Dry Sockets: What They Are and How to Avoid!

A dry socket is a painful complication that sometimes happens after a tooth extraction. Usually, a blood clot forms where the tooth once was to protect the underlying bone, tissue and nerves as the site slowly heals. In the case of a dry socket, the blood clot either does not form or is dislodged somehow, exposing the bone and nerves. The symptoms of dry socket include severe pain at the extraction site within 3 days of the procedure, a foul smell coming from the mouth and/or pain radiating from the tooth socket to the ear, eye and neck.

Risk factors for dry socket include smoking, chewing tobacco, using a drinking straw after extraction, poor oral hygiene and not following post-op instructions. While pain and discomfort are normal after an extraction, these symptoms should not be increasing in severity.

Treatment for dry socket can be done by a dentist and includes flushing the area to remove debris, packing the socket with medicated dressings and prescribing pain medication. If you believe you have a dry socket, please give our office a call to schedule an appointment.

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