Dental Tips Blog


What Is Dry Socket?

Dry socket is a condition in which an extraction site does not heal properly after a tooth is removed. There is basically an empty opening in the gums that exposes the underlying tissues and bone.

Why It Happens

A normal extraction site will bleed for a little while after the tooth is removed. Within a few hours, however, a blood clot should form. This is the body’s natural way of stopping the bleeding and starting the healing process.

But if that blood clot never forms or is disturbed/infected, it can open up the extraction site and lead to a dry socket.

Signs of Dry Socket

If you end up with dry socket after an extraction, you will likely experience significant discomfort for a couple days straight.

Symptoms of dry socket include:

  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Spotting the bone peeking through in the socket
  • Tenderness
  • Difficulty eating
  • Pain that just won’t go away

How to Prevent Dry Socket

Your dentist will give you specific instructions for recovering from a dental extraction. This will include things like not smoking or using a straw, and avoiding intense physical activity. These things can all disrupt the blood clot or prevent it from forming.

It’s also important that you treat your gums for any bacterial infection before having an extraction in order to prevent the socket from getting infected.

Painful though a dry socket can be, it’s rather unlikely you’ll get one. They’re more commonly associated with extracting impacted wisdom teeth. Following your home care instructions is the best way to prevent one.

If you’re worried about getting dry socket or think you have it, contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955


Tea Bag Use after Tooth Extractions

Having a tooth extracted is a common dental procedure, but requires special care to prevent infection as well as promote optimum healing. It’s very important to follow your dentist’s home care recommendations that include things such as avoiding tobacco products, drinking through a straw, or consuming carbonated beverages. Several things we do every day may hinder healing and make you prone to develop a dry socket. Dry sockets occur when the blood clot dislodges from the extraction site, and are extremely painful.

Following the tooth extraction, your dentist will place a sterile gauze pack over the surgical site to help stop bleeding. Most patients only need to change the gauze out no more than two or three times after going home. Keeping pressure on the area helps suppress bleeding so that a clot can form.

Some patients have problems forming a blood clot, and have heavier than normal bleeding after they leave the office. Using a tea bag is an effective measure to help treat prolonged bleeding. Place the tea bag in your mouth over the extraction site (you may want to seep it in ice water first.) Gently bite down onto the bag and hold it in place for about half an hour. If necessary, replace the tea bag with a fresh one.

The tea against the extraction site helps clot formation and reducing blood flow by constricting the blood vessels in the area. When used in joint with the other home care procedures that your dentist has asked you to do, tea bags are an effective measure for managing bleeding after extractions. If prolonged or heavy bleeding continues to occur, you should see your dentist.

Posted on behalf of Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants



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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