Table of Contents
- What is a dry socket?
- What causes a dry socket?
- What are risk factors for getting dry socket?
- What are dry socket symptoms and signs?
- How is a dry socket diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for a dry socket?
- Are there home remedies for dry socket?
- What is the average healing time for a dry socket?
- What is the prognosis for a dry socket?
- Is it possible to prevent a dry socket?
What causes a dry socket?
A dry socket is caused by the partial or total loss of a blood clot in the tooth socket after a tooth extraction. Normally, after a tooth is extracted, a blood clot will form as the first step in healing to cover and protect the underlying jawbone. If the blood clot is lost or does not form, the bone is exposed and healing is delayed.
In general, a dry socket is a result of bacterial, chemical, mechanical, and physiologic factors. Below are examples for each:
- Bacterial: Preexisting infection that is present in the mouth prior to a dental extraction such as periodontal disease (or periodontitis) can prevent proper formation of a blood clot. Certain oral bacteria can cause the breakdown of the clot.
- Chemical: Nicotine used by smokers causes a decrease in the blood supply in the mouth. As a result, the blood clot may fail to form at the site of a recent tooth extraction.
- Mechanical: Sucking through a straw, aggressive rinsing, spitting, or dragging on a cigarette causes dislodgement and loss of the blood clot.
- Physiologic: Hormones, dense jawbone, or poor blood supply are factors that prevent blood clot formation. Continue Reading
Congiusta, M. A. and A. Veitz-Keenan. "Study confirms certain risk factors for development of alveolar osteitis." Evidence-Based Dentistry 14.3 (2013): 86.
Daly, B., et al. "Local interventions for the management of alveolar osteitis (dry socket)." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 12.12 (2012).
Eshghpour, M., et al. "Effect of menstrual cycle on frequency of alveolar osteitis in women undergoing surgical removal of mandibular third molar: a single-blind randomized clinical trial." Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 71.9 (2013): 1484-1489.
Peterson, L., et al. Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 2nd ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1993.
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