When you have a tooth extracted there it leaves a hole in the bone. A blood clot usually forms in the socket, and this helps to protect the area until healing takes place and the gums close up.
In some circumstances a blood clot doesn’t form, or alternatively the blood clot does not stay in place. This allows tooth nerves and the tooth socket to be exposed to the air, and allows food etc. to enter the cavity.
A dry socket may also be known as a septic socket, but whatever you choose to call it the end result can be delayed healing and a great amount of toothache.
Symptoms Of A Dry Socket
It is normal to experience pain after having a tooth pulled. However, this pain should be alleviated with the use of painkillers and become less painful within a day or so.
If you are still experiencing severe pain a day or more later, this may be a sign of a problem. The pain may extend to the ear, eye, or neck, and may not respond to painkillers.
An unpleasant taste in the mouth could also be a sign of a problem, as could having a raised temperature.
Avoiding A Dry Socket
There are certain factors that may increase the chances of suffering from this painful dental condition.
Smoking can delay the healing process, which makes it more likely for a problem to occur. Avoiding smoking after dental treatment will hopefully shorten the healing process.
Certain medications can also slow down the healing process, and a dentist should always have a record of medications you are taking.
Generally speaking poor oral hygiene contributes to dental problems. However, when it comes to having a tooth removed, rinsing your mouth too frequently shortly after an extraction is more likely to remove the blood clot.
Chewing on hard foods too soon after extractions could dislodge the clot. Most dentists recommend avoiding the use of a drinking straw, as this forces you to suck with force, rather than gently sip a drink.
Treating A Dry Socket
You will need to visit a dentist to resolve this painful problem.
The dentist may rinse the cavity to remove any debris, and then pack the area with a special material. This material will do the same job as the missing blood clot, and protect the area until it heals.
You may be given antibiotics to clear any infection present, or a special mouthwash to use.
Your dental clinic will already have advised you on aftercare, when you had your tooth removed. However, your advice may differ slightly after treatment for a septic socket. It is important to follow the advice given, as this will hopefully quicken the healing process.
A dry socket can be as painful as having a dental abscess, but getting proper treatment will deal with the problem and within a short time you should be pain free.