What Is A Dry Socket After A Tooth Extraction?

What Is A Dry Socket After A Tooth Extraction?

Team Extractions

After a recent tooth extraction, you may be at risk for a dry socket. Although a dry socket is the most common risk of having a tooth removed, the good news is that it's still relatively rare. It's important to note that dry socket is more common with lower jaw tooth removal. But what really is a dry socket?

What is a Dry Socket?

A dry socket typically develops between three to four days after a permanent tooth is removed. After a tooth extraction, a blood clot should form to protect the hole in the gums while it's still healing. If the blood clot becomes dislodged from your gums, fails to form correctly, or dissolves before the wound heals, it can cause a "dry socket." Unfortunately, a dry socket can leave the nerves and bones in your gums exposed. If a dry socket isn't treated, it may cause an infection or other complications.

To prevent a dry socket, it's best to avoid the following after having a permanent tooth pulled:

  • Smoking and all tobacco products
  • Vigorous rinsing (only soft rinsing for the first week or two post-extraction)
  • Letting food accumulate in the area
  • Oral contraceptive medications as they have been known to increase the risk of developing a dry socket

It's also worth noting that diabetic patients are at a greater risk of dry sockets.

Dry Socket Symptoms

If, 3-4 days after your tooth extraction surgery, you are experiencing pain that is getting worse and isn't eased by pain medication, it may signal that you have developed a dry socket. The primary symptoms of dry socket include increased pain, aches, radiating neck pain, and throbbing at the site. Additional symptoms can include bad breath and increased swelling. The site might also appear white.

The only way to know for sure if you have a dry socket is to have your dentist inspect the treated area. Please don't hesitate to contact our office if you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have further questions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Socket

How Will I Know If I Have a Dry Socket?

Pain that seems to get worse in the lower extraction sites after three or four days and isn't eased by pain medication can mean you have a dry socket. If your pain is the same or better but still persistent and your pain medication covers it, it's likely not a dry socket.

How is A Dry Socket Treated?

First, your dentist will evaluate the area. If they believe you have a dry socket, thankfully, it's easily treated by cleaning, rinsing, and placing a medicated dressing. You will likely need some follow-up visits to check the healing process.

Learn More About Tooth Extractions and Dental Care in Brunswick, OH

At Bellissimi Dental in Brunswick, OH, our highly experienced and compassionate dental professionals can help you with tooth extractions, dry sockets, and many other dental treatments and conditions. Invest in your dental health today by contacting us online or calling us at 330-741-3334 to request an appointment.