What is Dry Socket

Causes of dry socket are the inability of the extracted site to heal fast and better, as a result of infection post extraction. This is common when the patient fails to follow the ideal Post-operative instructions given by a dentist or failure of the dentist to give ideal Post-operative instructions to the patient.
Dry Socket is also known as a post-extraction complication which is characterized as the inflammation of the jaw bone ( alveolar bone) that accommodates the tooth in position. Normally blood clots are at the site of the extracted tooth socket, these blood clots serve as a protective layer over the underlying bone and the nerve endings in the empty tooth socket.
The clot also provides the foundation for the growth of new bone and for the development of soft tissues to fill the socket. Exposure of the underlying bone and tissues result in severe pain not only in the socket including along the nerves radiating to the side of your face.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Socket

Dry Socket can only occur after a tooth extraction has been carried out, at the extracted site. Below are the common signs and symptoms of dry socket;

  • Severe pain within a few days after tooth extraction
  • Partial or totally empty loss of blood clot at the tooth extraction socket ( dry empty socket)
  • Visible bone in the socket
  • Pain that radiates to your eye, ear, temple, or neck on the same side of your face as the extraction
  • Unpleasant test in your mouth
  • Bad breath or a foul odor coming from your mouth

Common Causes Of Dry Socket

The common reasons why dry sockets occur are as a result of the following;

  1. Bacterial infection at the extracted site
  2. Trauma at the surgical site from a difficult extraction, as with an impacted wisdom tooth
  3. Failure of patients to follow post-operative instructions
  4. Hemophilia ( blood clotting disorder)
  5. Failure of a dentist to give ideal Post-operative instructions
  6. Smoking a few days after tooth extraction
  7. Using a straw to drink after tooth extraction
  8. Eating food by the extraction site a few days after the extraction
  9. Using tongue or finger, object to touch the extraction socket
  10. Using contraceptive pills a few days after the extraction

Diagnosis of Dry Socket or Alveolar Ostitis

A dry socket is suspected when a patient comes back complaining of severe pain following a tooth extraction. The dentist may confirm the diagnosis by simply looking at the extracted site; where the tooth has been extracted. In some cases, your dentist can take a dental x-ray to ensure no food fragments are left behind.

Treatment Of Dry Socket

The treatment of dry sockets is dependent on the most common factor of the dry socket which may vary. Here are some treatments for dry sockets;

  • Irrigation of the socket with normal saline by your dental therapist/ dentist
  • Temporary dressing and cleaning of the infected socket
  • Warm water and salt gaggle six times a day for five to seven days
  • Strong antibiotics and analgesic
  • Repetition of post-extraction instructions

Effects of Dry Socket in The Oral Cavity.

  1. Severe pain especially during the night
  2. Halitosis (Bad breath)
  3. Unpleasant test
  4. Stress and discomfort
  5. Developing dental anxiety

What You Should Do When You Experience Pain Days After Teeth Extraction.

Visit your dentist immediately if you start feeling pain or discomfort at your teeth extracted site, don’t self-medicate. Your dentist would render the appropriate dental treatment.