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What Is a Dry Socket?

Posted on 4/15/2024 by Weo Admin
Older couple smiling after making appointment at Cooley Smiles in Lynnwood, WAVery few adults are walking around with all of their teeth these days. Most adults have had at least one tooth removed, either due to trauma or to make room for adult teeth. While removing adult teeth is a routine procedure, there is a chance of complications. One of the complications adults can have after a tooth removal is a dry socket. Here is more information about causes and treatments for dry sockets.

Adult Tooth Removal

Overcrowding is the most common reason adults have teeth removed, especially for those who need wisdom teeth removed. Over half of all adults have their wisdom teeth removed, either due to overcrowding or because their wisdom teeth are impacted, which means they are still lodged in the jawbone. Impacted wisdom teeth are at risk of infection. Also, adults with impacted wisdom teeth may suffer from headaches, earaches, and jaw pain.

Another reason adults have to have teeth removed is tooth decay, which occurs when the cavity reaches the tooth pulp. If the tooth cannot be saved, our dentist will have to remove that tooth.

How a Dry Socket Happens

Once a dentist removes an adult tooth, the site where the tooth was located is packed in gauze to ensure the bleeding stops and a clot or scab forms. A scab forms as a natural healing process. However, if the scab or clot gets dislodged before the wound has healed, it can become painful due to exposed nerves or bone. The area can also become infected and cause even more pain.

Treatment for Dry Socket

Dentists can try to treat a dry socket by flushing the area, applying antibiotics, and taking pain relief medication, as well as steroid medication to reduce inflammation. You can help by applying ice bags to the area for pain and swelling. Also, be sure to eat a soft diet without overly hot or overly cold foods.

If you think you have a dry socket, you need to contact our dentist as soon as possible to get treatment. Give our office a call today to set up an appointment.

Get in Touch!

(425) 569-4545


19505 76th Ave. West Suite # 100
Lynnwood, WA 98036-5045

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