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Should I Be Worried About Getting Dry Socket?

June 16, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — brushdental @ 8:00 pm

Extracted tooth and dental instrumentsEvery natural tooth is essential for a healthy, functional smile. However, extraction is best in certain situations, like wisdom tooth impaction. If your dentist recommends having a tooth removed, they’ll explain the risk of dry socket. The painful condition is preventable if you take a few precautions until your mouth has healed.

What is Dry Socket?

Dry socket is a painful condition that can occur up to 7 to 10 days after an extraction. After a tooth is taken out, a blood clot will form at the extraction site. If the clot is lost too soon, the underlying bones and nerves can be exposed. Not only is it very painful, but it can increase your risk of an infection.

Signs of Dry Socket

Not everyone develops dry socket after an extraction, but it’s not unusual, either. It’s best to contact your dentist at the first sign of a problem, like:

  • Severe toothache
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Significant inflammation
  • Fever

Causes of Dry Socket

Dry socket can be avoided. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Swelling or Infection: Significant swelling or an infection at the extraction site can increase the risk of dry socket.
  • Tobacco: Smoking and tobacco are linked to dry socket. Tobacco can also cause delayed healing and infections.
  • Aggressive Brushing: Your toothbrush can dislodge the blood clot and irritate the healing tissues.
  • Drinking Through a Straw: Suction can dislodge the clot, such as when drinking through a straw.
  • Vigorous Rinsing: Rinsing your mouth vigorously can loosen the clot. It’s best to lightly swish liquids in your mouth and let it run into the sink.

Managing Dry Socket at Home

If you have any signs of dry socket, don’t wait to contact your dentist. They’ll provide the quick care you need to stop your pain. While waiting for your appointment, here are a few things you can do to stay comfortable:

  • Salt Water Rinse: Gently rinse your mouth with salt water to keep the extraction site clean. It can also help with inflammation and pain while killing bacteria.
  • Cold Compress: Apply a cold compress for 15 to 20 minutes intervals to numb the area and reduce swelling.
  • Black Tea Bags: Place black tea bags on the extraction site for 15 minutes to reduce discomfort.
  • OTC Pain Reliever: Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Although dry socket is a complication of tooth extraction, there’s no need to fret. You can ensure a quick recovery by following your dentist’s aftercare instructions.

About Dr. John Kuan

Dr. Kuan achieved his dental degree from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco and continued his education regularly to provide advanced services, like restorative dentistry and tooth extractions. If you have signs of dry socket, request an appointment online or call (469) 747-0226.

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