Whenever you have a tooth extracted, you are potentially at risk of getting something called a dry socket. Once a tooth pops out, a blood clot forms over the extracted area. In order for the hole to heal completely, the blood clot must not be dislodged because it serves as a protection layer for the bones and nerves underneath. It is natural to be a little worried over whether you are affected by a dry socket condition.
For example, some people are misled into thinking they have dry sockets because their teeth socket still feels empty after a few days of recovering. Depending on gum condition, it can take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks for your gum to completely heal. If you are worried that you are affected by a dry socket, here are some symptoms you would be affected by in such a case.
Symptoms of dry socket
You will usually start to experience pain a few days after the teeth extraction. Instead of seeing a blood clot in the extracted socket, you will see a bit of bone poking out from the socket. There are varying degrees of dry socket.
For example, if you are experiencing pain but don’t see any bone, it is most likely that your blood clot has been slightly dislodged from its original position, leaving a bit of your underlying structure exposed. The pain is especially excruciating when you drink cold or hot water. You may also start to notice an unpleasant smell coming out from your teeth due to dry socket.
Who are at risk of getting dry socket?
Although dry socket only affects a small percentage of patients, there are common habits that can increase your chances of getting the painful condition after a teeth extraction. For example, people who smoke, don’t maintain proper dental hygiene, and have impacted wisdom teeth are more likely to be affected by dry socket.
So I have a dry socket. How do I treat it?
First, go to a dentist as soon as possible to be prescribed special medications for dry socket treatment. Before then, you can ease the discomfort by taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin. When you see a dentist, he or she will first examine the affected area, clean it and get rid of any debris stuck in the socket, then apply a special paste to help your gum heal. The time it takes for your socket to heal depends on the severity of the condition. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist for mouthwash that are specifically designed to tackle conditions like dry socket.
Please keep in mind that only a small percentage of patients are affected by dry sockets so if you ever feel slight discomfort, it is more likely to be a false alarm. To be on the safe side, you should still visit a dentist and have your mouth diagnosed in case you happen to be one of the unlucky few affected by dry sockets.