Dry Socket Symptoms

Dry Socket Symptoms

Dry Socket SymptomsHaving a tooth extracted is never fun, and you’ve probably prepared yourself for some recovery time with ice and over-the-counter ibuprofen. In many cases, that’s all you’ll need.

However, always keep your senses alert as pain over an extended period of time or pain and swelling that can’t be relieved with over-the-counter relievers may indicate a more serious concern.

Painful Inflammation

One concern that often occurs with a tooth extraction is dry socket – a painful inflammation occurring when the nerves exposed at the extraction area come into contact with air, food, fluid or other debris. So beware of dry socket symptoms.

Dry Socket Certain activities or attributes can make someone more susceptible to experiencing dry socket. Smokers are more likely to experience dry socket, as are those people who have a history of complicated extractions or have already had a dry socket following an extraction in their past.

Poor oral hygiene

Those with poor oral hygiene are at risk, or those who simply do not follow the dentist’s recommendations to the letter – since food, particles or even excessive flushing can aggravate an infected or irritated socket or disrupt the clotting process.

Even those who are on birth control pills have been shown to experience dry socket more than other people – and excessive trauma at the time of extraction (a difficult procedure or a tooth impacted in a manner difficult to remove without damaging additional tissue or nerve) can increase the chances of dry socket.

When a tooth is extracted a hole is left in the bone, and if blood does not clot or the clot becomes dislodged too early, the exposed nerves are susceptible to infection and severe irritation. Symptoms include, literally, a dry socket (visible bone and a dry area at the site of extraction), severe pain that may start two days after the procedure and can often radiate to the ear, and an unpleasant odor or taste in the mouth as infection or drainage finds its way to the back of your mouth and throat.

Your dentist may clean out the affected area and apply a dressing or filler intended to aid healing, and may prescribe medication to reduce pain and discomfort until healing has progressed.

Photo Credit:Nerval at English Wikipedia [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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