After tooth extraction, a blood clot forms in the space where the tooth once was. If something happens to this blood clot, a dry socket occurs. Without the presence of this blood clot, the bone and nerves get exposed.
If you think you have a dry socket, you need to see your dentist right away. Some steps must occur to stop a dry socket from getting worse.
What will my dentist do to help my dry socket?
In most cases, your dentist will start by confirming that you have a dry socket. Next, they will begin the process of taking care of the dry socket. This process includes:
- Rinsing out the empty socket. By rinsing, any debris will get removed. Debris could have become stuck after the clot came out.
- Pack the wound. Most dentists will pack a dry socket. The medicated dressing will help the socket heal properly.
- Antibiotics and pain medicine. Some dentists will prescribe an additional antibiotic. A dry socket is highly susceptible to infection. They may even prescribe pain medicine due to the exposed nerves.
How long does a dry socket take to heal?
Once you have received proper care, the dry socket should heal in a week to ten days. Your dentist may require you to follow-up during this time to make sure you are healing.
Your dentist will also advise you on what you can eat and drink during this time. Following their directions on cleaning the dry socket will be essential to healing.
What caused my dry socket?
After your extraction, you received instructions. These instructions advised you on what you should and should not do.
Once your tooth gets extracted, you should:
- Avoid drinking from a straw
- Avoid smoking-This includes cigarettes, cigars, and vapes
- Not play wind instruments of any kind
- Avoid whistling
- Possibly avoid cleaning your teeth for 24 hours
These are precautions to help avoid dry socket. Anything that requires suction could break the blood clot loose. You should think of this blood clot as a protective covering.
Does everybody get a dry socket?
No. Not everyone gets a dry socket after tooth extraction.
You will even find that some people disregard aftercare and still do not develop one. However, some follow all the rules and end up with one. There is not an exact science behind who will and will not end up with a dry socket.
How long do I have to follow the aftercare instructions?
The first five days are the most crucial after tooth extraction. It is during this time that you will find a majority of your healing occurs. Anything that interrupts the healing process can extend the time it takes to heal.
Interruptions include dry socket, infection, or other trauma to the extraction area. That is why soft foods get recommended. Beverages should not contain carbonation during this time.
Following Aftercare Instructions
Whenever a tooth extraction gets done at TruBlu Dentistry, we provide aftercare instructions. Our staff also makes sure that you understand them before you leave.
We don’t want you to end up with a dry socket. We know just how painful it can be.
The time before and after a tooth extraction is an anxious time. TruBlu Dentistry understands that. This is why we make ourselves available for any questions you may have. If you have symptoms after a tooth extraction, don’t hesitate to call our staff to discuss them.