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.
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 clinically.
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.
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.
Who are more likely to get Dry Socket?
Here are some of the habits of things when done is likely to result in Dry Socket. So it is important to note that the things mentioned below are to beavoided at any cost to help in proper healing and prevent Dry Socket formation after extraction.
Smoking – It is a strick “NO” after Tooth extraction, it is seen that major percent of Dry socket patients are known to be smoking after extraction. It is best to avoid smoking for a couple of days after extraction.
Poor Oral Hygiene: This is also one of the major causes of Dry socket, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene after tooth extraction.
History of Dry Socket: Patients who have earlier faced Dry socket are more likely to get dry socket.
Oral Contraceptive Pills: Patients on Contraceptive pills are seen to get Dry Socket.
Increased Bone cutting and Trauma during Wisdom tooth removal:
Aggressive rinsing immediately after extraction, drinking with a straw: These are two things which result in dislodgement of the Blood clot in the Socket and exposure of the bone which is one of the causes of Dry Socket.
It is important to note that the above mentioned points are to be avoided at any cost the make sure that you do not get Dry Socket.
Dry Socket with Slough formation – The slough seen is the cause of the Foul smell and Foul taste which you experience in Dry Socket.
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.