Call Your Calgary Dentist if You Have a Dry Socket

In previous blogs we discussed the challenges of dealing with dry mouth – a condition that exists due to a lack of saliva flow that is sometimes caused by taking certain medications, diuretics, and some medical conditions.  There are effective products on the market to deal with dry mouth – as if left unaddressed can contribute to an increase in tooth decay and gum disease.

Now that we’ve revisited dry mouth – it’s time to move on to another frustrating dental condition – dry socket.  There’s no other way to say it – a dry socket is a very painful condition that can occur following a tooth extraction.  When a tooth is extracted a blood clot forms.  The blood clot is essential to the healing of the socket and helps protect any exposed nerve endings and bone.  The formation of a blood clot also serves as a source of nutrients for the developing tissue that forms over the socket.  In order for the socket to heal quickly, and without issues, it’s vital that the blood clot form properly, and does not get dislodged. When the blood clot is dislodged the end result is almost always a dry socket.

Though the exact cause of dry socket development has not been established; what Dentists in Calgary do know is that there are certain activities and habits that will increase the risk for one.  Risk factors include:

Smoking – no dentist in Calgary is going to encourage you to smoke – there are a host of adverse oral health effects that result from the consumption of tobacco products and one of the negative results is the development of a dry socket.  It’s believed that chemicals in tobacco hamper tissue healing and that the act of smoking – sucking on a cigarette – can prematurely dislodge the developing clot.  If you are a smoker but have no desire to quit anytime soon – just remember to stay off the cigarettes for several days leading up to, and following, a tooth extraction.

Poor Homecarelack of effective brushing and flossing is always going to be the number one cause of dental health issues.  Just because you’ve had a dental procedure doesn’t mean that you get to stop taking care of your mouth.  Though you may be advised to not brush vigorously around the extraction site – rinsing with a warm salt water rinse after 24 hours of the procedure will keep the site clean.  Don’t rinse the day of the extraction and this may cause the blood clot to dislodge.

Existing Tooth or Gum infection – the reason some teeth need to be extracted is due to the presence of an infection.  The infection hinders the body’s ability to heal speedily, and the result is often a dry socket due to poor formation of the vital blood clot. If you suspect that you have an infection in your mouth, contact your dentist immediately.  Any low grade infection causes inflammation throughout the body – left undiagnosed chronic inflammation can lead to more serious concerns.

Your Dentist in Calgary may prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain killer, pack the extraction site with medication, and explain the need for flushing of the site at home.  Prevention is always key – especially when it comes to a dry socket.  As mentioned above – dry sockets are not fun – do your part by staying away from activities that will increase your chances of developing one.  That also means no major physical exertion the day of extraction and no drinking from a straw – both can dislodge the blood clot.

If you need a tooth extracted in Calgary – or think you may be experiencing a dry socket – contact Bite Dental today.  This South Calgary dental office is experienced in dealing with all aspects of General Dental Care – call today 403.201.0483

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