A dry socket is a condition that occurs if a tooth extraction has not healed properly, and it is noticeable if you begin to experience sharp pain around the extracted area.
When a dry socket after tooth extraction occurs, the jawbone (formerly known as the alveolar bone) becomes inflamed. It is a natural complication that can occur after tooth extraction treatment, but whilst a dry socket is rare, it is more common if a third molar (the lower wisdom teeth) is removed.
How Can You Identify A Dry Socket After Tooth Extraction?
The first sign of a dry socket after tooth extraction is the blood clot becoming dislodged. You will also experience throbbing pain in the jaw. The pain can reverberate around your face from the extracted area. You will naturally have pain straight after extraction treatment once the anaesthetic wears off.
Another sign of a dry socket is bad breath, likely to be from accumulated food debris bacteria build-up inside the mouth. Should these signs become apparent, contact the dentist straight away.
How Is Dry Socket Treated?
The first recommendation is to take an anti-inflammatory drug to ease the pain, such as ibuprofen. If the pain continues to persist, you’ll need to contact the dentist for an emergency appointment.
The dentist will begin to clean the tooth socket and prevent the debris from filling the hole. The dentist will then fill the hole and the exposed bone with a medicated dressing to speed up tooth extraction healing and reduce any pain. Naturally, the dressing will need replacing regularly during healing.
The dentist will recommend you continue to drink saltwater and take prescribed medication to help limit any pain.
Can A Dry Socket Be Prevented?
As part of tooth extraction aftercare, the surgeon will recommend that you rest appropriately until a blood clot is formed around the affected area. Here are some other tips that help prevent dry socket:
- If you’re taking any form of medication, notify your dentist at your appointment
- Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after treatment
- Avoid eating food on the side of the extracted area
- Drink with a straw
- Rinse your mouth with salt water daily
- Reduce any swelling by applying a cold compress for 10 minutes at a time for the first few days post-treatment
- Do not touch the socket
- Seek additional instructions and support from the surgeon
Are you a patient who is experiencing a dry socket after tooth extraction? Contact us immediately at Integrated Smiles today. Contact our Bendigo Dentist to get started!