Understanding Treatment For Dry Socket – Best Practices For Recovery


January 24, 2023

Understanding Treatment For Dry Socket – Best Practices For Recovery

If you don’t follow Dr. Ray English’s recovery instructions after a tooth extraction at RI Oral Surgery & Implant Center, you may develop Dry Socket, a painful condition that occurs when your blood clot is dislodged from your extraction site. Wondering how dry socket is treated, and how can it be prevented? Get all the details in this blog, and make sure you avoid Dry Socket after your tooth extraction in Rhode Island.

What Causes Dry Socket?

After a tooth extraction, a blood clot forms in the socket where your tooth used to be. This blood clot provides the support structure that healthy bone and the gum tissue will heal around. 

However, if this blood clot is damaged or dislodged from the extraction site, Dry Socket occurs. This condition can cause lots of pain and discomfort, slows down the healing process, and increases the risk of infection after your extraction.

Most commonly, blood clots become dislodged when you spit, smoke, use a straw, or rinse your mouth vigorously after an extraction. Eating crunchy or hard foods can also damage and dislodge your blood clot.

That’s why you’re supposed to avoid spitting, using a straw, smoking, and eating hard and crunchy foods after your extraction. Doing so helps protect your blood clot until the area starts to heal, and prevents Dry Socket.

The Signs & Symptoms Of Dry Socket

Think that you may have Dry Socket after your tooth extraction? Here are a few common signs and symptoms:

  • Severe pain within a few days after your tooth extraction

  • An empty-looking (dry) tooth socket, potentially with visible bone in the extraction site

  • Bad breath and smells or a foul taste in your mouth

  • Radiating pain from the extraction site to other parts of your face

Treatment Recommendations For Dry Socket

So, what are your options for Dry Socket treatment? Here’s what you can expect as part of your treatment plan for this complication.

  • Call your oral surgeon for help – First, you’ll need to call your oral surgeon. They will discuss treatment options with you. Over-the-counter clove oil and orajel are helpful in alleviating the pain. Apply the solution directly to the extraction site to aid in relief of your symptoms. In severe cases, you may need to be seen in the office for placement of a special medicated dressing in the treatment area. This may need to be replaced several times as you heal.
  • Avoid smoking and eating hard foods – You’ll need to continue avoiding smoking, and you should eat soft and liquid foods to help reduce debris buildup in the extraction site.

  • Flush and clean the socket – You will typically get a prescription or salt water rinse, as well as a special syringe that you’ll use to irrigate and clean the socket. You’ll need to remove debris as it builds up in the area and continue doing so until the area heals and no more debris collects in the socket.

  • Manage pain and discomfort – Depending on the severity of your pain, you may get a prescription pain medication. Fill this prescription and take it as directed, or use over-the-counter pain medicine to help with discomfort if you do not get a prescription.

Always Follow Your Recovery Instructions To Prevent Post-Surgical Complications 

Dry Socket is 100% avoidable with proper precautions. So whenever you get surgery at RI Oral Surgery & Implant Center, make sure you follow the recovery instructions provided to you by Dr. English and our surgical team.

And if you’re experiencing complications after your dental surgery, our team is here to help. Give us a call at (401) 732-1188 or contact us online to schedule a follow up visit, and get the expert dental care you need in Rhode Island.

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Book a Consultation

Are you interested in dental implants or in finding out if you’re a good candidate for oral surgery? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ray English III today! He’ll take the time to get to know you, and provide treatment plan options that are tailored to your unique needs, so you can get the care that’s right for you.

RI Oral Surgery & Implant Center

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Tuesday: 8am - 4pm
Wednesday: 8am-4pm
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Friday: 8am - 12pm
Saturday: Closed
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