Dry Socket: What It Is And What To Do About It

Dentist Blog

If you have recently had a tooth extracted, your dentist might have warned you about a condition called dry socket. This is a very painful condition that occurs when the blood clot that should have formed at the extraction site was dislodged, leaving the nerves and bone open to the air and bacteria. The clot provides protection of these nerves and helps the new bone to grow, as well as encouraging soft tissue to form. Here is more information on dry socket and how to avoid it.

Risk Factors for Dry Socket

In general, anyone that get a tooth extracted can get dry socket, though it is not as common as you might think. If you use a straw during the healing process, the sucking pressure can cause the blood clot to become dislodged. There are also other risk factors for dry socket. If you smoke cigarettes, you are at a higher risk because of the same sucking motion as using a straw. You may also be at a higher risk if you have a wisdom tooth pulled, have poor dental hygiene, use birth control pills, or experience trauma during the extraction.

Signs of Dry Socket

The first symptom of dry socket is typically intense pain. Most people who get dry socket will get it within the first couple days after the procedure, as this is when you are at the greatest risk. The pain can be extremely severe, even debilitating, and radiate to your ear. In addition to the pain, you may have a foul taste in your mouth. If you can see the site where the tooth was pulled and see whitish bone instead of a dark blood clot, then you have dry socket and need to get in for emergency treatment. Do not wait for your dentist; just get in to see anyone you can. The emergency room and emergency dentists can handle dry socket for you.

Treatment Options for Dry Socket

If you start experiencing pain from dry socket, you can take ibuprofen or aspirin, but this might not be enough to get rid of the pain. Regardless, you need to see an emergency dentist right away. They will numb the area the best they can, then clean out the tooth socket. They will then fill the hole with a paste or medicated dressing, and you will return each day to get the dressing changed. Once it starts to heal and the soft tissue begins to form over the empty socket, you will no longer need the dressing.

To prevent dry socket, do not smoke cigarettes, keep your mouth clean, and follow all of your dentist's instructions.


10 March 2015

Getting Your Toddler to the Dentist Once and For All

Toddlers should see a dentist for the first time by the age of twelve months or by the time their first tooth comes in. But if you are a parent with toddlers anything like mine, the prospect of going to the dentist (let alone anywhere!) can be pretty intimidating. My kids were a handful growing up. They had tantrums any time we would have to sit in a waiting room, and they refused to get in the dentist's chair during their first few visits. So, I had to employ a professional to help me make the transition to finally getting them in that dental chair without all the screaming and crying. I know I'm not the only parent in this situation, so I decided to share the information I've learned with others who can use a little help. You can find all my advice right here on these pages!