Find yourself questioning, “What is a dry socket tooth?” Most dry sockets occur somewhere between two and four days after a tooth gets extracted. A person with a dry socket experiences extreme pain and usually also has bad breath. The high pain level means that the healing process has been disturbed.
When a dry socket occurs, the jawbone or alveolar bone has become inflamed after a tooth gets extracted. Dry sockets occur in only about two percent of tooth extractions. If a person has their third molar, or lower wisdom tooth, removed, the chance of experiencing a dry socket increases to about 20 percent.
How Does a Dry Socket Occur?
A dry socket occurs after a tooth extraction when the blood clot filling the socket is lost. When the blood clot is lost, the underlying nerves get exposed, causing extreme pain.
What Is the Treatment for a Dry Socket?
If a person experiences extreme pain a couple of days after a tooth extraction, a dentist needs to assess the condition right away. The dentist cleans out the wound and applies a unique dressing into the socket to protect the nerves and relieve pain. The dentist might also advise the dental patient to use over-the-counter pain medications with anti-inflammatory properties to alleviate pain and decrease swelling.
What Might Cause a Dry Socket Tooth?
Dry sockets occur due to the partial or total loss of a blood clot in a tooth socket after an extraction. Sometimes, a blood clot doesn’t form after an extraction. In other cases, a blood clot forms, but gets lost for some reason during the healing process.
The causes of a dry socket include:
- Preexisting bacterial infections, such as periodontal disease. These infections prevent a blood clot from forming over the area of the extraction.
- The nicotine used by smokers that creates a lack of blood supply to the mouth. This lack of blood supply might prevent a clot from forming over the extraction area.
- Oral actions are taken that cause the clot to dislodge, such as sucking a straw, taking a drag off a cigarette, or aggressively swishing the mouth out.
- Physiological problems such as hormones, a dense jaw, or reduced blood supply to the jaw might prevent clot formation.
What are the Risks Factors for Getting a Dry Socket?
Risk factors for developing a dry socket include:
- Having an impacted wisdom tooth.
- Being female. Some hormones tend to increase the chances of getting a dry socket.
- Being over 30 years old.
- Having periodontal disease at the extraction site.
Once a dry socket gets treated, it takes approximately ten days for the area to heal.
Hopefully, this blog has helped to answer the question, “What is a dry socket tooth?” Though the condition remains painful, our skilled dentists at North View Dental remain the experts in preventing dry sockets and treating them if they do occur. Please contact our dental office today for more information on dental extractions and other treatments.