Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis in the medical term, is a common post-operative complication following tooth extractions. It occurs once the blood clot that forms over the socket is dislodged, which leaves the bones and nerves exposed. Dry socket may develop a few days after the surgery. In some cases, due to the exposure of bone and nerves, dry socket could lead to infection and severe discomfort that could endure for about a week. If you know you have a dry socket and the pain bothers you every day, inform your dentist.
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Dry Socket
After a tooth extraction, it’s normal to experience a bit of discomfort and bleeding gums. Patients usually feel better in one or two days following the surgery. On the other hand, if the blood clot has been displaced, you may have persistent pain for the following days after the surgery. It’s the most common sign of dry socket you should look out for. Other symptoms include:
- Loss of blood clot at the extraction site, making the socket looks empty
- Bone is visible in the socket
- Pain radiating from the socket to the same side of your face
- Bad breath or unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mild fever
Normal pain can be managed with the help of the painkiller prescribed by your dentist. However, if the pain worsens within the days after the extraction, call your dental team immediately.
Preventing Dry Socket
Dry socket can be prevented, and your dentist will suggest post-operative instructions before your oral surgery starts. Here are some of the suggestions you need to follow:
- Avoid smoking before and after the surgery. Tobacco may contaminate the tooth extraction site and slows down the site’s healing process.
- If you are taking any medications, make sure to notify your dentist. Some medicines can interfere with blood clotting.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brush the teeth near the wound carefully and gently.
- Don’t use straw for drinking or spit often after the extraction as this can dislodge the blood clot.
- Keep the area clean by rinsing a warm saltwater. Avoid rinsing vigorously.
- For your diet, eat soft foods and avoid hard foods that could lodge in the site.
- Follow all the instructions and tips of your dentist before and after the surgery.
Effective Dry Socket Prevention with your Sunshine Coast Dentist
With the guidance of your dental team here at Smiles Nambour and your commitment to your oral health, you can help yourself avoid the complications of dry socket. After the treatment, we provide expert assistance and helpful guidelines to help you recover faster and make your smiles even better. Your trusted dental experts in Sunshine Coast also offer best-quality and comprehensive dental treatments that promote superior upholding of your oral and dental health.