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Dry Socket – Symptoms, Treatments, Causes

Table of Contents

Dry Socket – What Is It?

A dry socket occurs when a tooth is extracted, but a blood clot does not form or likewise, gets dislodged, this can create a dry socket. A dry socket by definition can only occur if you’ve recently had a tooth extracted. According to a 2016 study, 40 people out of approximately 2,218 people experience a dry socket, this puts its incidence rate at roughly 1.8%.

Considering the niche circumstance, and the low rate of occurrence, relatively few people will experience it.

Does Dry Socket Have Any Signs Or Symptoms?

If you can observe the extraction site of the tooth, you may see bone showing where the tooth was, this is a very strong indication that you may be experiencing a dry socket. Another symptom of a dry socket is a throbbing unexplained pain radiating from the site of extraction to your ear, eye, temple, or neck. You will commonly feel this pain on the same side of the extraction.
The radiating pain will most likely be felt within 3 days of the tooth extraction. 
You may experience either bad breath and or a bad taste in your mouth as well.
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Why Does Dry Socket Happen?

Dry socket can occur shortly after the tooth has been extracted. Its main reason is a blood clot that has not properly formed or has been knocked loose. Researchers are not sure as to why the blood clot is prevented from forming, bacterial contamination from food, liquid, can affect how stable the blood clot is.

If you experience significant trauma while shortly after extraction, this can also cause the blood clot to dislodge, resulting in a dry socket.

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Who Is Most Likely To Experience Dry Socket?

If you have experienced dry socket before, you’re more likely to experience it again. This is definitely something you should notify your dentist about. This isn’t something that can be predicted, or prevented, but it’s better for your dentist to be prepared that it is more likely to occur. 

You’re more likely at risk of experiencing dry socket if you:

  • Smoking or using tobacco products – There is nothing beneficial about smoking, the chemicals in these products can slow the healing process and they may dislodge the blood clot.
  • Using oral contraceptives – If your product has a high level of estrogen, it may slow the healing process down more than normal.
  • Improper aftercare – Your dentist will give you instructions on how to properly care for your extraction site. If you don’t follow these instructions carefully you can prevent it from healing properly

Complications Of Dry Socket

If you are experiencing a dry socket, your dentist should be notified immediately, here are some complications that can occur:

  • Delayed healing
  • Infection in the socket
  • Infection that spreads to the bone
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