Wisdom Teeth Dry Socket

Wisdom teeth dry socket is a painful inflammation which can arise in the open tooth socket of the jawbone, when a wisdom tooth is extracted. As such, dry socket can develop following removal of any tooth, but it is more commonly associated with wisdom teeth extraction. Only a small percentage, i.e. 2% to 5% of individuals develop dry socket, but the condition is very much uncomfortable. Luckily, it is easily treatable too.

The socket is the aperture in the bone where the tooth has been extracted. After the extraction, a blood clot develops in the socket to protect the bone and nerves below it. Dry socket is caused when the blood clot dissolves or is dislodged. It leaves the bone and the nerves exposed to air, foods, fluids and everything else that enters the oral cavity. This can lead to infection and pain. The pain caused by dry socket may be severe extending up to the ear. This pain may last for several days. The socket smells bad sometimes.

Dry socket, particularly wisdom teeth dry socket, is more common in women than in men. It is inferred that it is because of the hormone estrogen. And it is for this reason, women planning for wisdom teeth extraction, should schedule the surgery at the end of their menstrual cycle, i.e. between 23rd and 28th days. This lowers the risk of developing the dry socket.

Amongst other people that develop dry socket are people who smoke, or have poor oral hygiene, or use birth control pills, or have a history of dry socket.

Dry socket is identified when you look into the surgical wound. You will see a dry-looking hole, instead of a blood clot. In place of the clot, just a bone will be seen. The pain of the dry socket generally starts two days after the surgery and becomes severe. Other symptoms of dry socket are bad breath, foul smell and unpleasant taste in the mouth.

The dry socket is treated by a dentist or an oral surgeon. The dentist will clean it off any debris and then may keep a special medicated gauze or paste in the socket, which promotes healing. An antibiotic and a pain-relieving medicine may be prescribed. You may probably have to come to the office of the dentist everyday to change the dressing, till the socket starts healing and pain lessens. For home care routine, the dentist may advise you to rinse your mouth daily with salt water or a special mouthwash.

To lower the risk of developing a dry socket, follow the dentist’s instructions exactly. Avoid smoking at least for the first 24 hours after surgery. So also, avoid drinking with the help of straws. For the first 24 hours, you should avoid rinsing the mouth or disturbing the dry socket area. The dentist keeps a pack of gauze at the site of wisdom tooth extraction. When it is fully soaked with blood, change it. Blood keeps on oozing out and its volume seems ten times greater than actually is, because it mixes with saliva. Change the fully loaded gauze pads periodically, but do not spit the blood, in order to prevent dry socket. This way, you can keep away from wisdom teeth dry socket or any dry socket.