10 months ago
All humans will need to shed some of their teeth at some point in their lives. It’s one of the natural laws that many animals are not protected from. Luckily for humans, medicine has made it easier for one to go through the process of tooth extraction with the help of a dentist. However, even the presence of medical assistance is not a 100% guarantee that this experience will not have its complications. An example of this is a dry socket.
Understanding Dry Sockets and its Symptoms
Your body works in such a way that it tries to protect its own organs. For example, your blood clots in order to prevent further loss of blood. This action closes the wound, preventing unwanted microorganisms from entering into it. After tooth extraction, the part where the tooth was removed will have an open wound. Just like a small open wound on the skin, a small blood clot will form on it. This clot is important because it provides a protective layer for the nerves and the bones in the tooth socket. People who are suffering from dry sockets are those who fail to develop these clots, have these dissolved easily or may have these removed on their own. Roughly about 1% to 3% of tooth extractions will end up as dry sockets but most of these are attributed to lower wisdom tooth problems. Telltale signs that you may be suffering from dry sockets are moderate to intense mouth and facial pain, 3 or 4 days after tooth extraction. This could also be coupled with a foul odor and leave a bad taste in the mouth.
What Causes Dry Sockets?
There are several reasons why clots in the tooth socket are dislodged or removed. This could be brought about by the presence of force or trauma on the socket. For some, it’s the body’s reaction to inflammation, infection, bacteria and hormonal changes, all of which could lead to a destroyed blood clot. It may be difficult to pinpoint its real cause because these are varied. Take note, however, that some people may be at a higher risk compared to other patients. People who smoke, are on contraceptive pills, those suffering from infections and people who fail to exercise cleaning regimen after extraction are more likely to suffer from dry sockets.
Can You Prevent Dry Sockets?
Since dry sockets will most likely develop in the first five days after tooth extraction, it is vital that the patient should stay rested during these days to prevent trauma. People who smoke tobacco products should stay away from this habit at least a day prior to the dental procedure. Women taking contraceptive pills should mention their condition to the dentist and ask when is the best time to get their tooth extracted. After the procedure, patients are also advised to exercise precautionary measures that include doing away with spitting and drinking through a straw. And for those who are afraid of visiting the dentist, then try to be a bit braver next time since this could help prevent dry sockets. Those who have regular dental check-ups reportedly have lower incidences of mouth issues that include dry sockets and other teeth and gum problems.
BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)
BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)