Dental Tips Blog


What Is Dry Socket?

If you recently had a tooth extraction, your dentist probably told you to call the office if you developed pain that could not be managed with over the counter products like Tylenol.  This may be a sign of a painful condition called ‘dry socket’.

Dry socket happens infrequently, but when it does, it is very painful. Signs of dry socket include an intense, throbbing pain at or near the incision site where the tooth was removed.  People sometimes say that when they walk it feels like their jaw is being moved painfully, and others report that lying on that side of the mouth is painful and causes them to wake up at night.

Dry socket happens when the tiny blood clot that formed in the area where the tooth was removed is dislodged (perhaps with brushing, flossing or even excessive swallowing or spitting), and the bone and nerves are then exposed.  The exposure of the nerves is what causes the sudden and severe pain.  This tends to happen more frequently in those with diabetes and those who smoke.

Dry socket is easily treated once identified.  Contact your dentist if you have these symptoms.  Several options are available for treatment, and may include placing a small medicated dressing in the socket that you change on a regular basis, seeing your dentist regularly for evaluation and follow up, providing some anti-inflammatory medications to help with the pain, and providing an anti-bacterial mouth rinse to help avoid infection.  If you do smoke, try to avoid smoking during this time as this will delay healing.

If you are experiencing mouth pain after an extraction, contact your dentist immediately for evaluation.

Posted on the behalf of Douglasville Dental Associates


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