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How to Treat a Dry Socket

Posted on 3/15/2024 by Weo Admin
Dentist talking with reclining patient about dry socketsA dry socket is an oral condition that develops after tooth extraction. A socket is a hole that remains after a dentist extracts a diseased or decayed tooth. Typically, a blood clot should form at the site as the wound starts to heal. The clot covers the wound, protecting the jawbone and the nerves underneath. However, slight complications might occur after extraction, causing the blood clot to dislodge, dissolve, or not form in the first place.

What Causes a Dry Socket?

A dry socket can happen after any dental extraction procedure. However, it is prevalent after the removal of wisdom teeth. There are several other risk factors associated with a dry socket. People who smoke or use tobacco products, for instance, are three times more likely to get a dry socket. The suction force from drinking through a straw, taking oral contraceptives, vigorous swashing, and poor oral care can also cause a dry socket after dental extraction.

Dry Socket Symptoms

The symptoms of a dry socket manifest 2-3 days after tooth extraction. Most patients experience discomfort and soreness at the extraction site. Aching might spread to the ear, eye, or neck. Some people develop headaches and experience increased tooth sensitivity on the adjacent teeth. Other symptoms of a dry socket include foul breath and a sour, metallic taste in the mouth. Occasionally, patients might develop a bacterial infection at the extraction site.

Treating a Dry Socket

A dry socket typically heals on its own within a week. However, you can expedite your recovery by rinsing the extraction site with warm salt water. You can also use ice packs to reduce discomfort. A dentist might prescribe antiseptic mouthwashes and pain medications to help alleviate the problem and provide comfort. Refrain from acidic beverages and drinking from a straw until the wound heals.

Contact Our Practice Today

A dry socket rarely deteriorates into a severe complication. However, if you continue to experience discomfort after a week, do not hesitate to book an appointment with a dental professional. Call our practice today to schedule a dental examination.

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