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Dry socket - when to see a dentist?

Dry socket - when to see a dentist?

Dry socket is a painful dental condition that sometimes happens after tooth extraction, however only a very small percentage (2% to 5%) of people experience this problem.

Some people are in higher risk to get dry socket then other, because they:

  • smoke
  • have poor oral hygiene
  • have wisdom teeth removed
  • have greater-than-usual trauma during the tooth extraction surgery
  • use birth control pills
  • have a history of dry socket after extractions

Rinsing and spitting a lot or drinking through a straw after having a tooth extracted also can raise your risk of getting dry socket.

Dry socket is when the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction fails to develop, or it dislodges or dissolves before the wound has healed.

Normally, a blood clot forms at the site of a tooth extraction. This blood clot serves as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. The clot also provides the foundation for the growth of new bone and for the development of soft tissue over the clot.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Socket?

A patient may first notice signs of a dry socket 3 to 4 days after extraction of the tooth by feeling moderate-to-severe pain that could last anywhere from 10 to 40 days

If you look into the site where the tooth was pulled, you’ll probably see a dry-looking opening. Instead of a dark blood clot, there will just be whitish bone. Exposure of the underlying bone and nerves results in intense pain, not only in the socket but also along the nerves radiating to the side of your face or ear.

Other symptoms of dry socket include bad breath or a foul odour or/and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

The socket becomes inflamed and may fill with food debris, adding to the pain. If you develop dry socket, the pain usually begins one to three days after your tooth is removed.

When to see a dentist?

A certain degree of pain and discomfort is normal after a tooth extraction. However, you should be able to manage normal pain with the pain reliever prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon, and the pain should lessen with time.

If you develop new or worsening pain in the days after your tooth extraction, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

Dry socket is the most common complication after a tooth extraction, such as the removal wisdom teeth, however medications available in stores very likely will not be enough to treat dry socket problem. Your dentist or oral surgeon can offer you treatments to relieve your pain, therefore it’s better to see the dentist as soon as possible.

Your dentist will clean the tooth socket, remove any debris from the hole, and then fill the socket with a medicated dressing or a special paste to speed up healing. They may prescribe you the antibiotics to prevent the socket from becoming infected. To care for the dry socket at home the recommendation is to rinse with salt water or a special mouthwash every day.

You’ll probably have to come back to the dentist for a dressing change until the socket starts to heal and your pain is gone.

Dry Socket Facts:

  • A dry socket is a fairly common postoperative complication of tooth extraction characterised by severe pain.
  • It occurs when the tooth socket loses the blood clot that forms after a tooth is extracted and the bone inside the socket becomes exposed.
  • It is inflammation of the alveolar bone also referred to as alveolar osteitis.
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We are sorry! We are closed for the long weekend.

We are sorry! We are closed for the long weekend.

We will be closed on Saturday 24/08 and Monday 26/08. We are coming back on Tuesday 27/08 as usual at 9:00am.

In a case of any emergency, please call 111.

If you wish to book an appointment with us when we’re back, please leave us a voice mail or drop us an email. We will contact you Tuesday morning.

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Small change can make a big difference

Small change can make a big difference

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Because we do understand our patients are busy and have different needs, different schedules and different expectations, we would like to announce small change in our opening hours. We are pleased to inform that from now on, we will be able to offer an early morning appointment on Fridays. We are open from 8:00 AM. If you need more details, please email us or call our lovely reception team.

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Did you know? 15 interesting facts about teeth.

Did you know? 15 interesting facts about teeth.

Sticky
  1. The average person spends 38.5 days for brushing teeth over a lifetime.
  2. During the lifetime, the mouth will produce enough saliva to fill 2 swimming pools.
  3. If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surfaces.
  4. Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the human’s body, and it’s made of calcium and phosphate, like bones, but teeth are not bones. Enamel is stronger because of the specific proteins and crystallites that form it.
  5. Enamel protects the soft dentine beneath it, which is made of living cells and calcified tissue.
  6. If you’re right handed, you will chew your food on the right side of your mouth. If you’re left handed, you will tend to chew food on your left side.
  7. Commercial floss was first manufactured in 1882.
  8. The first toothbrush with bristles was made in China in 1498. They used bristles from hogs, horses, and badgers. Modern toothbrushes with nylon bristles was introduced in 1938, and the first electric toothbrush was made in 1954. 
  9. Each tooth has its own unique shape, size and position in the mouth. There are no two identical teeth and smiles.
  10. Your mouth is home to millions bacteria of 200 – 300 varied species.
  11. Brushing within half an hour of eating or drinking certain foods can actually damage enamel as the enamel is softer. Wait an hour before brushing.
  12. The most valuable tooth belonged to Sir Isaac Newton. In 1816 it was sold in London for £730 (£730 in 1816 is equivalent in purchasing power to about £70,500 in 2019). The tooth was set in a ring.
  13. In 1905 Irene Newman, who was the dental nurse, was trained to clean teeth as a hygienist. Officially she became Dental Hygienist in 1917 when she received the world’s first dental hygiene license in Connecticut, USA.
  14.  “Bluetooth” is named after Danish King Harald Blatand (eng. Bluetooth) because of his ability to unite warring Scandinavian factions, just as Bluetooth unites wireless devices. Why Bluetooth? The legend says the King was consuming blueberries so regularly and in such an amount that they stained his teeth blue.
  15. Not too long ago, in Victorian era, dentures were common wedding gifts in the British Isles. When a woman got married, all her teeth were pulled, and a set of dentures made up to help her and her husband save on the very expensive cost of dental work later.
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