Wisdom teeth extractions are a routine procedure, which our doctors perform hundreds of times a year. And because they only use advanced techniques and technologies when removing wisdom teeth, they can provide great success for their patients with minimal discomfort. However, with wisdom teeth extractions, there is always a risk of dry socket.
A dry socket occurs when the blood clot that has formed over the open socket dislodges. While you may not naturally think that a blood clot is a good thing, in this case, the blood clot that forms in an open socket is necessary to facilitate proper healing after wisdom teeth extractions. Dry socket requires prompt treatment, which our doctors at AOS provide.
Identifying Dry Socket
You will know you have a dry socket if you begin experiencing constant pain that radiates from the areas where your wisdom teeth were removed to other areas like the ear, jaw, and surrounding teeth. Additionally, you may also experience:
- Discoloration in the gum tissue around the outside of the open socket
- A bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away
- Bad breath that can’t be remedied
- Bone that is visible within the open socket
Treating Dry Socket
For most patients, dry socket does not usually occur until the 5th to 7th day after wisdom teeth extractions. When you call our doctors, they may first recommend you try to carefully flush the socket with a plastic syringe to remove debris while at home. If this doesn’t provide quick relief, you may require medical intervention from our doctors.
When you come to Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons for treatment, they may:
- Place a medicated dressing over the open socket.
- Flush of the socket to remove any food particles or other foreign debris that may be causing discomfort.
- Prescribe pain medication, which may be taken orally or given through a syringe.
Preventing Dry Socket
Ultimately, our doctors hope to help you avoid dry socket in the first place by educating you on what to do and what not to do after wisdom teeth extractions. Some important tips you should be aware of include:
- Do not suck through a straw after your procedure, as doing so could dislodge the blood clot.
- Avoid vigorous rinsing and spitting.
- Do not suck on the wound itself.
- Do not smoke or exercise for 2-3 days after your procedure.
- When rinsing, do so gently.
- Eat soft foods in the days following your procedure.
- Avoid hard, crunchy, or spicy foods until your gums have healed.
Call Our Doctors in Peoria Today
Dry socket is a painful complication that can easily be avoided with the right care. To ensure your recovery after wisdom teeth extractions is a smooth one, be sure to follow the detailed aftercare instructions provided by our doctors.
And if you have any questions regarding dry socket or your procedure, don’t hesitate to call Associated Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons in Peoria today at (309) 322-9463.