Table of Contents
- What is dry socket?
- What causes dry socket?
- What are risk factors for getting dry socket?
- What are dry socket symptoms and signs?
- How is dry socket diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for dry socket?
- Are there home remedies for dry socket?
- What is the average healing time for dry socket?
- What is the prognosis for dry socket?
- Is it possible to prevent dry socket?
What are risk factors for getting dry socket?
Prior to a tooth extraction, risk factors for developing a dry socket include smoking, presence of impacted wisdom tooth, being female, and being above the age of 30.
Smoking is a risk factor for developing a dry socket due to the nicotine found in cigarettes. Exposure to nicotine reduces the blood supply available to the healing socket and can prevent the proper formation of a blood clot at the extraction site.
Extraction of impacted third molars (wisdom teeth) can be traumatic as some surrounding gum tissue and jawbone may need to be removed or may be adversely affected during surgery. Although the extraction is necessary, the resulting trauma can increase the chances of dry socket.
Previous infections such as periodontal disease or pericoronitis at the site of the extraction can predispose an individual to dry socket.
Women have been found to develop a dry socket more so than men. This may be related to hormonal factors such as use of oral contraceptives or normal hormonal changes during a woman's cycle.
Patients older than 30 years of age with impacted third molars have an increased risk of dry socket. With age, the jawbone becomes more dense and has less blood supply available. A dense jawbone increases the risk of a traumatic extraction and less blood supply decreases the chances of blood clot formation and timely healing.
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.
Hita-Iglesias, P., et al. "Effectiveness of chlorhexidine gel versus chlorhexidine rinse in reducing alveolar osteitis in mandibular third molar surgery." Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 66.3 (2008): 441-445.
Peterson, L., et al. Contemporary Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 2nd ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1993.