Prevent Dry Sockets From Happening To You
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After having a tooth extracted by a dentist, it takes time for your mouth to heal. You have just undergone a procedure that will benefit you in the long run, and you are looking forward to your once-again healthy smile. During the healing process, it is important to take certain precautions to avoid a condition called alveolar osteitis, or a dry socket.

When you have a tooth extracted by a dentist, a blood clot forms over the socket in order to keep the bone and nerves protected. Sometimes, this blood clot can become dislodged prematurely. If the mouth has not healed sufficiently at the time of the dislodging, the bone and nerves are exposed to air, liquids, and food, and a dry socket occurs. It is an uncomfortable experience that can last for about five or six days.

While a dry socket is definitely something to keep on your radar, it is an uncommon occurrence in most patients. A dry socket is most likely to develop within the first week or two after you have had a tooth extracted, and only about 2% to 5% of patients develop this condition. Some people may be more likely to get a dry socket after having a tooth extracted. These people include those who smoke, have poor oral hygiene, have had their wisdom teeth pulled, uses birth control pills or having a history of dry sockets occurring after having teeth pulled. Still, a dentist may recommend the following precautions in order to prevent this from happening to you.

First, you should avoid intense exercise for at least 24 hours after the extraction. It is important to rest up and avoid excessive movement while your mouth begins to heal. Your dentist may also recommend that you avoid drinking through a straw for at least a week after receiving an extraction. The suction from the straw could cause the blood clot to dislodge. Additionally, you should avoid spitting in order to reduce the risk of dry socket. After the initial 24 hour period, you should begin gently rinsing with warm salt water about four times a day in order to remove any food particles in the area.

Symptoms of a dry socket may include bad breath or an unpleasant smell and taste in your mouth. You may experience pain typically two days after your tooth was pulled and it may become more severe and it radiates to your ear. When looking at the site of where your tooth was pulled, you may see a dry-looking opening and a whitish bone. If you think you have a dry socket, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Fortunately, dry sockets are easily treatable. To ease the pain, you can take aspirin or ibuprofen. However, if these over the counter medications are not strong enough, your dentist in McKinney may prescribe you something stronger. In order to treat the dry socket, your dentist will clean the site of any debris. He or she will fill the socket with a medicated dressing to promote the healing process. You may have to make daily appointments with your dentist for dressing changes up until the dry socket starts to heal. To care for the dry socket at home, you can rinse with salt water every day.

Although some patients have a greater risk of developing a dry socket than others, all patients can avoid this condition by closely following after-care instructions from a McKinney dentist.


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