Dry Socket: Signs, Treatment, and Prevention

Dental Tips, Oral Health

After you have a tooth pulled in Phoenix, Arizona, you need to take great care in making sure that you don’t get a dry socket.  After an extraction, your jaw bone is exposed and has an opening in it from where the roots of your tooth were. It’s important that a blood clot forms over the area to insulate it, protect it, and promote proper healing. If a blood clot doesn’t form, or if it comes out prematurely, then you get what’s called a “dry socket.”

How To Recognize The Signs of A Dry Socket

There are a few ways that you can tell if you have a dry socket.  Of course, if you’re not sure, you can always visit Dr. Behbahani for him to check the area.

Severe Pain That Starts After A Few Days – It’s normal for you to experience soreness and a certain amount of pain for a few days after an extraction.  However, if you start hurting worse after three or four days past your procedure day, and the pain medication that we prescribed isn’t working as well as it was, then you likely have a dry socket. In fact, most patients say that the pain they experience from the dry socket is worse than any pain they had from a toothache. Even breathing and talking is difficult, because the air hits the exposed jaw bone, which hurts a great deal.

Other signs that you may have a dry socket include:

  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands)
  • Low-grade fever
  • Visible bone in the socket or it looks empty and you don’t see a blood clot
  • Pain in your ear, jaw, eye, or temple

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How To Treat A Dry Socket

Even though you have a dry socket, your extraction site will eventually heal.  That being said, the process is very painful because you won’t get relief until your body produces enough bone and tissue to cover the area, which takes several weeks. Our Phoenix dentist has a simple treatment for your dry socket problems, and we can help you get the relief that you need – fast.

First, we wash the extraction site with a saline solution to rinse away bacteria and any food particles from the area. Then, we have a medicated dressing that we put into the socket. The medicine gives you instant relief, and the packing protects the area and covers the exposed bone.

The medication can lose its potency after a few days, so you may need to return to have the area repacked.  Also, Dr. Behbahani will advise you if you need to return once you’ve recovered from the effects of the dry socket and are back on the road to proper healing. We may have to remove the packing material if it doesn’t dissolve or fall out on its own.

Getting The Help You Need

When you have a tooth pulled, healing is all a part of the process.  We’re here with you every step of the way so you shouldn’t ever feel like you’re alone.  If you have any complications at all with your extraction, don’t hesitate to call Central Valley Dentistry in Phoenix, Arizona

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