Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What is Dry Socket? How can I prevent it?

Dry socket is the most common complication from tooth extraction. It is a very painful condition that is easily treated.

When a tooth is extracted there is an empty socket where the tooth was located. A blood clot is formed inside this empty socket.  This blood clot helps build the foundation for new tissue and bone to develop during the two month healing process, as well as prevents the nerve endings and bone from being exposed to air, food and fluids. If the blood clot becomes dislodged it exposes nerve endings and bone to air, food and fluid.  This is called Dry Socket.

You can dislodge the blood clot causing Dry Socket by:
  • Smoking before the recommended time
  • Excessive coughing, sneezing  or drinking through a straw
  • Excessive rinsing or spitting
  • Not following your dentist’s instructions for care
You lower your chances of Dry Socket by:
  • Avoiding drinking through a straw
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Avoiding excessive mouth rinsing
  • Keeping food from the area
After an extraction there is usually soreness that lessens on the second day. If you suspect that you are having a dry socket, call your dentist. They will be able to see you on short notice.  The treatment for Dry Socket is simple and it should provide you with relief quickly.

Dr. Scott Culpepper
Neibauer Dental Care - Richmond, VA
Call for an appointment today: (804) 360-8890

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Information contained in this site is general and educational. Only a medical professional can provide advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have a dental care need, please contact one of our offices to schedule an appointment.