February 4, 2019
Now, new innovations in dentistry allow your dentist to preserve your teeth for longer than before; however, sometimes they may recommend you have one or more removed, such as your third molars. Wisdom teeth in Denver are commonly extracted to resolve a variety of complications, such as pain, overcrowding, or infection. If the teeth are partially or fully impacted, you will need to see an oral surgeon. Often the extraction and recovery are complication-free, but some people may develop a painful condition called dry socket. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to prevent it.
What is Dry Socket?
Dry socket occurs in about 3% to 4% of all extractions – both simple and surgical. It develops most often with impacted wisdom teeth, which accounts for about 30% of all dry socket cases. Also known as alveolar osteitis, it is a painful condition resulting from a blood clot coming loose or failing to develop at the site of a tooth extraction.
A blood clot forms at the site of an extraction to provide a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings within the tooth’s socket. The clot also encourages the growth of new bone and soft tissues for healing.
If the clot does not form correctly or is dislodged, it leaves your underlying bone and nerve endings exposed. This causes intense pain that can radiate to the side of your face. Your socket can become inflamed and food can get stuck in it, increasing your discomfort and the risk of infection.
Symptoms of Dry Socket
Generally, symptoms of dry socket occur 1 to 3 days after your oral surgeon in Denver has removed your tooth. Common signs of it include:
- Severe pain.
- Partial or total loss of the blood clot causing your socket to look empty.
- Visible bone in the socket.
- Pain radiating from the socket to your ear, eye, temple, neck, or face.
- Bad breath or foul odor.
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth.
Your oral surgeon will clean the socket and apply a medicated dressing to relieve your pain and to promote proper healing.
Preventing Dry Socket
There are several things you can do to lower your risk of developing dry socket, including:
- Do not drink through straws or create a suction movement with your mouth.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco.
- Eat soft foods for the first day after your surgery.
- Be careful near the surgical site when brushing and flossing.
- Do not rinse your mouth vigorously.
- Stay hydrated.
Don’t Wait to Call Your Oral Surgeon
If you recently had a tooth removed and think you may have dry socket, do not wait to contact your oral surgeon for treatment.
About Altitude Oral and Facial Surgery
Altitude Oral and Facial Surgery offer the advanced services you need to promote your oral health and functions. We provide wisdom tooth extractions to rehabilitate your smile. If you need your third molars removed, do not wait. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
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