You probably don’t think getting a tooth extracted is a pleasant experience. And you’re probably expecting some pain as a result. You’ll be able to deal with it over time. However, if the discomfort persists and even worsens after a few days, it could be a sign of a condition known as dry socket or alveolar osteitis. Only a tiny percentage of people may develop a dry socket following a tooth extraction.
What is a dry socket?
After tooth extraction, a blood clot forms to protect the hole in your gums as it heals. If the blood clot does not form properly or becomes dislodged from your gums during healing, it can create a dry socket. A dry socket can leave the nerves and bone in your gums exposed, so it’s important to seek dental care. It can be excruciating, and if left untreated, can lead to complications, including:
- Delayed healing
- An infection in the socket
- Infection that spreads to the bone
What are the symptoms of dry socket?
A person who has had a tooth extraction will feel discomfort, such as swelling and soreness. However, if the pain worsens or improves but returns a few days later, it may be due to a dry socket. Other possible symptoms include:
- Blood clot missing from the socket.
- Aching or throbbing pain in a person’s gums or jaw can resemble a severe toothache.
- An unpleasant smell from the empty socket
- A bad taste coming from the socket
- Pain that radiates to the rest of a person’s face
- Additionally, there could be exposed bone at the site of the extraction.
What can I do to prevent dry socket?
You can reduce your risk of dry socket by taking the following steps before surgery:
- Ensure an experienced dentist or oral surgeon takes care of your tooth extraction surgery. You should check out their credentials, read online reviews, and ask around about them.
- After selecting a care professional, talk with them about any over-the-counter or prescription medications you’re currently using. Some medications can prevent your blood from clotting, which can cause a dry socket.
- If you smoke, limit or avoid smoking before and after your extraction. Smoking can increase your risk of dry socket. Talk to your dentist about using nicotine management options, such as the patch, during the healing process. They may even guide quitting.
Your dentist will provide you with information about recovery and aftercare guidelines. You must follow these directions. For questions, call your dentist’s office; they can clear up any concerns.
While it can be excruciating, dry socket is a highly treatable condition. You should start to feel better shortly after the treatment begins, and your symptoms should be gone entirely within a few days. Call your dentist if you’re still dealing with pain or swelling after about five days. You may still have debris caught in the area or another underlying condition. Having had a dry socket once does put you at risk of developing a dry socket again, so be sure to tell your dentist about your dental history if you ever need to have another tooth removed.
If you are looking for the highest-rated dental office in Downtown Toronto, call our dental office at (416) 366-0777. We offer general, cosmetic and emergency dentistry services in a clean and safe environment, with the help of the latest technologies in the industry.