After getting teeth removed, typically wisdom teeth, there is a risk of a dry socket condition. A dry socket is when the clot that forms after the extraction becomes dislodged from the socket, exposing the bone and other anatomies such as nerves and blood vessels to the oral cavity. Dry socket can occur a day to several days after the extraction procedure. Although very painful, dry socket is easily remedied and can go away within just a few days if adequately treated.
A dry socket is caused when there is a pressure change in the mouth, such as sucking in or spitting out. This means that spitting too aggressively can cause a dry socket. It can also be caused by both smoking and drinking through a straw, which creates a suction in the mouth that can dislodge the clot. In addition, the clot can accidentally be manually removed with a toothbrush, so it is important not to brush in the area for a few days after the extraction.
The dry socket symptoms are throbbing pain, a bad taste in the mouth, malodour (bad breath,) and fever. Symptoms may be limited to one or all.
It is vital to return to your dentist or oral surgeon if you experience any of the dry socket symptoms after having a tooth extracted. Your dentist/ oral surgeon can assess the socket, rinse it and prescribe additional pain medication or antibiotics if needed.
In addition to returning to your dentist/ oral surgeon, here are some at-home remedies you can try to alleviate pain and speed up the healing process:
Clove Oil – Clove oil is naturally antibacterial and antiseptic and also has pain-relieving properties. Place a couple of drops on a gauze and apply it to the extraction site.
Salt Water – Rinse with warm salt water after the extraction, 2-3 times per day. Saltwater helps to reduce pain and prevent infection.
Hot and Cold Compresses – Use a cold compress on the extraction site to help reduce pain and inflammation, and hot on the cheek near the extraction site.
Honey – Helps to reduce inflammation and prevent necrosis. Try drinking some tea with honey in it.
NSAIDs – Recommended to help reduce inflammation and pain. Make sure to follow the dosage label.
Turmeric – Has an anti-inflammatory property—dab on the extraction site with a piece of gauze.
Green/ Black Teas –Helps reduce inflammation near the extraction site. You can either drink the tea or rest a soaked tea bag on the extraction site.
Aloe Vera – Helps prevent dry socket as well as promotes collagen formation and blood flow.
If you think you have a dry socket following an extraction procedure, it is important to return to your dentist or oral surgeon to assess the site. If you have any questions about extraction procedures or ways to prevent a dry socket, contact us today to schedule an appointment.