While it is true that leaving wisdom teeth in your jaw can lead to a variety of different problems, pulling teeth can bring its own set of unique problems to the table. It is not uncommon to experience some discomfort and pain in the days after a tooth is pulled. However, if the pain you are experiencing seems to intensify and doesn’t go away a few days after your surgery, then you may have a condition called alveolar osteitis, referred to as dry socket. We encourage our Williams Lake, BC area patients read this page to learn more about dry socket, its symptoms, and what Dr. Rudy Wassenaar can do to treat it.
Dry socket is a condition experienced by a very low percentage of people after a tooth is extracted. When a tooth is removed, a blood clot forms in the socket that keeps it safe while it recovers. However, every now and then, that blood clot can be dislodged or it can dissolve, exposing the area to air, food, and anything else that happens to enter your mouth. This can cause an infection and pain that will last for 5 to 6 days until the socket heals.
While dry socket can occur in any patient, it is far more likely in certain people. For instance, patients who smoke have a larger chance of developing dry socket than others. Patients with poor oral hygiene or patients who experienced a rougher tooth extraction also have a higher chance of developing dry socket. Another potential cause of dry socket is drinking through a straw directly after having your tooth extracted. The reason for this is the fact that suction can cause the blood clot to dislodge.
There are many different signs that you should look for in order to determine whether or not you have dry socket. The easiest of these signs is visible just by looking at the location of the extracted tooth. Usually, there should be a dark blood clot in place of the extracted tooth. However, if you have dry socket, you should only notice a dry-looking opening that looks like bone. About two days after your wisdom tooth was extracted, you will begin to feel severe pain that you may even feel in your ear. You may also develop bad breath and will experience an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
For the most part, treating dry socket is very easy. The condition will eventually fade away all on its own, so your time is mostly spent treating the discomfort associated with it. This can be done with over the counter pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Should these not be enough, Dr. Wassenaar may prescribe a stronger drug.
Another treatment option for dry socket will have you returning to our office so that Dr. Wassenaar can remove any debris from your empty socket. He will then fill the socket with a special paste that will help it heal. You may also be prescribed an antibiotic or a special mouthwash in order to prevent an infection from occurring.
Fortunately, the odds of developing dry socket after a wisdom tooth extraction are very low. However, if this condition does occur, rest assured that Dr. Rudy Wassenaar will be able to guide you through it. If you would like to learn more about dry socket or wisdom tooth extraction, please contact our office and schedule a no-obligation consultation today. We eagerly await the chance to work with you soon!
249 Barnard Street
Williams Lake, BC V2G 1G1
Monday: 7:30AM – 4PM
Tuesday: 7:30AM – 4PM
Wednesday: 7:30AM – 4PM
Thursday: 7:30AM – 4PM
Friday: 7:30AM – 12PM