Dental Tips Blog

Oct
21

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

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