Your dentist may recommend a tooth extraction if you have a severe dental infection that cannot be treated with conservative methods. If the nerve or pulp of the tooth is damaged and if root canal treatment is not appropriate for your particular situation, then extraction may be your best option. After having your tooth pulled, a protected clot will form over the extraction area which will need to stay in place so that the healing process can take place. However, if the protective clot becomes dislodged, a painful condition known as dry socket may occur. Here are some symptoms of dry socket and some prevention strategies.

Dry Socket Symptoms And Complications

Dry socket is also known as alveolar osteitis. It is essential that your protective blood clot remains in place for at least a few days following your tooth extraction. If it falls out too early, it may lead to nerve and bone exposure. Once the nerves of your tooth and the underlying bones of your gums have been exposed, you may experience severe pain. In addition to pain, dry socket can lead to an infection, and if not identified and treated quickly, the infection can spread to the bones in your mouth and to other parts of your body. Even though dry socket is one of the most common post-extraction complications seen in family dentistry practices, it is still somewhat rare. Dry socket may be more likely to occur if you have had a wisdom tooth or a back molar extracted.

Prevention Of Dry Socket

One of the most important things you can do to prevent dry socket after getting a tooth pulled is not smoking because it can create a suction that may be strong enough to dislodge the blood clot. In addition to the suction caused by smoking, cigarette smoke can damage the tiny capillaries inside your mouth which can disrupt effective blood flow and circulation to the surgical site. Similar to smoking, drinking from a straw can create a suction that can easily dislodge the clot from your gum tissue. Maintaining good oral hygiene by gently brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth with salt water and the antimicrobial mouthwash prescribed by your dentist can also help preserve the blood clot. 

If your protective blood clot falls out after your tooth extraction, contact your family dentistry professional or oral surgeon right away. Prompt dental care will help prevent complications such as an oral infection and severe pain so that you can resume your normal activities as soon as possible.