You’ve just had one of your teeth extracted, and while your dentist told you that you might experience a little soreness for a few days afterward, it’s been over a week now, and the pain doesn’t seem to be going away. This could be a sign that you have developed a dry socket, a complication that is relatively common during the healing process. So, what should you do now? What is the best way to deal with a dry socket after an extraction in Lincoln? Read on to learn the best way to get relief.
But First…What is a Dry Socket?
After your tooth has been extracted, a blood clot is supposed to form over the treatment site, and this helps protect the newly exposed area of jawbone as you heal. However, if the clot doesn’t form properly or becomes dislodged, this can expose not only the bone, but the sensitive nerves in the area as well, causing quite a bit of pain.
Other symptoms of a dry socket include:
- Persistent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth despite rinsing/brushing/flossing
- An open socket at the extraction site
- A mild fever and/or swollen glands
- Discomfort that radiates throughout the face, including the jaw, eye, temple, or ear
What Causes Dry Socket?
All of the following can prevent the blood clot from successfully forming after a tooth extraction:
- Drinking with a straw within 24 hours of the extraction–the suction can easily disturb the clot.
- Smoking or using tobacco too soon after treatment. Much like using a straw, inhaling too vigorously can dislodge the clot, as can chewing. And, the chemicals in tobacco can slow down the healing process overall.
- Chewing near the extraction site.
- Being too physically active the day of your extraction. Typically, you’ll be advised to take it easy for the first 24 hours after a tooth is removed to ensure the formation of the clot.
What to Do About a Dry Socket
While taking an OTC pain-reliever can provide some temporary relief from a dry socket, the best thing to do is simply schedule an appointment with your dentist. They’ll likely rinse out the area with a saline solution to clear away any debris and remove bacteria, and then they’ll apply a special dressing that will need to be replaced regularly while you heal. They can also prescribe you a stronger pain medication to make the process easier. By following your dentist’s instructions, you should be able to fully recover from a dry socket in about 7-10 days.
Needless to say, having a dry socket isn’t fun, and if you suspect that you might be suffering from one, then your next call should definitely be to your dentist. It’s the most direct way to get yourself out of pain and back on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Haag is a family, restorative, and cosmetic dentist who has been practicing since 1992. If you think that you might have developed a dry socket after undergoing a wisdom teeth extraction in Lincoln, he can provide the care you need so you’re able to get out of pain fast. For more information, he can be reached through his website.