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What is dry socket?

Dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a painful condition that can happen when a tooth is extracted and the underlying nerve and bone are exposed. Usually, when a tooth is removed, a blood clot forms that covers and protects the nerve and bone. Sometimes, though, a blood clot won’t form and will cause exposure. 

It is most common (about 38% possibility) with the extraction of bottom wisdom teeth.

What are the symptoms?

There are a number of symptoms you might experience if you have dry socket. 

  • Severe pain within a few days after a tooth extraction
  • Bad breath or a foul odor coming from your mouth
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Pain that radiates from the socket to your ear, eye, temple or neck on the same side of your face as the extraction

How to prevent dry socket

The best preventative tips are those that your doctor recommends. But we’ve compiled a few more for you:

  • Clean your mouth as your dentist recommends after you’ve had an extraction. 
  • Make sure to drink lots of water and try to stay away from carbonated or sugary drinks. 
  • Eat soft foods and be careful with very hot and very cold drinks. 
  • For tobacco users: limit tobacco use in the days following the extraction.

How to treat dry socket

If you experience symptoms of dry socket, call your dentist as soon as possible. They may flush out the socket and pack it with medicated gel or dressings for pain relief. Additionally, you can ask what pain medication would be best for your situation. As always, your home care will be essential to your treatment. 

If you have any other questions or concerns about a recent or upcoming extraction, you can always call the Flawless Dental office. We are happy to answer all your questions. 

Book an appointment today!

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