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Dry Socket

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A Guide to Dry Socket

For many individuals, the thought of having a tooth removed as part of an emergency dental procedure is worrying enough without the notion of experiencing painful side effects after its completion.

Fortunately, such events are something of a rarity and members of the public who undergo this course of action usually find they are able to enjoy the benefits of healthy teeth and gums well into the future.

However, for a select few, the discomfort that is expected following such a procedure will last more than a few days, causing a problem that may have a significant effect on their overall oral health.

While only around two per cent of people will develop dry socket after a tooth extraction, those who do have it can experience severe pain, but can rest assured that the ailment is easily treatable.

dry socket

What Is Dry Socket?

The socket is the hole in the jawbone where the pearly white has been removed from during a procedure with a dental professional. Following this, a blood clot usually forms in the space to protect the bone and nerves underneath.

In some cases, the clot can become dislodged or dissolve after a few days after the extraction, leaving the sensitive area exposed to food, fluid, air and anything else that is put in the mouth.

This can lead to the development of an infection and the severe pain can last for as many as six days.

Am I At Risk Of Getting Dry Socket?

Some individuals are at a higher risk of developing dry socket after having one of their pearly whites removed, including:

  • Those who smoke
  • People who fail to maintain a good standard of oral health
  • Women who use birth control pills
  • Individuals who have more trauma during their tooth extraction
  • Those with a previous history of the condition

Rinsing and spitting a lot, as well as drinking through a straw, can also increase the risk of developing dry socket after having a tooth removed.

What Are The Telltale Signs Of The Condition?

Patients who have recently undergone an extraction should examine the site where the tooth was pulled, those with dry socket are likely to see an arid opening. Instead of a blood clot, there will simply be a bone.

Typically, the pain will start around two days after the operation and is likely to become more severe over time and can cause discomfort in the ear.

Other telltale signs of dry socket include bad breath, as well as an unpleasant taste and smell in the mouth.

dry socket management by emergency dentist

How Is The Issue Treated?

The Pearl Dental Clinic emergency dental service, manages dry socket pain for patients in London and surrounding areas everyday. The service is available from 9am-10pm 7 days a week. Often, individuals suffering from this issue can find relief in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, including aspirin or ibuprofen, while others may find over-the-counter solutions are not enough to ease the pain. In such cases, a doctor would prescribe a stronger drug or give a nerve block.

In addition, a dental professional will clean the tooth socket and remove any debris from the hole, then fill the space with a medicated dressing or a special paste to promote healing. People undergoing this course of action are likely to have to visit their dentist every day for a dressing change until the socket starts to heal and the pain eases.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent an infection from developing in the area. Those treating the problem at home could be advised to rinse with salt water or special salt water on a daily basis.

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How to get in touch with us

Pearl Dental Clinic is open everyday, from 9am-10pm so that you do not need to take time off work to see us for an appointment. You can book an emergency dental appointment for management of dry socket by calling us on 0208 547 9997 or by emailing us or book an appointment online (available 24 hours/day)

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