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 Gregory C. Dilger D.D.S.           General Dentist            1353 Edgewater St.          West Salem          (503) 378-0466   

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Dry Socket information sheet

Dry Socket

 

 

Dry socket is an infection in your tooth socket after a tooth is extracted. The condition usually develops when a blood clot fails to form in the socket, or if the blood clot comes loose. Dry socket occurs in approximately 5 percent of all tooth extractions.

 

Normally, the blood clot that forms after a tooth is removed promotes healing, laying the foundation for the growth of new bone tissue. When dry socket occurs, this blood clot is lost and the infected, inflamed socket appears empty- hence the name. Nerves are exposed, and sometimes the bone is visible in the empty socket.

 

You may not have symptoms until 3 to 5 days after the extraction.   Then, the condition will manifest itself as severe pain that doesn’t subside, often accompanied by what feels like an earache. You may also have an unpleasant taste in your mouth, and bad breath.

 

Causes and Prevention

 

Several things can cause the premature loss of a blood clot from an extraction site, including smoking, forceful spitting, sucking through a straw, coughing or sneezing. Avoid using a mouthwash after extraction until the socket has healed. You should also avoid consuming carbonated or alcoholic beverages after an extraction, as these have also been associated with the development of dry socket.

 

You should also:

  

  • Keep your fingers and tongue away from the extraction site. 

 

  • Apply an ice pack to your jaw for the first 24 hours following surgery (on for 15-20 minutes, and off for 30-40 minutes) to prevent pain and swelling and stop excessive bleeding. 

 

  • Do not rinse your mouth the day of surgery. The next day, you can gently rinse with warm salt water. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Be sure to rinse and spit gently. 

 

Call our office right away if you notice any symptoms of dry socket. Treatment for dry socket typically includes a gentle rinsing of the socket. We then pack it with a topical anesthetic surgical paste and a sterile gauze dressing. You may need to return to our office several times over a two-week period so we can change the dressing and monitor the healing.

 

 

 

 

by Bernadette, CDA - December 17, 2009

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Dear Dr. Dilger:

 

It all started with my initial phone call to Dr. Dilger's office. I felt so comfortable from the start and after I came in for my first visit it's been all about what I want and what Dr. Dilger and his staff recommends for me. All around, it's been the best dental experience I've ever had.

 

Al P.

 

 

 

Going to the dentist used to be a nightmare experience for me. That's all changed when I came to Dr. Dilger. Dr. Dilger's office staff are so warm and welcoming. Visiting them is like going home. Dr. Dilger's calm and caring manner erased all my dental anxiety and for the first time in my life I found myself relaxed in a dental chair. Dr. Dilger and his staff really took the time to get to know me and my concerns. They talked with me about my fears and helped me address my anxiety. Now I visit the dentist and I'm not afraid. I can not express the difference Dr. Dilger has made in my dental life! Thanks so much Dr. D.

 

Molly F.

 

 

 

I love my new smile.  It was so easy too.  Nearly pain free.  I am considering my lower teeth at a later date.

 

Debbie E.