There are times when you don’t want something to happen, but eventually it does happen. In some cases, there is a lot you can do to prevent the undesirable while in other cases, you are helpless. Such is the case with complications that happen after medical and dental procedures. You went to the dentist, thought of getting the culprit tooth out, and ultimately getting relief from pain. Sounds easy right? Well, for some people, the procedure doesn’t always ends up in giving them relief from pain. Even if the culprit tooth is out, sometimes you end up with a dry socket. For those who don’t know what a dry socket is, here is a dry socket definition. It is a condition which ultimately results in jaw bone inflammation after the extraction of the tooth. In other terms it is also known as alveolar osteitits, meaning inflammation of the alveolar bone, the bone in which your teeth are present.
All You Need to Know About Dry Socket
Now that you know what a dry socket is, you might be wondering how I even got it. After a tooth extraction, normally a blood clot is formed in order to provide protection to the underlying jaw bone and initiates the process of healing. When that blood clot is dislodged or broken down for one of the reasons listed below, healing is impaired and ultimately leads to the dry socket. Some of the dry socket causes are:
- Not following the instructions: one of the most common causes is not following the post-operative instructions given by the dentist. Aggressive spitting, sucking through a straw, chewing abruptly, eating hot and spicy foods or increased intra-oral pressure can lead to the dislodgement of clot.
- Chemical factors: smokers are specially advised by the dentist to not smoke cigarettes after extraction, at least for two weeks, because nicotine inhaled leads to decreased blood supply in the oral cavity, in turn causing no formation of the clot.
- Bacterial factors: sometimes, bacteria present in the oral cavity cause the breakdown of the clot and prevent its formation leading to a socket void of a clot.
- Physiological factors: other factors such as a dense jaw bone, hormonal issues, and decreased blood supply leads to no or weak blood formation which will surely lead to a dry socket.
How is a Dry Socket Diagnosed?
A dentist knows when should the discomfort caused by an extraction of the tooth, end. The time period after the extraction is crucial. A patient of dry socket normally starts complaining of extreme pain after 3-4 days of extraction. Complain of foul taste in mouth, and bad breath are also common with a dry socket. Clinical examination and history are imperative for a good diagnosis. X-ray of the tooth is important to see whether there is any broken down root left or not. In addition to this, x-ray also affirms the dentist if the socket is empty.
Healing of a Dry Socket
People usually ask will dry socket heal on its own. The answer is no. you need to visit a dentist to get it properly managed. Condition of dry socket causes extreme pain and discomfort. A dentist places a dry socket dressing inside the socket after irrigation to clear the socket of any food debris. This dressing consists of ingredients such as butamben, iodoform, eugenol, olive oil, spearmint oil, and others. The main aim of this dressing is to provide immediate relief to the patient while steering clear the socket of any bacteria leading to promotion of the blood clot and proper healing.
What About The Dry Socket Packing?
Another question which is asked frequently is how long should dry socket packing stay in? The answer is, as long as the socket doesn’t starts healing which might take 7- 10 days. In addition to this, the dressing will need to be timely replaced and evaluated. Pain relieving medications will also be prescribed and maintenance of oral hygiene in a proper manner would be emphasized. These are the reasons which make it imperative for you to visit a dentist when you experience condition such as dry socket. We at eternity dental take special care and pride in keeping our patients and readers informed. You can contact us for any queries, and visit us for any dental problems. We love making you smile!
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