CAUSES OF DRY SOCKET
When you have a tooth extracted it leaves behind an empty socket. The socket is soon filled with a blood clot, and this clot has an extremely important role to play in helping the empty socket to heal properly. The blood clot protects the empty socket against infection, but if it is dislodged or doesn’t form properly, an uncomfortable and often painful condition called dry socket can quickly develop. Without the blood clot, the empty socket is exposed to the air, and to everything you eat or drink, and as the socket contains nerve endings this can soon become painful, especially if it is infected.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF DRY SOCKET INCLUDE:
- Noticing the pain is getting worse a couple of days after extraction
- You might have an unpleasant taste or bad breath
- You may be able to see the bone in the socket, or that it looks dry
Most people will feel some discomfort after having a tooth extracted, but this should quickly begin to improve in just a day or two. If the pain gets worse, it could be that you have dry socket. In this case you should seek help from your dentist at Midtown Dentistry.
TREATMENT FOR DRY SOCKET
The socket will need to be cleaned out to help clear up the infection, after which it will be dressed. You might need to return to your dental office at regular intervals to have the dressing changed. They might also place some medication topically to help ease the pain, and to aid healing. The socket should hurt a lot less after the first few days, and will heal after a week or two, but you might need to take antibiotics or may be prescribed a special mouthwash to use to help prevent the socket from becoming re-infected.
WHO IS MORE AT RISK FOR DRY SOCKET?
Dry Socket is more likely to occur if you smoke, as smoking slows down the healing process, and the action of sucking on a cigarette can dislodge the blood clot. Other actions that can have a similar effect include coughing, using a straw to suck up liquids, and even sneezing.
This condition is more likely to occur when molars or wisdom teeth have been extracted, as the area right at the back of the mouth does not have such a good blood supply. It is important to remember that dry socket only occurs in 5% of tooth extractions, and even though it can be painful it is quite straightforward to get treatment.
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