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Your Oral Surgeon in Houston on Dry Socket

Woman with toothache

Wisdom tooth extraction is often necessary to protect oral and overall health. In most cases, the recovery lasts only a few days and patients are able to resume their normal activities before they know it. Other times, however, a condition known as dry socket may develop. If this happens to you, don’t panic -- as your oral surgeon in Houston, we have it under control. Keep reading to learn more about dry socket and what to do when it happens to you.

What Is Dry Socket?

Wisdom tooth x-ray

Dry socket is a complication that can occur after tooth extraction, and is most common in extractions of the lower wisdom teeth (especially when they are impacted). This condition is the partial or total loss of the blood clot that forms over the extraction site. This blood clot covers the bone and is necessary for proper healing. Its disruption can cause serious discomfort and slowed recovery times.

Some of the causes of dry socket include:

  • Smoking and tobacco use before and after the extraction
  • Periodontal disease and/or the presence of other oral bacteria
  • Using a straw, rinsing, spitting, or smoking a cigarette after the extraction

Symptoms of Dry Socket

Woman with jaw pain

Dry socket usually occurs between 2 to 4 days after the tooth extraction, and the first symptom is pain. After the blood clot is disrupted, the bone is exposed, which causes moderate to severe discomfort. Sometimes the bone can be seen with the naked eye after dry socket forms. Patients may also note bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth. Pay attention to these indicators which let you know that the healing process has been disrupted.

What to Do about Dry Socket

Man in dental chair

Do not hesitate to get in touch with our office if you suspect or know you are dealing with dry socket after tooth extraction. Your Houston oral surgeon will provide soothing treatment to get you out of pain and help your body resume healing. First, the socket will be irrigated to remove food particles and bacteria buildup. A special dressing may then be placed to cover the bone and provide immediate relief. This dressing is sealed with an analgesic and will need to be replaced after a few days. You may be prescribed medication for pain; make sure you take all prescriptions exactly as directed.

The average healing time for a dry socket is 7 to 10 days. Make sure to get in touch with our office if something happens to the dressing or if pain continues after treatment has been rendered.

Call Your Oral Surgeons in Houston!

Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you experience pain after a wisdom tooth extraction. It could be dry socket -- and getting in touch with your Houston oral surgeons right away will help your mouth resume healing as soon as possible. Contact us today!