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Dry Socket - Causes and Treatments

Dr. Pankaj Dhawan 85% (39 ratings)
MDS
Dentist, New Delhi  •  17 years experience
Dry Socket - Causes and Treatments

Are you experiencing toothache that continues for several days after having a tooth pulled out? Does the pain keep on worsening, and continue over several days? These symptoms is a clear symptoms that you are might imply that you are suffering from a condition known as dry socket or alveolar osteitis. The socket refers to the hole in the bone from where a tooth has been pulled out. A blood clot gets formed in the socket for the protection of the underlying bones and nerves. Sometimes, the clot might dissolve some days after the extraction, which leaves the underlying bone and nerve exposed to anything that enters the mouth, such as air, food and water, etc. This may cause an infection accompanied by severe pain.

Causes: Several people are more prone to getting a dry socket after having a tooth removed. This includes people who smoke a lot, have a poor sense of oral hygiene and people who get their wisdom tooth pulled. People using birth control pills and the ones who face unusual trauma during tooth extraction are also likely to get dry socket.

Symptoms: The site from where the tooth has been removed will have a dry opening with a dark blood clot present in it. In case there is no blood clot and only whitish bone in the area, dry socket is indicated. Bad breath and foul mouth odor are observed.

Treatment: Several over the counter, nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory medicines or NSAIDS are prescribed for easing the pain, and discomfort caused because of dry socket. These medicines are not sufficient at times and stronger medicines have to be taken. Sometimes the affected area is anesthetized.

Your dentist will clean the socket and remove any kind of debris from the socket hole. The socket will then be filled with a medicated dressing for healing. A special paste may be used as well. You need to visit the dentist frequently for changing the dressing. This must be continued until your pain goes away, and the sockets are healed. Several antibiotic medicines may be prescribed in order to prevent infection in the socket. You must rinse with salt water or with a special mouthwash regularly for fast and effective recovery.

You should strictly avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products after the treatment of dry socket as tobacco is a strong risk factor. Any habit or practice which might hamper blood clotting should be avoided. If you take birth control pills, always have a tooth removed on the day when you receive the lowest dose of estrogen as estrogen hampers blood clotting. Your dentist plays a very important role in treating dry socket, therefore regular visits to the doctor are a must and you should visit him regularly.

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