Dry Socket is a very painful condition which is a result of dislodgement of the blood clot 2-3 days after extraction. This leads to exposure of the bone which is the cause of the pain. Dry socket leads to radiating pain which can be felt at the site, extraorally as well with pain in the ears and the side of the head.
In Normal healing process the Blood clot is present in the socket which gives the bone a chance to fill in the empty socket space overtime. With the loss of clot the socket and bone are exposed delaying healing which leads to the excruciating pain felt by the patients. You can check here the complete details about – “Dry Socket or Alveolar Osteitis“
Dry Socket Symptoms:
- Severe Radiating Pain to the Ear or other parts of face.
- Socket is devoid of clot or contains brown, friable clot which is easily washed out.
- Foul smell: Due to Food debris accumulated in the socket which starts disintegrating.
- On washing away of the food debris the bare pocket floor can be seen which is extremely sensitive to touch.
- Regional Lymphnodes: Tender and enlarged.
- Occasionally Pyrexia is seen.
dry socket formation
With the main reason for Dry Socket being loss of Blood clot it is important that the main emphasis on treating Dry socket be restoring the Blood clot in the extraction site which will help in starting the healing process. If you are a Dental Student looking for how a dry socket looks or a patient suffering from dry socket, the set of images listed below is how a dry looks looks clinically.
Dry Socket With Necrotic Bone
In the Images shown above and below, it is clearly visible that there is loss of Blood clot from the extraction site as the necrotic bone is clearly visible which is a typical appearance of Dry Socket. Clinically we can also see that there is foul smell being emitted from the site another typical sign of Dry Socket.
Dry socket with unhealed Socket
The image shown below shows the presence of slough or necrotic substance in the extraction site which is a sign that the extraction site is not healing and it is infected. This infection leads to loss of normal healing tissue and in turn loss of blood clot and exposure of bone. So treatment in such cases required copious irrigation of the extraction site and the use of a ZOE pack after the site is cleaned and bleeding is instigated to help in future blood clot formation.
Necrotic tissue or Slough formation in extraction site of Dry Socket
Dry Socket with Slough formation
Dry Socket in the upper left 2nd molar
It is very important for a Dentist to keep regular followups with the patients after extraction to make sure that any initial signs of Dry socket formation are detected and treated. The patient needs to follow all the post extraction instructions given by the Dentist to the point and make sure that no instruction is taken for granted which might lead to a Dry Socket formation.