After your extraction, you may feel extreme pain, which may result in having a dry socket. Dry sockets are very common following oral surgery and happen to be one of the most painful post extraction issues. No matter what type of extraction you have performed, a dry socket can occur, but are more typical with removal of the lower teeth than they are with removal of upper teeth.
When you have an extraction, a blood clot forms to fill the new hole. A dry socket is a condition where the blood clot detaches itself from the socket walls. Sometimes, the clot will dissolve, leaving the bone exposed to food, drinks and saliva. Once the bone is exposed, it can become inflamed which is when it becomes extremely painful.
Although there is no real way of preventing a dry socket from happening, you can help to reduce the risk by following your doctor’s post-surgery instructions. Even though you may be following the directions strictly, you could still end up with a dry socket. Those who are more at risk to dry sockets include those who smoke following extractions, and those who like to grind their teeth frequently.
If you leave the dry socket alone, it will eventually heal. It will normally take around a month or so, although the pain won’t let up during the healing period. If you have a dry socket, you’ll find that antibiotics and even the strongest of prescription drug won’t always cure it – so ask your doctor what type of medication you can take to ease your discomfort.
The best way to fight a dry socket is to go back to your dentist and have them pack the exposed area. It doesn’t take long to complete, and it can provide relief from the pain. If you go back to your dentist, they will remove the old packing, wash the socket out, and place a new packing in. This way, you can get relief from the pain and help the socket heal.
If you are dealing with pain, or are going to have an extraction take place, speak with your dentist on all care instructions. They will help you go through everything you will need to do to take the best care of your mouth, post-surgery.