Everything about Dry Socket

A dry socket can happen after you have a tooth extraction. In medical terms, it is known as alveolar osteitis. Dentists tell us that the condition is said to last for a week, with the pain starting 3 days after the extraction.

Usually, when a tooth extraction is carried out, there is the formation of a blood clot at the site so that proper healing is carried out. A dry socket happens when the clot gets dislodged, or dissolved before time, or fails to form in the first place. If a dry socket forms, then the bone, tissue, and nerve endings lay exposed.

Dry socket is accompanied by pain and very often food particles might get stuck at the extraction site. This can lead to a delayed healing process which might lead to infection.

When can I develop a dry socket?

Although dry socket isn’t very common, some factors can increase your risk. People are at a higher risk of developing a dry socket during the first week following a tooth extraction at the dental clinic.

It has been found that 1-5 per cent of people face the problem of a dry socket after tooth extraction.

During normal recovery, the pain usually decreases as time passes. If the person has a dry socket, the pain will get worse over time instead of getting better.

Dry socket pain is experienced after a few days of surgery. If a week has elapsed after surgery, then it is most likely that your mouth is almost healed, and the chances of a dry socket are quite low.

Dry socket treatment

For treating a dry socket, you must visit a dentist. This means you’ll have to go again to your dentist’s clinic.

The dentist will clean and apply medication to the site for healing it. Most likely, he will recommend over-the-counter medicine for suppressing the pain.

If however, the pain, fever, or swelling doesn’t go away, visit your dentist again.

Treatment includes the following steps:

Cleaning the dry socket-It is undertaken to clean the food or debris stuck in the empty hole.

Medication-Using medication will ease the pain. Your dentist will also direct you about how to clean and replace the gauze at home.

Pain medications– This is the last step in the treatment. The dentist will prescribe medicines like ibuprofen to alleviate your pain.

Complications that can develop from dry socket

A dry socket will lead to delayed healing. Infections may occur in that case. If you have experienced any sign of infection, it is time to call your dentist.

There are various signs of infection:

  • swelling
  • fever and chills
  • discharge from the extraction site
  • presence of pus at the site 
  • redness

About The Author

Dr. Priya Verma

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