Dry socket is an uncomfortable side effect that can occur after you have a tooth extracted. It happens more often in relation to wisdom teeth extraction. If you experience extreme discomfort after a tooth extraction, you should consult with your dental provider right away to find out if you might be suffering from dry socket.
After a tooth is extracted, the opening left behind is called the socket.
What Is Dry Socket?
After a tooth is extracted, the opening left behind is called the socket. This will eventually close and heal, leaving a smooth surface. In the days leading up to the full healing, a clot forms in the empty space to protect the blood vessels, nerves and bone where the tooth once rested.
In some cases, this clot becomes dislodged from the socket, or dissolves before the area is completely healed. The nerves and bone are no longer protected, resulting in extreme discomfort. Nerves respond to any stimulus, including food, beverages or even air. In addition, dry socket increases the risk of infection. Dry socket is more common if you:
• Are a smoker
• Are recovering from extraction of wisdom teeth
• Do not take adequate care of your teeth
If you experience any unusual symptoms after a tooth extraction, you should consult with your dentist. If dry socket is treated promptly, the discomfort can be treated right away and the possibility of infection can be greatly reduced.
Treating Dry Socket
Your dentist can provide immediate treatment for dry socket. This can include over-the-counter medication or even prescription medication if necessary to control your discomfort. The socket can also be treated with a special dressing that will protect the nerves and reduce the possibility of infection. Antibiotics might also be necessary.
If your dry socket is treated, you will probably have to visit the dental office daily to have this dressing refreshed until healing has progressed sufficiently. If you were scheduled to have a dental implant placed after your tooth extraction, this procedure will be delayed until the socket has healed.
To find our more on how to treat dry socket, or if you are experiencing discomfort after a wisdom tooth extraction, call the Newton Dental Group office, serving Delta and surrounding areas, today to schedule an appointment.