A dry socket is a painful condition after a tooth is pulled. It is caused by the bone healing process and can leave your mouth feeling extremely sore. Read on to understand the causes and their treatments.
What Is Dry Socket and Its Causes
A dry socket can happen after tooth extraction. The clot of blood formed at the extraction site dissolves or is otherwise dislodged, exposing the raw bone underneath. It can cause significant pain and discomfort and an unpleasant smell or taste. Dry socket is more common after certain types of extractions, such as those that are very complicated or have a lot of bleeding. Dry socket is most common 5-7 days following surgery, and women are more likely to develop it than men. Smoking is seen as a major risk factor for developing dry sockets. You may be able to avoid dry sockets by using a Waterpik to remove debris from the extraction site and avoiding smoking for at least 72 hours after surgery.
Prevention and Treatment
There are a few treatments when it comes to dry sockets. First, your dentist or oral surgeon may clean out the affected area and remove debris. They may also place a medicated dressing in the socket to help relieve pain and promote healing. In some cases, antibiotics may be necessary to prevent infection. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also help manage pain. If you are still experiencing any sort of pain after a week, you should consult your dentist or oral surgeon. They may recommend a more potent pain reliever or prescribe a nerve block. The dry socket typically heals within 7-10 days with proper treatment. Furthermore, you can take some steps to prevent dry sockets. Follow your oral surgeon's instructions for caring for the extraction site. It includes avoiding smoking and using a water pick to remove debris. It is also important to eat soft foods and avoid chewing directly on the extraction site.
Talk to our dentist if you are concerned about developing dry sockets. They can help you understand your risk and take steps to prevent this painful complication.