What is Dry Socket?
What is Dry Socket? Dry socket or alveolar osteitis is an inflammatory condition experienced by the jawbone at three or four days after permanent tooth extraction. Complications that occur after tooth extraction is affecting 2-3 percent of patients, and 20 percent of them are forced to pull wisdom teeth lower teeth (wisdom teeth).
In general, the blood in the tooth extraction area will freeze to close and protect the nerves and bones underneath. The frozen blood also helps the growth of new bone and soft tissue around it. By the time this blood clot is dislodged or released before the wound heals, it will leave the empty cavity in the revocation site. This is called a dry socket. Unprotected bones and nerves can cause tooth pain to the nerves associated with the face.
There are various conditions that can cause dry sockets, including:
- The bacteria present in the mouth before the revocation procedure is performed.
- Periodontitis (gum infection).
- Hormonal imbalances.
- Lack of blood supply.
- Never had a dry socket before.
- Oral hygiene is minimal.
- Take the contraceptive pill.
- The removal of wisdom teeth.
- Post traumatic trauma or tooth surgery.
- The remaining root or bone left in the tooth extraction area.
Smoking is also one of the causes of dry sockets. The content of nicotine in cigarettes is thought to reduce blood flow in the mouth area, so the process of formation of blood clots will be hampered. In addition, the sucking motion during smoking can also cause a blood clot shift, so that the blood clot will break off prematurely.
The risk of this complication increases when a person does not maintain proper dental health, has infection around the cavity, to the use of corticostreoid drugs during recovery.
Women are often more susceptible to dry socket complications due to hormonal changes experienced, but did not rule out men experiencing the same condition.
Symptoms of Dry Socket
Pain after tooth extraction is natural. However, a person may experience dry sockets if you experience symptoms such as:
- Severe pain a few days after tooth extraction.
- The clot (blood clot) disappears, so that the jaw bone will appear empty cavity.
- The pain that radiates to the ears, eyes, neck, or head on the same side as the revocation site.
- Odor or taste in the mouth.
- Swollen lymph nodes around the jaw or neck.
- Low-grade fever.
Immediately see a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms of dry socket or unusual things that can be treated early.
Dry Socket Diagnosis
To establish a dry socket diagnosis, doctors usually require several stages to determine the underlying cause of the complications. The doctor may ask you some things like:
- The onset of symptoms appears.
- Trigger symptoms experienced.
- The painful part.
- Treatment that has been done.
- Drugs that have been consumed.
- Symptoms outside the tooth and mouth area (eg fever).
To support the answers given, the doctor will perform a physical test, especially on the mouth to see the condition of the cavity, the presence or absence of blood clots, to the bones that appear in the revocation area. The results of this examination will usually be more clear with the help of X-Ray.
Dry socket Treatment
Treatment for dry sockets primarily aims to relieve pain preventing further complications. Some of the steps doctors generally take include:
- Cleans the cavities of leftover food and wrapped with a special analgesic-based ointment to relieve pain and protect the bones as well as open nerves. This ointment usually has to be replaced within the time specified by the doctor. An additional ointment with an eugenol content may be given as a pain reliever, and smeared on top of the initial ointment.
- The doctor may provide a series of medications to relieve symptoms of dry socket experienced, such as NonSteroid Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), hydrocodone, acetaminophen, to antibiotics for infection.
In addition, your doctor may recommend that you do a further cavity cleansing at home by using a curved, plastic-syringe-type needle to inject water, brine, or a doctor’s cleanser. This is usually done until there is no debris left in the wounded cavity.
To maximize treatment, there are a range of ways that can be done such as not smoking or consuming tobacco, drinking enough water, gargling with warm salt water regularly but not excessively, and brushing your teeth gently, especially in the wounded cavity. Be sure to regularly consult a doctor to be monitored properly. Usually, the symptoms or dry socket condition can recover within 7-10 days of treatment, with new soft tissue growing. See your doctor immediately if the condition does not improve.
Dry Socket Prevention
Dry socket conditions can be prevented before and after tooth extraction. Before tooth extraction, usually the doctor will recommend to quit smoking and maintain oral hygiene by rinsing using antibacterial mouthwash. Sometimes, the doctor will also ask about the medicines that are being consumed in order to be adjusted.
After removal, there are some recommended dry socket precautions, such as:
- Avoid heavy activity or exercise for a week to avoid removal of blood clots from the cavity.
- Consume more water than usual. Avoid drinks containing alcohol, caffeine, carbonated, or hot drinks for 24 hours after surgery.
- Avoid hard food, hot, spicy and hard to chew for some time. It is recommended to consume yogurt and other soft foods, especially on the first day.
- Cleaning your mouth with warm brine solution every 2 hours and after meals for a week. Toothbrush is allowed, but avoid the revocation part so as not to hurt it.
- Avoid smoking or tobacco consumption for the next 48 hours to a week to avoid complications.
To avoid swelling and reduce pain, your doctor may advise cold compresses on the face especially in areas of pain during the first 48 hours, and continue with hot water compresses afterwards. In addition, the doctor may provide several medications such as antibiotics, antiseptic ointment, and medical dressing after surgery according to the patient’s needs.
Research says that the best time for women to perform tooth extraction surgery is during menstruation. This recommendation is given to reduce the risk of dry socket caused by hormonal changes. Talk to your doctor to find out the right time for you.