Dry socket is a condition that results when the newly formed blood clot at the extraction site becomes dissolve during healing. This exposes the bone and nerve endings and causes intense pain. It develops in about 4% of all extractions. This occurs when a blood clot doesn’t form in the hole or the blood clot breaks off or breaks down too early.
Typically, dry sockets begin to cause pain the third day after surgery.
Symptoms of a dry socket may include:
- Severe pain at the tooth extraction site a few days after your procedure.
- Loss of blood clot revealing an empty-looking socket or visible bone.
- Pain that radiates from the socket to your ear, eye or neck on the same side of your face as the extraction.
- Bad breath and unpleasant taste in your mouth.
- Possible fever.
Factors that can increase your risk of developing dry socket include:
- Smoking and tobacco use.
- Oral contraceptives.
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Having dry socket in the past.
- Tooth or gum infection.
For these reasons it’s very important take the follow steps to help prevent dry socket:
- Visit a dentist with plenty of experience in tooth extractions.
- Try to stop smoking before and after your extraction because smoking and using other tobacco products increase your risk of dry socket.
- Talk to your dentist about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking, as they may interfere with blood clotting.
The treatment for dry socket involves irrigating the area with sterile saline and/or chlorhexidine. You must follow the instructions of your dentist and continue your medications in addition to a prescription to help alleviate any swelling.
Besides your dentist can recommend you a number of steps to ensure proper healing of the socket and to prevent futures oral diseases, for example, use antibacterial mouthwashes or gels immediately before and after surgery, oral antibiotics, antiseptic solutions applied to the wound and medicated dressings applied after surgery.
If you want to know more about oral care, get in contact with our staff and they will answer all your questions.
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