What is a Dry Socket? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, & Prevention
Posted on 3/7/2022 by Dr. Call
You will have to deal with a tooth or two being pulled out at one point or another. Although in our experience, most of these would heal by themselves, others get worse. While this condition is not the most pleasant, it can be easily treated and prevented if you know what to look out for.
This common dental ailment occurs after having a tooth removed or undergoing some other type of oral surgery that involves removing one or more teeth from your mouth. The medical term for this complication is alveolar osteitis, and it often develops on the third day following the procedure. However, it can also occur anytime up to three weeks later in rare cases where bone healing isn't optimal.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Sockets
The main symptom of dry sockets is constant pain in the affected area, which will typically worsen when you're chewing. In most cases, we can alleviate this discomfort by taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or Advil. However, if these don't help, or if your dentist doesn't prescribe a different kind of medication to manage your symptoms, make sure to call us for an appointment right away so we can assess and treat what's going on with your teeth.
In rarer instances, there may not be any significant pain but bleeding that lasts longer than usual. The most obvious sign you have dry sockets is persistent bad breath caused by dead cells accumulating under the blood clot left after the surgery.
What Causes Dry Sockets?
A few different things can make you more susceptible to developing dry sockets, such as having poor oral hygiene or smoking cigarettes. In some cases, people who have diabetes or take certain medications may also be at risk. However, one of the most common causes is when the blood clot that forms over the tooth extraction site falls out prematurely and leaves the bone exposed to air and food particles.
How is Dry Socket Treated?
If you develop dry sockets despite your best efforts to prevent them, don't worry – we can help! The first step is to clean out the socket using a unique irrigating device and then pack it with a medicated dressing. Depending on your specific situation, we might also prescribe a pain reliever and antibiotics to help speed up the healing process.
We hope this article was helpful and informative! If you have any other questions about dry sockets or any different dental related topic, feel free to leave a comment below or give us a call and we'll be happy to help.
Century Dental Dr. Jefferson Call, DMD & Dr. Thorn Simnitt, DMD
Dentist Hillsboro, OR | Dental Blog - Century Dental Hillsboro, OR Jefferson Call, DMD and Dix Densley, DDS believe that the better informed their patients are, the better their decisions about dental care can be. With this blog, they hope to inform and empower our readers in their oral health. - See more Century Dental, 2831 SE Cornelius Pass Rd, Hillsboro, OR 97123 ^ (971) 708-1608 ^ centurydentalllc.com ^ 9/29/2022 ^ Key Phrases: Dentist Hillsboro OR