Tooth extractions are never fun. But at least you don’t have anything to worry about once it’s done, right? Not exactly.
When a tooth is extracted from your gums a blood clot usually forms to protect the affected area while it heals. When the clot doesn’t form over the hole properly, or if a clot gets loose, it can form a dry socket.
Also known as “alveolar osteitis”, dry sockets are normally rare. However, most people tend to experience them after having their wisdom teeth removed. Other risk factors, such as smoking and oral hygiene, can also increase someone’s chances of getting a painful dry socket after a tooth extraction.
What Can Cause A Dry Socket?
Periodontal Disease And Bacteria: Your gums won’t have an easy time properly healing from a tooth extraction if you suffer from periodontal disease. The presence of plaque, germs, and bacteria in the mouth can also cause the clot to dislodge, loosen, or break down.
Smoking: People who smoke regularly are very likely to develop dry socket after dental surgery. Nicotine reduces the blood supply needed for the mouth and gums to heal, thus making it difficult for a blood clot to form over open wounds.
Serious Trauma Or Injury: Some people develop a dry socket after dental surgery due to the extraction of some parts of the jawbone or gum tissue. In other cases, blood clots often become dislodged when people drink with a straw, gargle too aggressively, use a cigarette, or subject their mouths to severe trauma.
Genetics: Hormones and age can cause someone to develop a dry socket. Women are often more likely to get a dry socket after a tooth extraction due to hormonal changes that occur during menstruation or with the intake of oral contraceptives. Older people are also more likely to develop a dry socket due to increased density in their jawbones and less blood supply.
The Signs Of A Dry Socket
A good way to find out whether or not you have a dry socket is to inspect the injured site with a mouth mirror. A hole or wound that hasn’t clotted properly will usually have poorly healed and discolored gum tissue. A part of your jawbone might also be visible through the wound.
Pain is another good sign of a dry socket. If you’re still feeling a serious throbbing pain a few days after your oral surgery, it could be a sign of poor healing. This throbbing pain can spread to your ears, eyes, and one side of your face. When bacteria and food debris invade the wound, you can also experience bad breath and difficulty tasting food.
Treating Dry Socket
Visiting your dentist is the best way to treat a dry socket. This will ensure that the wound site is properly cleaned and protected from bacteria, germs, and food particles. If you’re experiencing any serious pain, your dentist can also soothe the afflicted area using medicated gel and gauze.
You’ll need to keep cleaning your dry socket once you’ve removed any protective dressing. Rinsing with salty water or prescribed medicine should do the trick. If needed, you might have to replace old dressings with new ones at home.
Preventing Dry Socket
There are plenty of steps you can take to prevent the formation of dry sockets in the future:
- Don’t mess with your mouth: Dry sockets often occur when the clot has been moved or agitated. Resist the urge to pick at your wounds using straws, toothpicks, and other small materials. You should also avoid aggravating your mouth by smoking, drinking too many hot beverages, or doing too much physical activity.
- Discuss medications with your dentist: Some medicines can deplete blood supply and make it difficult for blood clots to form in your mouth. Consult your dentist and let them know about any adjustments they might need to make. Your doctor might also know about possible alternative medications you can take to prevent dry sockets.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking isn’t good at all for your oral health. It will only make it difficult for your gums to heal from trauma properly and increase your chances of suffering from a dry socket. If you can’t quit entirely, consider using nicotine patches or taking other precautions before and after your oral surgery.
Another great way to keep your gums and teeth healthy is by using a reliable dental scaler. Meeteasy’s dental scaler removes dirt, germs, plaque, and bacteria from the gum line to prevent nasty periodontal diseases, cavities, and other oral hygiene problems. You’re sure to enjoy a quick and smooth recovery from oral surgery as long as you’ve got this great oral hygiene tool by your side. Order yours from our online store now!