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What is a dry socket?

A dry socket is when the blood clot gets dislodged prematurely or dissolves from the tooth socket.  This leaves an open socket or hole that is exposed to food and debris. Symptoms of pain at the surgical site and even pain that radiates from the ear to the anterior jaw may occur 3-5 days after surgery. It is also not unusual for there to be a foul odor, or bad taste associated the pain. A dry socket is not an infection, but will require treatment. Dry sockets occur most often in the lower jaw and are usually associated with removal of the molar teeth. Stitches, which are usually placed after the removal of an impacted tooth, do not prevent dry sockets.

 

Women taking birth control pills and smokers are more prone to dry sockets.

 

The symptoms of a dry socket are easily treated with a medicated dressing.  Call our office if you believe you are developing a dry socket so we can treat it early and keep you comfortable.

 

Treatment consists of gentle irrigation of the socket to ensure all food particles are flushed away.  Then a medicated dressing is place in the socket.  Relief of symptoms usually occurs within the hour.  The procedure is repeated in 5 to 7 days.  Usually two to three treatment is all that is required.  We just want you to be as comfortable as possible during your healing phase.

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