Dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis, is a dental condition that can occasionally occur after you have an adult permanent tooth extracted. It happens when, after removing a tooth, a blood clot either fails to form or becomes dislodged. Dry socket pain results from the exposed bone and nerves in the absence of the clot.
At the location of a tooth extraction, a blood clot (looks like a dark-colored scab) typically develops. This blood clot acts as a shield over the underlying bone and nerve ending in the vacant tooth socket and supports the structure for the formation of new bone and soft tissue over the clot.
Intense pain is caused by exposure of the underlying bone and nerves, which affects both the socket and the nerves that radiate to the side of the face. The socket may get irritated and fill with food particles, increasing the pain. The discomfort normally starts one to three days after the tooth is extracted if the patient has a dry socket.
The most frequent issue that arises after having teeth extractedis a dry socket. Dry socket pain cannot be managed solely with over-the-counter drugs. Patients can obtain treatment from their dentist or oral surgeon.
Dry socket symptoms and signs might include:
- The bone can be seen in the socket
- Severe pain shortly days after a tooth extraction
- Pain that travels from the extraction site to your ear, eye, temple, or neck on the same side of your face
- Bad breath or mouth foul odor
- Partial or complete loss of the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction
- Foul taste
It’s common to have some pain and discomfort following a tooth extraction. Dentist or oral surgeon may have prescribed a painkiller and be able to manage normal pain with it. Over time, the pain should subside.
Contact the dentist or oral surgeon right away if the patient is experiencing any new or worsening discomfort in the days after the tooth extraction.
The exact reason for dry socket is unknown to experts. The following are some causes of dry socket.
- Trauma cause by complicated tooth extraction.
- Socket contamination from bacteria.
- Having bad oral hygiene might lead to bacterial infection.
The chances of developing dry socket may be affected by the following factors:
- Poor oral hygiene: Poor dental hygiene and neglect for home care instructions may raise the possibility of dry socket.
- Gum or tooth infection: The likelihood of a dry socket is increased by present or past infections close to the extracted tooth.
- History of dry socket: People are more prone to get dry socket after extraction if they have already experienced it.
- Tobacco use: Cigarettes and other tobacco products include chemicals that can contaminate the injured area and slow or hinder healing. Typically, the blood clot can be prematurely dislodged by sucking on a cigarette.
- Oral contraceptives: The chance of developing dry socket may rise due to high estrogen levels caused by oral contraceptives, which may interfere with natural healing processes.