What is Dry Socket?

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What is Dry Socket?

Many people have heard of dry socket. If you have ever experienced it, it is something you will never forget. Today I will explain what dry socket is and how to prevent it.

Dry socket is a complication that occurs after a tooth comes out. It is caused by disrupting the scab formed in the old tooth site.  It can be caused by spitting, smoking, using a straw, food impaction or trauma to the area – basically any force or object that causes the scab to become loose.

When you cut your skin a scab forms. If the scab is loosened or comes off, your skin will bleed again. The bleeding will cause a new scab to form. This is much different than scabs in your mouth. When a tooth comes out, a scab is formed in the holes where the root was (extraction sockets). If the scab is loosened or comes off, the bone does NOT bleed again. Instead, the bone remains exposed to the world and is VERY painful.

Dry socket is not an infection. Instead, it is exposed bone. The only way to treat the problem is with palliative care and letting the body heal. This is done with clove oil type medication and time.

The best way to treat dry socket is to prevent it from happening. This is done in a few ways. First, avoid trauma to the area with your tongue, hot/cold liquid or food. Secondly, preventing negative pressure in your mouth. Do not spit, smoke or use a straw. Lastly, let the area heal. Less is more when it comes to teeth coming out.