Dry socket only affects 2% - 5% of people, but certain factors can increase your risk of falling within that percentage. And when that happens, it's usually a delicate situation that you must be handled with utmost care. Nonetheless, anyone can prevent or treat a dry socket successfully. Read on to find out what it takes.
Dry socket can bring back the jarring pain that made you seek out dental intervention initially. You've probably been thinking you'd put an end to the pain for good with tooth extraction until you begin grappling with the symptoms of dry socket.
Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, refers to a condition in which the socket of a removed tooth is exposed to food, fluid, and ultimately bacterial infections. Normally, the empty socket is filled with a blood clot that protects the underlying bone and nerves. This blood clot can be eroded down the line, exposing the socket to bacterial infection that causes severe pain.
As its name suggests, dry socket manifests physically as a dry-looking aperture at the site of the pulled teeth. Normally, a black blood clot is supposed to occupy the dry opening, but what's seen is a shard of whitish bone.
This condition is usually noticed two days or more after the tooth removal process. Eventually, it can intensify and spread to your ear and other parts of your face. Dry socket can also give rise to bad breath and a persistent bitter taste.
The Best Way to Prevent Dry Socket
You're at a greater risk of developing dry socket if, right after your tooth is extracted, you smoke or indulge in poor oral hygiene. You're also at greater risk if you've previously experienced dry tooth after having your teeth pulled. In that case, it's best to inform our dentists about your dry socket history before pulling a tooth to get the appropriate treatment. If you're on birth control pills, it's best to have your tooth extracted on the day you're on the lowest dose of estrogen.
You also need to avoid habits like rinsing your mouth, spitting a lot, and drinking through a straw after your tooth is removed. These habits cause air bubbles and particles to throb inside your mouth, breaking down and dissolving the blood clot on the site of the tooth extraction.
If you've already developed a dry socket, you can take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve the pain. But you need to contact our offices immediately to get a timely dental intervention to effectively arrest the pain and infection.