After a tooth is extracted, especially wisdom teeth, some people might experience a condition referred to as “dry socket”. Have you ever heard of that? Dry socket is a painful condition that is many times worse than the discomfort following tooth removal. Thankfully it can be treated, but it is best if you can prevent it to begin with.

Wisdom tooth extraction

What is Dry socket?

A dry socket begins when an adult tooth has been removed and the bone and or the nerve in the socket is exposed. Normally, a clot forms to protect the area, but when it doesn’t, anything that is in your mouth (food, fluids, even air), can make the area sensitive and susceptible to infection.

It is normal to have a small amount of discomfort after a wisdom tooth is extracted, but if you notice intense pain, especially if it is increasing in intensity and radiating towards your ear, and/or you experience a bad taste in your mouth, it’s important to contact your dentist.

Wisdom tooth extraction

Who have more risks?

You are at a higher risk for dry socket if you:

• Had a wisdom tooth extracted
• Have a history of dry socket
• Use birth control
• Smoke
• Had a traumatic extraction (due to an accident or infection)
• Have a history of poor dental hygiene
• Take medication that inhibits blood clotting

How to avoid it?

When you have a tooth extracted, be sure to use any recommended oral antibiotics or antiseptic solutions and follow your dentist post-op instructions on how to prevent a dry socket. These instructions will likely include:

• No rinsing/spitting for 24 hours
• No drinking from straws
• No smoking for 72 hours
• Avoiding hot foods/drinks
• Avoiding crunchy foods (chips, nuts, popcorn, etc.)
• Avoiding alcohol
• Limiting physical activity for 5-7 days

Dry socket

How to treat Dry socket?

While experiencing dry socket is relatively uncommon, only happening to 2-5% of patients. If you are one of them, your dentist is the best person to make recommendations on your treatment.
These typically include:

• Pain relievers (over-the-counter or prescribed)
• Topical medications
• Flushing/Rinsing
• Avoiding smoking
• Avoiding sugary drinks
• Avoiding using straws
• Following proper oral care practices

If you need to have your wisdom teeth removed and have any other questions about this procedure, be sure to ask Dr. Shurova at your next appointment. Call to schedule today!

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Office Text: 813-624-5036

Or find us on Facebook or Instagram

Instagram: @mydentaltampa