Has the time come? Do you have questions about wisdom teeth and how to prevent dry sockets. Every year millions of people get their wisdom teeth removed with limited amount of pain and swelling but there is that 2-5 percent of people who do end up getting that dreadful dry socket. Learning about dry sockets early will help you understand and avoid getting them.
What is a dry socket? A dry socket occurs when the blood clot at the extraction site fails to form or is dislodged before the wound has healed. It can occur in any extraction site but is more common in the lower jaw due to a less vasculature. Food, saliva and bacteria can become packed in the clot’s place and can cause a lot of irritation.The blood clot serves as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve in the empty tooth socket. The clot also provides the support for growth of new bone.
Signs and symptoms:
- Bad breath or odor
- Dreadful taste in your mouth
- Severe pain within a few days after a tooth extraction
- Pain that radiates from the socket to your ear, eye, temple or neck on the same side of your face as the extraction
- Visible bone with in the socket
Once the blood clot becomes dislodged, there are many ways that dry sockets can start. Suction, like drinking from a straw or smoking can cause the blood clot to become dislodged. Food and bacteria is the main cause of dry sockets because it can get stuck in place of the clot. Poor oral hygiene and touching the wound area increases the risk of developing dry sockets, as well as women who take birth control medication. Women who take birth control have a 30% higher chance of developing dry sockets than those who do not.
Post op instructions:
- No rinsing/spitting for 24 hours
- No drinking from straws
- No smoking for 72 hours
- Avoiding hot foods/drinks
- Avoiding crunchy foods (chips, nuts, popcorn, etc.)
- Avoiding alcohol
- Limiting physical activity for 5-7 days