What is a Dry socket?
If you start experiencing severe pain 3 – 4 days after tooth extraction, then visit your dentist or oral surgeon.
A dry socket also known as alveolar osteitis is a condition whereby the jawbone gets inflamed leading to infections.
Not many people develop this condition after tooth extraction. However, this condition is more common to patients who have been extracted the wisdom teeth.
Causes of dry socket?
After a tooth extraction, there is a blood clot that forms to protect the jawbone of the extracted tooth.
If the blood clot gets dislodged or not form at all, your jawbone will be exposed leading to infections and delayed healing.
There are a number of factors that 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.
What are 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 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 see your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.
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 at which 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 can you prevent from Getting a Dry socket?
Dry sockets can be prevented. Going to an experienced dentist who use sutures to protect the blood clot is one way.
Some activities like smoking, vigorous rinsing and spitting fluids in the mouth should be avoided.
If you are taking birth control pills, you should discuss with your dentist if 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.