Surely there’s no replacement for a natural tooth. But at times, your adult tooth needs a removal. A severe decay, infection, injury, or improper eruption can lead to wisdom tooth extraction. Surgery from an expert like Dr. Jeevan Ghatnekar can restore your oral health and reduce the pain due to infection.
Sometimes, tooth extraction procedures can take a toll, and a higher risk of dry socket can develop. You may be wondering how bad a dry socket is and when you can stop worrying about it following an extraction? Read on to find the answers.
What is a Dry Socket?
A dry socket is a condition that can arise when the healing process of permanent tooth removal is disturbed. An empty socket is left behind after tooth removal. To cover the socket, the body forms a blood clot that prevents infection from developing by keeping away the food particles, bacteria, and other contaminants. In some cases, the blood clot does not form properly or is dislodged due to several causes, unmasking the extraction site.
A dry socket causes extreme pain and lengthens the recovery time. Sometimes it can also result in bad breath.
What Causes Dry Socket?
- Inflamed or infected gum tissue prior to tooth removal increases the chances of dry socket.
- Smoking cigarettes creates a suction that can disturb the blood clot, causing a dry socket.
- Brushing strongly or using a toothbrush on the surgery site. Rinsing or spitting forcefully can dislodge the blood clot and cause a dry socket.
- Eating hard or crunchy foods from the extraction site can dislocate the blood clot.
- Drinking from a straw creates a suction motion.
For a quick and comfortable recovery, it’s important to follow the aftercare instructions of your dentist.
When Can I Stop Worrying About Dry Socket?
Until the full recovery of your extraction site, a dry socket can form if you fail to follow the care tips. Usually, a week (7-8 days) after wisdom tooth extraction, you can stop worrying about a dry socket as gums take this much time to close fully. But remember, every patient recovers differently, which depends on the age, oral hygiene, and the care taken.
Carefully follow the aftercare tips and contact your dentist immediately if you notice unusual symptoms such as:
- Excruciating pain in the tooth
- Severe swelling
- Foul taste in the mouth
Managing Painful Dry Socket
- While waiting on an appointment, rinse your mouth and extraction site with salt water. With antibacterial properties, salt water can lower pain and speed up recovery.
- Use a cold compress on the painful area for 15 minutes on and off. This helps reduce inflammation.
- Place a black tea bag on the surgery site to reduce pain and swelling. Damp a tea bag and hold it between your teeth for 15 minutes.
- Antibiotic rinse can also help accelerate healing.