What Is Dry Socket?

After you have a tooth extracted, there are a variety of potential risks, but one of the greatest is dry socket. This condition is very painful as it is caused by the socket being exposed to fluid and air. Here are some things to know about dry socket and what you can do about it.

Pain is the Primary Symptom

In terms of signs and symptoms, experiencing severe pain is the most common sign that you are suffering from dry socket. A clot develops after an extraction to help protect the bone and nerves underneath that tooth. If it gets dislodged before natural healing can begin, the bone and nerves are then open to food debris, saliva, air, and bacteria. This can cause a lot of severe pain, sometimes debilitating to where you can barely talk. Another symptom is actually seeing or feeling the bone where the tooth was pulled instead of feeling a blood clot that formed. If you see this before the pains tarts, get to the oral surgeon right away so they can treat it as soon as possible.

You Need Emergency Treatment

Dry socket is a dental emergency. Not only is the pain often intolerable, but it needs to be treated so you avoid worsening the condition. When you have dry socket, the entire tooth socket is now exposed to bacteria and food debris. Avoid eating or drinking anything aside from water and call your dentist immediately. If they are unavailable, go to the nearest hospital for short-term treatment. You will still need to get into the dentist or oral surgeon's office as soon as possible. In the meantime, place some clean gauze in the area, not pushing down into the socket too far, but just enough to protect it from contamination. Take pain relievers and get immediate treatment.

You Might Be Able to Avoid it

Dislodging of a blood clot is not often something that just happens during the recovery period. It is more common to occur due to something you have done. For example, if you were smoking a cigarette or drinking out of a straw, the sucking motion might have caused the blood clot to dislodge, which is why you are instructed to avoid these things after extraction. You should also be careful to have good oral hygiene but not to irritate the blood clot and take any medications given to you by your dentist. Also don't eat on that side until your dentist or oral surgeon give you more info and say it is okay.