Many of us have gotten a tooth pulled before by our dentist or oral surgeon; whether it was a tooth that couldn’t be saved or your wisdom teeth. While getting a tooth pulled isn’t the most enjoyable experience, it’s important to understand the risks that could evolve during the recovery. When pain becomes intense and isn’t relieved a few days after surgery, there’s the possibility that it could be a symptom of dry socket.

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Information on Tooth Extractions

Contact us with any further questions on dry socket or tooth extractions.

 

WHAT IS DRY SOCKET (ALVEOLAR OSTEITIS)?

Dry Socket, also known as Alveolar Osteitis, is the inflammation of the alveolar bone and usually occurs where the blood clot fails to form or gets lost in the socket.
While the percentage of those who develop dry socket is rare—about 2%-5% of people—it’s rather important to know why it happens and to determine if you may be more prone to it.
Someone who doesn’t have dry socket would see a dark blood clot near the area where the tooth was pulled. An area that might have dry socket wouldn’t be dark, but rather just whitish bone.

Some of the most common symptoms for Dry Socket are:

Aching and throbbing pain in the area of the socket
Pain near the ear, eye, temple and neck
Bad Breath
Bad Taste in the mouth

You’re more likely to get dry socket if the one of the following applies to you:

Smokers
Have a preexisting infection in the mouth
Practicing poor oral hygiene
Those who have gotten Wisdom Teeth pulled
If you have a greater-than-usual trauma during the extraction surgery
If you use Birth Control pills
Have a history of dry socket after having teeth pulled

After learning the harmful symptoms of dry socket, it is no surprise that you may want to take any precautions to avoid it. Dr. Scherer suggests the following post-operative instructions:

Take recommended medications
Avoid hot fluids for 1-2 days after oral surgery
Drink cold fluids, as they facilitate with formation and prevent disintegration of the socket
Avoid smoking!
Do not drink though a straw, the pressure leads to increased chance of clot instability.

WHILE DRY SOCKET CAN BE PAINFULLY UNPLEASANT, IT IS EASILY TREATABLE

Treatment usually includes a combination of cleaning and packing the infected area. Some patients may also need antibiotics for the socket as a preventative measure. The pain should then decrease about 4-5 days after and is typically healed in less than two weeks.

If you believe you have developed dry socket from your tooth extraction, contact our office for specific treatment details.