The Smile Shop
Adam Spriggs DDS & Kate Dolin DDS

Dry Socket - An Uncomfortable Complication That’s Easy to Avoid

root canals in Durham | The Smile Shop

Hearing that you need a tooth extracted can be overwhelming. Even if you know your dentist has exhausted all other ways to save the tooth and extraction is needed to protect your oral health, it can still be an intense experience.

So, what you don’t want is to make things any more complicated by not following after-care instructions and developing a painful problem like dry socket. Since a simple tooth extraction in Durham, NC is straightforward and predictable, most complications are the result of improper at-home care after the procedure.

What is Dry Socket?

As soon as a tooth is extracted, a blood clot starts to form over the site to protect it during healing. You develop dry socket when the clot comes loose and leaves the site unprotected, or if it doesn’t form at all. 

Some discomfort after extraction is to be expected, but the first indication of a dry socket is typically severe pain in the few days following the procedure. Another symptom is terribly bad breath.

How Can I Avoid Dry Socket? 

If you experience pain in the days after the extraction, notify your dentist and arrange to return to the office for evaluation. Your dentist treats dry socket by flushing the site and packing it with a medicated dressing. 

Dentists aren’t sure exactly what causes dry socket, but certain risk factors increase the chance of developing it:

  • Not following after-care instructions
  • Drinking through a straw during healing
  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Inadequate oral hygiene
  • Gum infections around the extraction site

Call The Smile Shop for More Information

If you anticipate needing a tooth extraction in Durham, NC, please call our dental office to arrange a consultation. Dr. Spriggs and our team are experts at providing comfortable extractions and explaining post-procedure care to help you avoid complications like dry socket.

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