Once a tooth has been pulled or extracted, a dry socket can tend to occur. And, it is often not talked about. About 2% of patients develop dry socket after extraction but the chances increase to about 20% when wisdom teeth are involved.
After a tooth is extracted and healing starts, a blood clot will form to protect the jawbone. If the blood clot does not form or gets removed, a dry socket can occur. Blood clots may not form or can be removed due to bacteria in the mouth or other factors like smoking, using straws, or spitting. Dry socket can prolong healing and create infections if they go untreated but they are generally easy to catch.
What are the symptoms of a dry socket?
The symptoms of dry socket are easy to recognize and treat. The most obvious symptom is if you can see that your socket does not have a blood clot or only partially does. If the blood clot is missing, the tissue in the area of the socket may appear gray signaling a healing disturbance and your jawbone may even be visible. Other symptoms include an increase in pain or swelling a few days after the extraction, pus, and bad breath. Any pain or discomfort should gradually decrease after the extraction, and if it starts to get worse it is important to come to see us at Blue Bird Dentistry in Fredericksburg, VA.
How do you treat a dry socket?
Most of the time, the main treatment is pain management. You may be prescribed a low dosage of pain medication. However, we will most likely flush the area out to remove any debris that might have gotten stuck in the area. In worse cases, we may pack the area with medicated dressings. We might even suggest flushing the area with a saline solution or a medicated rinse while you are at home. The average time to heal from a dry socket is 8-10 days.
One of the best ways to ease the stress of procedures is by visiting us so that you can ask questions and express your concerns. At Blue Bird Dentistry we try to make procedures, like tooth extractions, as comfortable as possible for our patients by making sure they know exactly what to expect. If you feel like you might be suffering from a dry socket, don’t wait in pain. Schedule an appointment with us today!