What Are Dry Sockets?

While oral surgery probably doesn’t top anyone’s bucket list, it may be the best option to treat the source of your pain and improve your oral health. Modern dental technology has advanced to make oral surgery itself smoother and recovery less painful than ever before. The most important thing you can do to have an easy recovery is to follow the instructions of your dentist to avoid one of oral surgery’s most painful side effects: dry sockets.

woman holding straws contemplating dry sockets after oral surgery

What Are Dry Sockets?

After oral surgery, your body will quickly begin to heal by forming a blood clot over the extraction site. This blood clot helps protect the newly exposed blood and tissue underneath and helps the area heal. However, if this blood clot becomes dislodged, this exposes the bone and nerve to anything that enters your mouth and can lead to severe pain and even infection.

What Causes Dry Sockets and How Do We Treat Them?

Certain patients are more prone to developing dry sockets after surgery. This includes patients who smoke, patients who do not practice good oral hygiene habits, and patients who have a history of dry sockets in previous procedures. In other situations, patients develop a dry socket if they use a straw or are excessively rinsing and spitting, as suction can easily dislodge a newly-formed blood clot.

Dry sockets are a painful and often preventable condition. But, if they do occur, you’re in good hands with Dr. Chung and our team. We may recommend an over-the-counter NSAID like ibuprofen to ease discomfort. In more severe cases, we may prescribe something stronger to make you more comfortable as your body heals.

While recovery from oral surgery is never fun, there are many things you can do to make it easier. To ask our team any other questions about dry sockets or to schedule your next visit, contact us today!

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Reen Chung, DDS

Reen Chung, DDS