What Is Post Extraction Dry Socket?
And How Can Our Streatham Dental Clinic Help You With It?
The team at the Confidential Clinic in Streatham have occasionally treated patients in the past who have suffered post extraction dry socket.
This is something which crops up from time to time at any dental practice, and so we thought we would address this relatively common issue in today’s blog in order to educate and inform our readers. Please read on for more information.
What is post extraction dry socket?
This is a sometimes painful condition that can follow a tooth extraction and occurs when the blood clot that forms as a part of the natural healing process is removed or is lost due to various factors. When it is, it produces a dry socket. This can expose nerve endings in the area where the tooth has been extracted and can cause significant levels of discomfort and pain. Post extraction dry socket can be effectively treated by one of our Streatham dentists, who will clean the wound and place a special dressing in the affected area to speed up the healing process.
What are the signs and symptoms?
There are a few common signs and symptoms to watch out for after a tooth extraction has taken place that may indicate a case of dry socket.
If you notice a lot of pain in the days following your tooth extraction, either in that localised area, or from around that area to the eye, ear or forehead, it is likely that a dry socket is present. You may also see visible bone in the socket, or notice a bad taste in your mouth. If you are in any doubt at all, please contact us for further advice.
How many days after a tooth extraction does dry socket occur?
This problem can occur at any time until the treatment area is fully healed. It usually occurs when the blood clot located there is removed. This can happen in a number of ways such as ‘prodding’ it with your finger, or even spitting violently after brushing. We will offer full advice on aftercare following an extraction.
How can you prevent it?
Some of the easiest ways to reduce or prevent this condition include:
Leave it alone – Yes, we know it is tempting to see what the blood clot feels like, but please don’t. Even a gentle prod with the finger could cause it to become dislodged.
Avoid using straws – In addition to the risk of the straw connecting with the blood clot, sucking involves the use of suction that may also have an effect on the blood clot. We recommend that you don’t use a straw until the area is fully healed.
Avoid smoking – Inhalation of smoke can cause a blood clot to become dislodged. Healing is also likely to be slowed down as nicotine reduces the flow of blood in the mouth area. Infections are also more likely.
If you smoke, our dentists recommend reducing tobacco intake for a fortnight leading up to a tooth extraction, and consider using a nicotine patch.
Soft food – For the first 24 hours especially, we recommend that you eat only very soft foods in order to avoid contact with the clot. Presuming that you have only had one tooth out, try to eat on the other side of the mouth.
Oral hygiene – Whilst you can still brush your teeth following an extraction, you cannot brush the extraction area and great care should be taken to avoid contact with it. It is important that your mouth is kept clean though, including the extraction socket. A saline solution can help with this and we will offer full cleaning advice at the time of your procedure.
How do you look after the tooth extraction area after dental surgery?
Follow any instructions given by our experienced Streatham dentists in order to get the best results from your visit, as well as helping to reduce the risk of a dry socket.
Extractions can feel a little strange when you realise that there is a gap where once there was a tooth, but patients usually fully recover within a short while of having the procedure, with healing usually completed in a week or so.
Some of the simplest ways to look after the tooth extraction area after dental surgery, and to speed up the healing process, include:
- Using a saline solution to keep the ‘wound’ clean
- Making sure that you don’t neglect your other teeth
- Drink plenty of fluids, but nothing too hot or too cold
- Avoid food, drinks or activities that might dislodge the blood clot
- Rest from strenuous work as much as possible in the first few days
To find out more about post extraction dry socket issues and how we can help you if you are suffering from it, please call our Streatham dental clinic on 020 8674 2052 and mention this blog post.