You do not always get a dry socket after tooth extraction; the chances are relatively low. According to research, about 2% to 5% of all tooth extraction cases end up with this issue. Although the occurrence is rare, it is essential to recognize the symptoms of an emerging dry socket and seek treatment promptly.
What is A Dry Socket?
A dry socket is also known as alveolar osteitis in medical terms. It is a painful condition that usually occurs after tooth extraction. It happens in instances when the blood clot, which normally forms in place of the extraction site, either gets dislodged or dissolved before the site completely heals.
This results in pre-mature exposure of the sensitive nerves and bone in the empty tooth socket. No protection means that the nerves are open to air, food, and fluids, causing pain that can radiate to the ear or temple.
Typically, symptoms of a dry socket include severe throbbing and unbearable pain that starts a few days after the extraction.
Top 10 Signs of A Dry Socket
Here are 10 screaming signs for a dry socket.
- Severe Pain: If you suffer from persistent throbbing pain after the first few days of tooth extraction, it may indicate a dry socket. The pain usually increases in intensity and radiates to your ear, eye, or temple.
- Bad Taste In Mouth: A dry socket can cause an unpleasant taste to linger in your mouth.
- Bad Breath: Your mouth smells bad due to the rot in your area of extraction.
- Visible Bone: You may be able to see the bone in the socket if the blood clot has been dislodged.
- Empty-Looking Socket: A healthy-looking socket looks fleshy and pink. If yours looks empty or dry and without the blood clot, it may have turned into a dry socket.
- Swollen Gums: Swelling and redness around the extraction site are common in this condition.
- Fever: Elevated temperature indicates inflammation and infection, which can occur with a dry socket.
- Numbness: Losing sensation or tingling in your mouth and tongue is a clear marker of nerve damage, common with a dry socket.
- Difficulty in Eating: Pain and discomfort can make it challenging to eat or drink.
- Delayed Healing: Contact your dentist immediately if you cannot see appropriate blood scab formation after a few days of extraction.
If you experience any of the signs stated above, get in touch with your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible.
A dry socket can heal on its own as well, but it takes time. However, there are a few things you can do to facilitate it.
Clean the socket and place a medicated dressing over it to promote healing and reduce pain.
Use of pain relief medication to alleviate discomfort. Other than that, surgery may be necessary to remove any debris from the socket in severe cases.
Prevention is the best approach to avoid dry socket formation. You must stick to your dentist’s post-op instructions.
Steer clear of smoking, drinking through straws, or gargling your mouth vigorously for at least 24 hours following your tooth removal. Moreover, maintain good oral hygiene to keep your extraction site clean and prevent infections.
In a nutshell, a dry socket is an extremely painful and uncomfortable situation that must be given prompt treatment. Knowing the symptoms can help in faster healing.
Know more about tooth extractions and healing from oral care experts at Pasadena Oral Surgery.