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What is a dry socket? Dry sockets form when a blood clot failed to form in the socket extracted tooth, or else the blood clot that did form became dislodged. Since the formation of a blood clot is a crucially important part of the healing process, which is why your dentist puts a cotton bud in your mouth and tells you to bite on gently. The longer you bite on it the better chance there will be that a blood clot forms.
What are the symptoms of a dry socket? A dry socket's symptoms typically include a dull, often throbbing, pain that appears three or four days after the tooth has been extracted. The pain can be moderate to severe. There is often a foul odour or bad taste emanating from the socket.
How likely is it that a person will experience a dry socket? Anyone could have a dry socket after an extraction, and they are unpredictable. For some reason there is a greater chance of a dry socket forming with the extraction of lower wisdom teeth , as opposed to upper ones. The incidence of dry sockets is slightly greater with the surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth , as opposed to non-surgical extractions. Suturing the gum after an extraction can lessen the chance of a dry socket occurring. The usual incidence is in a small percentage of patients.
What is the treatment for dry sockets? A dry socket needs to be treated by your dentist. Usually the dentist will place a medicated dressing in the socket that can soothe and moderate the pain. This dressing is usually removed and replaced every 24 hours until the person's symptoms subside.