michael Friedman, DDS on January 14, 2018.