If your mouth is a little tender or sore after wisdom teeth extractions, that’s nothing to worry about. In rare cases, however, patients experience significant pain at the surgical site due to a condition known as dry socket. What exactly is dry socket, and how can you cope with it? Let’s talk about these important questions.
How to Recognize Dry Socket
Following a tooth extraction, your body sends blood to the surgical site, and it forms a clot. The clot protects the bone underneath it and promotes proper healing. Sometimes, though, the clot never forms. In other cases, it may accidentally get dislodged. When such unfortunate circumstances occur, the bone and nerves beneath the clot become exposed. This condition, which occurs in about 2 – 5 percent of tooth extraction cases, is known as dry socket.
Besides pain, symptoms of dry socket include:
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth and persistent bad breath
- Swollen glands or a low-grade fever
- Visible bone at the extraction site or an empty-looking tooth socket
- Discomfort in areas other than the extraction site, such as ear, jaw, eye, or temple
Treating Dry Socket
Dry socket after an extraction in Enfield isn’t a problem that will go away on its own; rather, you’ll need a dentist’s help to correct it and get back to feeling your best. The normal treatment for dry socket includes washing out the area with a special saline solution that rinses away bacteria and food particles. Then, your dentist will protect the socket with a special dressing. You might also be prescribed pain medication to help you cope with the discomfort. Most people take about 7 – 10 days to recover from dry socket.
Preventing Dry Socket
Even though your dentist is well-qualified to help you if you develop dry socket, it’s best to prevent the condition from occurring in the first place. Here are a few tips you can apply after your wisdom teeth extractions to reduce your chances of suffering from this painful condition:
- Don’t use a straw for three or four days. The suction action can dislodge blood clots.
- Avoid tobacco products. Inhaling smoke might dislodge a blood clot. The chemicals in tobacco products can also slow down healing after surgery.
- Eat soft foods for a few days. Hard or sticky foods might irritate the extraction site and disturb the blood clot.
- Be careful with your oral hygiene routine. You want to maintain a clean mouth, but you must be gentle when you’re brushing your teeth. You shouldn’t brush the extraction site until it has healed adequately.
Dry socket is a serious condition that requires professional attention. If you experience any abnormal pain after a tooth extraction, contact your dentist right away so they can provide treatment and help you feel better.
About Four Town Dental
Drs. Elias Deros and Venu Chimmiri are skilled, experienced dentists in Enfield who provide a broad range of services, including wisdom teeth extractions. If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, dry socket, or anything else related to your oral health, contact our office at 860-749-6088.