After the extraction of natural teeth, including wisdom teeth, the clotting blood in the remaining area works to protect the exposed nerves as the gum tissues heal. However, if patients experience the dislodging of the clot, they may deal with a painful and problematic condition known as “dry socket.”
How is dry socket treated?
Dry socked may be addressed with the help of a dental professional such as Dr. Eric Wiitala of Scottsdale, AZ. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDS, can ease discomfort. If over-the-counter medications are not enough to relieve the pain, patients may be prescribed stronger medications or given a nerve blocker.
Dry socket treatment requires that the dentist cleans the tooth socket to remove any debris that may have entered into the area. The socket is then filled with a piece of gauze or paste that has medication to promote healing. Patients may need to visit the dentist daily for some time to undergo dressing changes to contribute to the healing process. Additionally, most dentists will prescribe an antibiotic to ensure that the dry socket does not become infected. Patients may also rinse with salt water or a medicated mouthwash each day to keep the area clean and promote faster healing. Dry socket healing can take up to two weeks, and can delay the placement of dental restorations such as dental implants.
What can be done to prevent dry socket?
Smoking is a major contributor to the development of dry socket. Patients should avoid the use of cigarettes, cigars, or other tobacco products for one or more days after their extraction surgery. Patients who are taking estrogen, typically found in birth control pills or hormone replacement therapies, may be advised to lower their dose before their extraction as estrogen can impact the clotting of blood. Patients should also closely follow their dentist’s recommendations in their post-operative care instructions, including avoiding the use of straws for several days following their extraction.
Speak to Dr. Eric Wiitala today about your dental needs
If you are in need of dental extractions and want to work with a Scottsdale, AZ area dentist to undergo treatment, call (480) 657-6981. The practice is located at 9755 North 90th Street, Suite #B250 and accepts new patients.