Dental Problems

Alveolar Osteitus -Causes and Symptoms

The term alveolarĀ refers to the alveolus, the part of the jawbone that surrounds the teeth, and osteitus refers to inflammation of bone.

Alveolar osteitus

It is a condition where there is inflammation of bone of tooth after its extraction. It is a common complication that occurs after tooth extraction, commonly referred as Dry socketĀ. In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of alveolar osteitus.

Mechanism and Causes

Alveolar osteitus is formed when the blood clot formed in the tooth’s surface is not properly retained after the extraction. It is known that blood clot forms immediately after any procedure to protect the bones and nerves. This clot should be formed nicely to facilitate healing. If this clot disintegrates or becomes dislodged then the nerves and bone are left exposed to air, food and anything that enters the mouth. This causes infection and pain. All this delays the healing process.

Strictly speaking there is nothing that causes alveolar osteitus. But some people are more likely to get it after getting their teeth extracted. They include people who

  • Smoke
  • Have their wisdom teeth pulled
  • Have poor oral hygiene
  • Use birth control pills
  • Got more injured during the tooth extraction than normal
  • Have a history of dry socket

Spitting a lot, rinsing and drinking through a straw after a tooth extraction can increase the risk of getting dry socket or alveolar osteitus.

Symptoms of Alveolar Osteitus

If you see at the site of the socket, it looks really dry. Instead of a blood clot, you can see bone. The pain at the site starts about 2 days after the extraction. Slowly, over time the pain becomes more severe and radiates to ear. Other symptoms include:

  • Grayish slough
  • Bad breath
  • Unpleasant smell and taste in mouth

Note:

The foul smell is characteristic of alveolar osteitus. It is a result of the disintegration of the blood clot at the site by the process of putrefaction.

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