Dry Sockets

Dry Sockets

Why you get them and what to do about them

Dry sockets can occur when you have had a tooth removed. When you have had a tooth extracted and you’re waiting for the gum to heal, there can be complications, and one of them is a dry socket.

It is quite common for this to happen and nothing to worry about as long as you seek advice; however, you may be concerned about it because it can be uncomfortable and in some cases, painful.

When you have gone through the process of having a tooth removed, possibly after it was already really painful from infection, and you are sore from the tooth removal already, the last thing you want is anything else making your mouth even more uncomfortable.

Why Dry Sockets Happen

Dry sockets happen when you get a tooth extracted. When you have a tooth removed, a blood clot occurs which promotes healing in the gum, the same as when you cut yourself and you get a scab. Sometimes this process is disrupted because the clot breaks down or it gets broken off. This means that the socket will not heal as quickly.

You will have had the extraction in the first place because the tooth was chronically infected, because the tooth was damaged, or because it had decayed to such a point it needed removing. Once removed it should, with a blood clot in place, be a bit sore, but heal really quickly. When you have a dry socket, the pain gets worse and other issues arise, such as bad breath and a nasty taste. These symptoms tend to be there most intense a week or two after the extraction has occurred.

The pain with a dry socket can be quite bad, and often the pain spreads across the face and even to the neck, eyes and ear.

There isn’t an exact science as to why dry sockets occur, but there are certain situations and circumstances that make them more likely such as:

  • Not following your dentist’s instructions – your dentist will give you instructions for aftercare to aid your recovery. You will be asked to avoid brushing your gum or surrounding teeth really hard, to avoid drinking hot drinks and food and so on. If you avoid this advice, it means you will delay healing.
  • Enduring a nasty tooth extraction – perhaps there was a lot of trauma to the site which resulted in extraction, or perhaps there was necessary additional trauma during extraction, or it was something that occurred during the treatment. Either way that trauma could hinder the clot forming as the damaged tissues may not work in the way they should.
  • Smoking – smoking is known to hinder healing, and it may well be if you smoke straight after the procedure and throughout healing that it slows down the process massively.

What To Do If You Think You Have A Dry Socket

If you start to get pain after you have had a tooth removed, then it is important to call your Egham dentist on 01784432641 to discuss whether or not the pain you are experiencing is normal. Your local dentist can take a look and let you know if the affected area is healing normally. They may apply a dressing to the site, and recommend pain medication as well as ask to see you again to check progress.

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