How do you dodge the dreaded dry socket after tooth extraction? A common phenomenon after tooth removal, dry socket happens when the blot clot becomes dislodged, dissolves, or simply doesn’t form. Also known as alveolar osteitis, it is mostly found in the maxilla or upper jaw. Normally it is restricted to one site unless you have multiple extractions.
Identify the problem to prevent dry socket:
The formation of a blood clot is common on the site of tooth extraction. It not only protects the wound but helps in healing and promoting new tissue growth. With exposed bone, raw issue and nerve endings, the OTC pain relievers may not be enough. It is essential to identify the dry socket symptoms.
People suffering from this condition will experience a kind of persistent throbbing pain a few days after tooth extraction. The pain may travel in other areas of the face with an accompanying foul smell in the mouth. Breathing through the mouth and drinking cold water may add to the discomfort. And as food particles start to accumulate in the empty socket, it causes more pain.
Signs and symptoms of dry socket:
- Pain which is a little different from normal tooth extraction pain. This nagging pain cannot be controlled by pain relievers
- A visible bone in the empty socket
- Pain which travels from tooth to the side of the mouth
- No visible blood clot in the socket
- Bad taste in the mouth accompanied by pus which indicates infection
Avoid getting dry socket:
Dry socket after a tooth extraction is a rare occurrence. You can further eliminate the chance of getting one if you follow a few simple rules.
It is recommended by all dentists and oral surgeons in Des Moines to keep the gauze on top of the extracted tooth for half an hour to 45 minutes after surgery. This enables the blood clot to form. A smoker should get a special oxidized cellulose dental dressing to prevent dry socket.
Be gentle with the mouth till the site is fully healed. Go for soft foods with minimum chewing; if you must chew food do it with the other side of the mouth. Avoid the following to ensure quick healing of the site of tooth extraction.
- Eating seeds, nuts, and other crunchy food items which has the propensity to get stuck in sockets
- Sucking motions like using a straw or slurping the soup
- Rinsing of mouth with mouthwash
- Drinking acidic or hot beverages like soda, coffee or juice which can disintegrate the clot
- Drinking alcohol
- Brushing/flossing the surrounding teeth
Treatment of dry socket:
It has been noted by most dentists that OTC pain relievers are not enough for a dry socket after tooth extraction. Even home remedies can fail. We recommend that you visit your dentist who will be the best person to tell you what to do. The pain will go away a few days after you start treatment. In case of persisting pain, the dentist will investigate further to find the extent of the damage.
Flush the socket
Dentists recommend a saline solution or clear fluid to clean the wound and flush out food particles from the socket which may cause infection or pain.
Apply the gauze
A medicated gauze can be used for dressing the dry socket. It provides instant relief from pain, but depending on the intensity of pain, the dressing should be changed several times.
Treat dry socket after tooth extraction with antibiotics
If you experience mild pain, the OTC pain relievers will be helpful, but in cases of severe pain, your dentists will recommend antibiotics. Antibiotics are more useful if there is an infection in the socket. The infection should be stopped as it will have the tendency to spread to other areas of the mouth.
Avoid dry socket after wisdom tooth extraction by taking prompt actions when you notice early signs of infection. The signs include
- Discharge or puss from the socket
- Redness and swelling around the sites
- Chills and fever
- General feeling of being unwell
Tips to follow to avoid dry socket after tooth extraction:
- Quit smoking to prevent tooth pulled dry socket
- Avoid oral contraceptives that increase the chances of dry socket
- Take a lot of rest after surgery
- Drink plenty of water to avoid irritation on the site of extraction
- Poor oral hygiene can increase the chances of dry socket
Facts about dry socket:
Here are some important facts about dry socket that you should know
- There’s a 2 to 5% chance of having dry socket after tooth extraction
- Dry sockets are frequently found in molar extractions, and particularly in wisdom teeth; the chances of developing a dry socket in a wisdom tooth is almost 30%
- Chain smokers often find it extremely difficult to curb their cravings for nicotine. Dentists often recommend a nicotine replacement therapy in the form of sprays, patches, and inhalers
- Women are more prone to dry socket than men, probably because they take oral contraceptives which increase their estrogen levels leading to dry sockets
At DM Dental, we try to promote good dental health practices in Urbandale. We try to educate our patients about the varied effects of dry socket after tooth extraction. Our dentists believe that empowering the patients with knowledge is equally important as treatment.