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Your Dentist in Arlington Talks About Dry Socket

January 6, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — drwardlaw @ 4:29 pm

woman with mouth painWhen you have oral surgery in 76017, such as a wisdom tooth extraction, your dentist will do everything in their power to make sure you are comfortable during and after the procedure. You might experience some discomfort once you go home, but that shouldn’t be intolerable. However, if you find that you are in severe pain, you might be suffering from dry socket. What is this condition, how can you prevent it, and how can you deal with it if it happens to you? Your dentist in Arlington explains.

What Is Dry Socket?

After your dentist removes a tooth, your body automatically starts to help with the healing process. A blood clot forms in the place where the tooth was extracted, protecting the nerves and bones that were exposed by your surgery. When that blood clot gets dislodged somehow, you end up with a condition known as dry socket, which is otherwise called alveolar osteitis.

If you look in your mouth at the place where the tooth was extracted and see a white, bony-looking space instead of a dark blood clot, you probably have dry socket. Other symptoms include extreme pain in your mouth and face, as well as bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

Preventing Dry Socket

Your dentist will give you some post-op instructions to help you prevent dry socket and other complications. Their recommendations may include:

  • Eat soft foods and don’t chew around the extraction site. Avoid using a straw for a few days because the suction could disturb the blood clot.
  • Don’t use tobacco for at least 48 hours after your surgery.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. You won’t want to brush the extraction site for at least 24 hours after your surgery, but you can still brush the rest of your mouth. An antibacterial mouth rinse could get rid of germs that might affect the blood clot.
  • Take it easy for a few days. Avoid any strenuous activities (like sports) that could dislodge the blood clot.

Treating Dry Socket

If you do end up with dry socket, don’t fret too much. It’s very uncomfortable, but it usually only lasts for five or six days. To ease your discomfort, you can take ibuprofen or another OTC painkiller. If that doesn’t help, however, your doctor may need to give you a prescription for something that will numb the area.

It’s also important to visit your dentist, who can clean the tooth socket and fill it with a special paste or medicated dressing to speed up healing. They might also prescribe antibiotics to prevent an infection.

Are you getting ready to have a tooth extracted? Fortunately, dry socket affects only a small percentage of people who have oral surgery. However, you should still be aware of the risk and do what you can to prevent this painful problem.

About the Dentist

Dr. Stephen Wardlaw is your friendly, experienced dentist in Arlington. If you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted or you have other concerns about your oral health, he would be happy to help. You can contact our office at 817-572-5115.

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