Dry Socket

When getting postoperative instructions, it is very important that you keep them, and follow them by the letter. Do not assume that one of the instructions is optional. If you do not understand or may feel that you will have trouble with keeping one or more of the instructions given to you, you should talk to your dentist and make sure that either you understand how and why to keep the instruction, or that an alternative is given. If you do not keep the postoperative instructions, a number of bad things can happen to you, and one of the worst ones is the one I wish to talk about today, which is the terribly painful condition known as dry socket. 

The Bloodclot

When having a tooth removed, or getting a dental implant, you will be left with a hole in your gums and possibly even your jawbone. Your body, especially the internal parts of it, does not like being exposed to the outside world, after all, germs, bad wind and chemicals, as well as unfavorable conditions abound in the outside world, and as such, the body’s immune system will take steps to make sure that this is not the case for long. This is why blood coagulates after all, to close up gaps and to act as a buffer zone between the internal body and the external world. When blood coagulates, it forms a hard little knob, known as a bloodclot. This will form very quickly in the mouth, on the gums. This bloodclot is there to cover the hole that is in your jaw and alveolus, and make sure that infections do not attack the vulnerable open wound in your mouth. The bloodclot will completely cover the wound, and you should not mess with, should not touch it, and should not remove it until it gets absorbed by itself, on it’s own. If you do, you risk developing dry socket which is one of the worst things that can happen to you. Dry socket can also be caused by smoking or drinking alcohol while the bloodclot is still there.

Dry Socket                               

If the bloodclot is prematurely removed, than the hole has no way of protecting itself, and will dry out. This will cause the tissue and the nerves to be inflamed, to be exposed to the elements, as well as germs. This is invariably painful, and can even cause damage to your jawbone. 

What To Do

If you have dry socket, the best way to alleviate the throbbing terrible pain is to quickly wet the area and then cover it with something, to replace the buffer zone that your blood clot provided with something artificial. Mind you this way you still will not heal, but at least the immediate sharp pains will be gone. This will only buy you time until you can go and see your dentist and ask what can be done, but usually, antibiotics and painkillers are what they can give you and not much else, this is why prevention is so important, and this is why you should not mess with your bloodclot until it is completely gone.