Understanding Dry Sockets : Causes, Risk Factors & Treatment

Prevent Dry Socket

Dry socket (Alveolar Osteitis) is a debilitating dental condition that can happen after a permanent adult dental extraction. The blood coagulation that usually develops before the injury heals and exposes the underlying nerves and bone after removal is released or dissolved.

The key symptom is discomfort after the tooth is removed. One may also experience poor breath. Therapy involves pain killers and surrounding flushing. This coagulum should remain in place until you heal your gums and your mouth goes back to normal. The clot can be dislodged occasionally. 

If so, you’ll feel the excruciating challenge of a dry socket or osteitis alveolar. Dry socket is painful and healing delays. Trying and preventing it is critical. If a tooth is taken out, you grow a blood clot on the extraction spot to secure and repair the underlying ends of your bone and nerve. This clot can remain until it is cured for your gums and your mouth returns to normal.

It may often dislodge the clot. If so, you can face the debilitating condition of dry socket or osteitis alveolar. The dryer plug is painful and healing is slow. There is also an analysis of the exact cause of the dry socket.

Researchers believe that certain problems, such as:

  • Bacterial socket infection
  • Trauma at the operative wound, as with the affected wisdom tooth

Risk involved

Include factors that may increase the risk of dry socket development:

Chemicals can prevent or delay cure, cigarettes or other types of tobacco can contaminate the site of the wound. The sucking effect of cigarettes will prematurely decommission the blood clot.

  • Oral birth control

 High levels of oestrogen in oral contraceptives can interfere with normal treatment and increase the risk of dry socket.

  • Inadequate treatment at home 

Growing the risk of the dry socket if the directives-home care is followed and of bad oral hygiene.

  • If you have a dry socket before, after another extraction you are more likely to grow it.

Symptoms of dry sockets

The dry socket can include the following  signs or symptoms:

  • A few days after tooth extraction, one may experience extreme pain
  • There may also be total or partial blood loss on the tooth extraction site, which can be observed on the dry socket. 
  • Even the bone may be visible on the socket.   
  • You may feel pressure on the same side of your face on which the tooth is extracted, from your bottom into your ear, eye, temple or neck.
  • Poor breath or a bad smell from your mouth, as a result of dry socket
  • Unpleasant mouth taste

How to prevent dry socket?

After tooth removal, the blood clot forms protective bone and nerve tissue. It will also help heal your gums so you want them to remain in place until after surgery you have healed.


prevent dry socket

Dry socket usually happens when something passes from the blood clot or dissolves it from the socket. Often dry sockets happen when the blood clot is not formed at all.

One can prevent dry socket after tooth extraction by following these steps:

  • Avoid sucking straws

Air and cheek movements can break your blood clot while using a straw. After extraction, you should stop using straws for a week.

  • Say no to cigarettes or smoking

Smoking and using nicotine expose you to a much higher risk that can result in dry sockets following tooth removal. According to a study, 12 per cent of people who smoked after tooth extraction observed the dry socket. On the contrary, just 4 per cent of people who don’t smoke formed a dry socket.

Your blood clot can be prevented by rapid consumption of cigarettes. This holds true for smoking altogether and not just cigarettes. This is because chemicals can prevent and induce infection in other tobacco products. Reduce the consumption of tobacco for a few weeks before the scheduled procedure.

If you need help avoiding cigarettes when you are healing or if you want to start a smoking cessation program with your dental procedure, an application could help. You can also get resources to create a strategy to stop smoking. The dentist can help you.

If you are a regular smoker and find it difficult to stop or quit smoking, you can adopt the following measure:

  1. Change to a patch on the nicotine.
  2. Wait at least 48 hours before smoking after the surgery. Inhale softly as you start to smoke again.
  3. Ask your dentist about your surgical site for stitches.
  4. Keep your gauze on your smoking bowl.
  5. Stop chewing tobacco or nicotine gum.
  6. Distract yourself with a new habit while you’d usually smoke.

Always consult your dentist after the surgery is performed, whether you can continue to smoke or no. as smoking can expose you to severe infection after the treatment, resulting in dry sockets.

  • Soft food

Eat only soft foods such as applesauce, yogurt and soup on the first day after the operation. On the second day, you should try rather normal meals, but if you feel any pain you should return to soft food. Stop sucking soup that may break the blood coagulation. Also avoid nuts that can get stuffed in your plug, seeds, crunchy foods such as chips, and sticky food.

  • Medication 

Some research work indicates a connection between oral and dry sockets. Ask your dentist if there is any underlying risk involved. Other drugs can prevent the formation of an effective blood clot.

  • Oral hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene plays a significant role in preventing dry socket. Cleaning your mouth on a regular basis is the key to prevent dry socket. Oral hygiene helps to avoid the sprouting of germs and infection.

Ask your dentist how to brush your teeth after the process. You should just rinse your mouth on the first day and brush it gently on the second day. An antibacterial mouthwash can be used post-surgery. Using the gauze pads as directed by the doctor.

Dry socket aftercare

Steps that can be followed after the process:

  • Rinsing the mouth with salt water a few times every day.
  • Using a toothbrush gently
  • Drinking more fluid
  • Avoid drinking alcohol for sometime
  • Taking enough rest
  • You can also use an ice-pack to reduce the swelling on the check.

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