Dry Socket: How to Avoid or Treat This Painful Condition

by:LIUJIEGOU     2020-05-10
Dry socket is a dental condition that develops after about five percent of all tooth extraction procedures. While it is a very painful condition, it is easily avoided and treatable. While you may expect a little discomfort after having a tooth extracted, if it is a little more intense and lengthy than you thought, you may be suffering from dry socket. But what exactly is dry socket? After your tooth has been pulled, a blood clot forms in the socket (the hole in the bone where the tooth once was). This happens to protect the bone and nerves underneath your gums. However, sometimes the blood clot can be dislodged or dissolve after the tooth extraction. In this case, the bone and nerve is left exposed to air and food that enters the mouth. This may lead to infection and severe pain, often lasting up to a week. Certain behavioral choices and other occurrences out of your control can influence your chances of developing a dry socket. They include smoking, use of birth control pills, bad oral hygiene, experiencing extraordinary trauma during the tooth extraction, or having wisdom teeth pulled. To add insult to injury, if you have had dry socket before, it makes you more likely to have it again than someone else who has not suffered from the condition. Also, don't drink through a straw, spit or rinse a lot immediately after the procedure, as this can increase your chances of dry socket. Symptoms of Dry Socket You may be concerned if any of the following symptoms occur after your tooth extraction: bad breath and unpleasant taste in your mouth. If you have extraordinary pain after a tooth extraction, this may be a sign of dry socket. And naturally, the socket where the tooth was removed will feel dry. Dry Socket Treatments The pain associated with dry socket usually begins about two days after the tooth extraction procedure is done. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from the condition, the first line of defense is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that will help minimize the pain. That may be something as simple as an aspirin or ibuprofen. But that may not do the trick. In so, your doctor can prescribe you a stronger medication. Your dentist will likely also be involved in the process, by removing debris from the hole and filling the socket with a medicated gauze or special paste that will promote healing. Your dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic and give you tips on keeping the socket clean to avoid infection. Smoking is one of the biggest risks for dry socket (as if you need an additional reason to stop). Also, if you are on birth control, tell your dentist first, so arrangements can be made to have the procedure on a day when your dose of estrogen is at its lowest.
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