Dry socket is a disruption in the healing process after a permanent tooth is extracted, oftentimes a wisdom tooth. It occurs when the blood clot that aids in healing either dissolves or becomes dislodged, exposing the bone and nerves underneath. Fortunately, only an estimated 1.8% of people will develop dry socket after an extraction. And, although it can be quite uncomfortable, there are effective ways to either prevent it or treat it. Keep reading to learn more about dry socket and how an oral surgeon in Chicago can help.
Why Does Dry Socket Occur?
After a tooth has been extracted, a blood clot forms to cover and protect the hole that’s left behind. Ideally, this blood clot remains undisturbed during the healing process. If not, the bone, tissue, and nerve underneath can become exposed, leading to dry socket.
If dry socket occurs, it typically happens in the lower jaw about 3-4 days after your procedure. If you notice throbbing, severe pain, an unpleasant taste, swollen glands, or a fever, call an oral surgeon right away.
In addition to being quite painful, dry socket can also lead to a serious infection. That’s why prevention (or immediate treatment) are so important.
How Can You Prevent It?
- First, it’s critical to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions exactly.
- With that said, it’s also important to keep the area clean, but do so very carefully. Gently rinse out your mouth with salt water a few times each day and also brush around the area twice a day (taking care not to get the bristles directly into the socket).
- Don’t smoke or use a straw, as the suction can dislodge the blood clot.
- Avoid carbonated beverages and hard or crunchy foods.
- Your oral surgeon may also give you a syringe to gently flush the extraction site directly.
How Is Dry Socket Treated?
If you need treatment, an oral surgeon in 60647 will do the following to relieve pain and prevent infection:
- Thoroughly clean and disinfect the area.
- Place a medicated dressing in the socket (oftentimes with instructions for removing it at home).
- Recommend a pain medication such as an over-the-counter option or a prescription.
- Then you’ll likely need to come back in 7-10 days to make sure the area is healing well.
Dry socket is unlikely, especially if you follow any given instructions carefully. But, if it happens regardless, you’ll be able to get effective treatment that gets you out of pain and protects your oral health!
About the Author
As an oral surgeon in Chicago with a dedication to professional excellence, Dr. Firas F. Katabi has become a leader in his field. His extensive training and nearly 20 years of experience allow him to provide every patient with an outstanding experience before, during, and after oral surgery. If you have any other questions about dry socket or extractions, he can be reached via his website.