The mouth can only hold a certain number of teeth, and for many teenagers and young adults, wisdom teeth simply cannot fit in the mouth without causing crowding and discomfort. If wisdom teeth aren’t extracted and removed in a timely manner, they can cause significant pain and damage. Since wisdom teeth are extracted more frequently than other teeth, the removal procedure is very routine. However, extraction always poses the risk of certain complications like dry sockets. Since dry sockets can be very painful, it is important to understand how to recognize and treat them.
What is a Dry Socket?
Any hole in the bone that used to hold a tooth is called a socket. After a tooth is pulled from the mouth, a blood clot develops to heal the area and keep the bone and nerves underneath protected. If the blood clot stays in place, then the healing process continues without issue. However, if the blood clot becomes dislodged or dissolved, it leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, and fluids in the mouth. This is called a dry socket, and it can trigger infection and significant pain for up to a week.
Are Some People at Higher Risk of Dry Sockets?
Dry sockets tend to occur more frequently after wisdom teeth removal than after the extraction of other teeth. Other risk factors like smoking, poor oral hygiene, and excessive trauma during tooth extraction surgery also increase the likelihood of dry sockets.
How Can Dry Sockets Be Identified?
Dry sockets are easiest to identify by the pain they cause, beginning about two to four days after extraction surgery. Many patients notice that the pain is accompanied by bad breath and a foul taste in the mouth. Dry sockets can also be seen in the mouth, because the jawbone is visible in the socket and the surrounding tissue takes on a gray hue due to poor healing.
Treating Your Dry Socket
Fortunately, you are not forced to endure the pain and discomfort of your dry socket without help. When you call Broward Oral Surgery for help, Dr. Seider and Dr. Stevens will help you feel relief by gently irrigating your dry socket to clear it of food debris, applying an analgesic medicated dressing to cover the exposed bone, and prescribing any appropriate medication to keep you out of pain. Most dry sockets need about seven to ten days to heal as new tissue grows to cover the area. Just call (954) 870-4826 to schedule an appointment at Broward Oral Surgery and resolve your dry socket pain.