What is a Dry Socket, and How to Prevent Them!

What is a Dry socket Dry Sockets

Anytime you have a tooth removed, or have one knocked out, you are at risk for developing a dry socket.

When you go through a tooth removal procedure at Mint Dental we cover a lot of this information before you have a molar removed, but this article is meant to be a nice, quick reference, for those times a dentist isn’t available.

What is a Dry Socket?

Dry sockets normally happen once you have had a tooth pulled. The tooth being pulled obviously leaves a hole where it used to be, and the healing process starts by your body forming a blood clot inside of the socket to help protect the nerves and bone that is underneath the socket.

The dry socket is going to happen when the clot becomes dislodged or if it dissolves a few days after the tooth has been extracted. This means that the nerves and bones are going to be exposed to anything that might enter into the mouth like food, fluids, or air.

Dry Socket Symptoms

There are several common symptoms when a Dry Socket develops. The first symptom is when you have severe pain in the area a few days after the tooth was extracted. This pain can radiate through your head and move to the neck, ear, eye, and temple on the same side as the tooth extraction.

The second symptom is if you notice a partial or total loss of the blood clot. This is when you are going to notice that the socket is empty.

The third symptom is the visible bone inside of the socket.

Lastly, if you notice a development of any odor or bad breath coming from your mouth. This can also cause an unpleasant taste that you can’t get rid of, or comes back after rinsing.

Dry Socket Treatment

The first one of the dry socket treatment is an anti-inflammatory drug like an aspirin or ibuprofen. This is going to help with some of the discomfort that you might be having but they are often not strong enough to relieve any of the pain. Before you leave the dentist we will prescribe you a strong paid medication for the first week or so of your recovery.

The second treatment is to have the dentist to clean the socket, so that they can remove any of the debris that is inside of the hole. Then they will fill it with some gauze to help it to heal. Antibiotics can also be prescribed so that the socket does not become infected in the first place.

How to Prevent developing a Dry Socket

In order to prevent dry socket you will want to take a few precautions. The first thing is to make sure that you don’t use a straw, the sucking action might dislodge the blood clot. For the same reason you should stop smoking until your mouth is healed.

You’ll want to only eat soft foods like yogurt, applesauce, and mashed potatoes until the second day as well.

You’ll also want to stop taking any medications that might have negative interaction with the medications that the dentist will give you for the pain. Finally, make sure that you have the proper oral hygiene and monitor the extraction site.

Dry Socket Questions

If you have any other questions about a tooth extraction and preventing the formation of dry socket make sure to contact us or call at 907-313-1861 to schedule your consultation!