You Know You Are Likely To Develop A Dry Socket If…

Posted on: 16 July 2015

A dry socket is one of the possible complications after a tooth extraction. It occurs when blood does not clot in the socket of the extracted tooth, exposing the jawbone and delaying healing. Some people are more prone to dry sockets than others. Specifically, your risk of developing a dry socket increases if you

Are a Smoker

There are two main reasons why smoking increases the risk of a dry socket formation. For one, the sucking action on cigarettes can dislodge the blood clot before it forms properly. Secondly, nicotine reduces blood flow to the affected area, and reduced blood flow leads to poor clotting. This is why smokers are advised to forgo cigarettes a few days before and after an extraction.

Experience Great Trauma During Extraction

Traumatic extractions increase the risk of dry socket because the surrounding tissues experience serious damage. The more gum and bone tissues that are damaged, the more difficult it will be for the clot to cover all the exposed areas. Impacted teeth, or those located at the back of the mouth, tend to be more difficult to extract than others. Therefore, you should be on the lookout for dry socket if your extraction was of this type.

Are Using Oral Contraceptives

It is the estrogen in oral contraceptives that increase your risk of developing a dry socket. This is because estrogen slows down the rate of clotting. Complicating matters is the fact that estrogen will also lower your pain threshold, meaning you will be feeling more pain than you would experience if you were not taking the contraceptives. To reduce this risk, schedule your extraction between the 23rd and 28th day of the cycle when your estrogen levels are lowest.

Have a Level Amount of Oral Bacteria

Lastly, you should also expect a dry socket formation if your level of oral bacteria is high. This is likely to be the case if you have poor oral hygiene or are dealing with an oral infection such as periodontal disease. The bacteria act/digest the blood clot and prevent it from forming properly. The solution is to maintain a high level of oral hygiene; using an antibacterial mouthwash may also help.

The best way to prevent dry socket is to follow your dentist's post-operative care instructions. If you already have a dry socket, then your dentist will help you to manage the symptoms and control the associated pain as you wait for the site to heal. This may involve, for example, placing a medicated dressing on the extraction site. To learn more, speak with someone like Picone Dental - Vincent J Picone DDS.