Dental Problems

Dry Socket -Treatment and Prevention

Dry socket is a common complication that occurs after tooth extraction. It is formally referred as alveolar osteitis by dentists. The term alveolar refers to the alveolus, the part of the jawbone that surrounds the teeth, and “osteitus” refers to inflammation of bone. In this article, we shall know how it is treated and a few steps to prevent the condition.

Dry socket develops when the blood clot is not properly retained after the extraction of teeth. The clot either gets disintegrates or dislodged. This leaves nerves and bones at the site exposed to air, food and anything that enters the mouth. This leads to infection and severe pain.

Dry Socket Treatment

It is a dental process supported by medications. Initially one needs to take a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or aspirin to ease the pain and discomfort. If these medications are not relieving pain, then the doctor may prescribe a stronger dose medicine to block the nerve.

The dental procedure begins with cleaning the socket. The dentist cleans the tooth socket by removing all the debris from the hole. Then he fills the cleaned area with a medicated piece of gauze or paste to promote healing. This dressing may need to be changed more often to get better results.

The dentist may prescribe a few

antibiotics

to prevent infection in the socket. To care it further, the dentist may ask to rinse the area with salt water or a special mouthwash every day.

Once the socket is healed, the dentist may place

dental implants.

Dental implants are chosen according to site and severity.

Prevention of Dry Socket

  • To prevent formation of dry socket dentists advise to exert a firm biting pressure on the gauze for as long as the next one hour. This will offer opportunity for the formation of a protective blood clot.
  • After the blood clot is in place, one must take care not to dislodge or disrupt it.
  • One should avoid vigorous rinsing of mouth for the first 24 hours.
  • One should avoid sucking in straw or cigarette. This can dislodge the blood clot by lowering the pressure around it.
  • Abstain from alcohol and tobacco.
  • Drinking hot liquids such as coffee and soup will help preventing formation of a dry socket after tooth extraction.

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