When you have an extraction completed, you will most likely feel some pain. It may be hard to denote if the pain is from the surgery itself, or if you are experiencing a dry socket. Dry sockets are extremely common following any extraction surgery, and they are also extremely painful. No matter what type of extraction you have performed, a dry socket can occur, but are more typical with removal of the lower teeth than they are with removal of upper teeth.
When you have an extraction preformed, a blood clot will form to fill the new hole where your tooth once lived. A dry socket is a condition where the blood clot detaches itself from the socket walls and the extraction site is exposed. Sometimes, the clot will dissolve, leaving the bone exposed to food, drinks and saliva. Once the bone is exposed, it can become inflamed which is when it becomes extremely painful.
Although there is no real way of preventing a dry socket from happening, you can help to reduce the risk by following your doctor’s post-surgery instructions. Even when following post-surgery instructions, dry sockets still have the opportunity to form. Those who are more at risk to dry sockets include those who smoke following extractions, and those who like to grind their teeth frequently.
If you leave the dry socket alone, it will eventually heal and will normally take around a month or so, although the pain won’t let up during the healing period. The best way to fight a dry socket is to go back to your dentist and have them pack the exposed area. It doesn’t take long to complete, and it can provide relief from the pain. When your dentist packs the site, it will allow the nerves to no longer be exposed and the site to heal, while the pain dissipates. This allows, you can get relief from the pain and help the socket heal.
If you are dealing with pain, or are going to have an extraction take place, speak with your dentist on all care instructions. They will help you go through everything you will need to do to take the best care of your mouth, post-surgery. If you do happen to have a dry socket form after your surgery, do not worry – follow your dentist’s instructions and you will heal in no time.