Wisdom tooth extraction is a procedure that many people have undergone, with a small portion having experienced a DRY SOCKET.
Dry Socket Symptoms include:
2. Pain radiating to ear
3. Cold sensitivity to air or eating cold liquids
4. Pain starts 3-5 days after extractions.
5. Normal pain meds such as Ibuprofen don’t help with the pain
Dry sockets are a complication of these extractions, usually lower molars and wisdom teeth.
They typically happens when you fail to follow your dentist’s post-op instructions, if you are a smoker, or for unknown reasons. The wisdom tooth extraction in-office procedure is the easy part, staying on top of your game after the procedure is the hard part, though it’s not really all that hard. It just takes a little bit of commitment and motivation.
Here’s some motivation: you definitely do not want a dry socket because they are PAINFUL. Nobody wants or needs pain; after all, the trials of life bring us enough pain, right? Dry socket pain is intense and usually causes anguish and can last up to a week. If you have ever had one you know it’s very uncomfortable and can often distract you from doing your normal tasks.
Dry Socket FAQ
What is a dry socket? Good question!
A socket is the hole that is left once your tooth has been pulled. The hole heals from the inside out. Inside of this hole are raw bone and nerves. In a normal case, a blood clot will form over this hole. The blood clot keeps the hole from infection as well as repairs the extraction site.
When you have a dry socket, you have a socket with no blood clot present. This means that you literally have a spot your mouth with exposed bone and nerves. It doesn’t even have to be the whole hole that’s exposed. If any part of the bone inside is exposed, this can cause pain.
How do you treat a dry socket?
BUT don’t worry too much! At the first sign of symptoms your dentist can place a medicine inside the hole that will make your PAIN go away immediately, and help it heal. There might be some slight stinging at first but you will feel relief. You may need to come back every 2-3 days for placing more medicine in there depending on much bone is exposed. Most people heal from a dry socket within one week, sometimes 3 days.
How you get a dry socket?
If you dislodge the blood clot after the first hour of extraction you will most likely end up with a dry socket. Other factors such as smoking or drinking alcohol can also prevent the socket from healing.
This can be caused by spitting aggressively, using a straw, smoking, picking at the socket to “clean it out” or any other action which would remove the clot.
How do you prevent a dry socket?
If you want to prevent dry socket formation, then you should:
➢ Don’t SPIT or RINSE for 24 hours after the extraction. Let water dribble out especially the first few hours after surgery. After 24 hours, lightly rinsing with salt water could help the extraction. Sloshing any substance around in your mouth puts you at risk.
➢ Avoid sucking from a straw, as it also creates a strong suction force.
➢ Absolutely quit smoking as it creates a suction force strong enough to dislodge the blood clot, and lowers your immunity which allows you to heal. Even if you can use a patch for 2-3 days it can save you from a socket and healing in general
➢ Eat softer foods as harder ones will both leave you at risk for a dry socket as well as be uncomfortable to chew with your mouth’s tender state.
➢ Avoid poking the blood clot. Believe it or not, some people will feel tempted to feel and PICK at the extraction site. Curiosity killed the cat.
➢ Always always always maintain great oral hygiene. Not good, but great. This means brushing twice at least twice a day on top of flossing at least once a day (preferably you should put extra effort into flossing after every meal).
➢ ONLY use the small plastic syringe that your dentist sent you home with 48 hours after the surgery. If used earlier to remove food and debris the blood clot can also be rinse out.
A very small percentage of people are prone to developing a dry socket due to past history with dry sockets and a stroke of bad luck despite taking necessary actions to prevent it. If you do have symptoms, call us for treatment!
If you aren’t suffering from a dry socket, then maybe you’re suffering from another type of dental pain. Find out the top ten dental symptoms.