What is Dry Socket?
What causes dry socket? If your teen or pre-teen’s wisdom teeth are removed, they may suffer from dry socket afterward (tooth extraction dry socket). Dry socket symptoms often occur after oral surgery, such as wisdom teeth removal. Dry sockets feel like painful nerve exposure and can lead to mouth odor. Removing wisdom teeth often requires cutting below the gum line, and the large hole deep in the bone can lead to dry socket.
Dry Socket with Wisdom Teeth: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention
When wisdom teeth are pulled, the hole in the gum that is left behind is referred to as a socket.
The body naturally forms a blood clot on the bottom of the socket to protect the nerves and underlying bone. But if the blood clot fails to form or becomes loose, it can lead to dry socket.
Though only 2% of tooth removals result in dry socket, those chances jump to 20% following wisdom tooth extraction.
Dry Socket Signs and Symptoms
If you think your child may have wisdom tooth dry socket — especially if he or she just had wisdom teeth removed — you should contact your child’s dentist right away. Common wisdom tooth dry socket symptoms include:
- Pain – Pain is common with dry socket. If the bone and nerves are exposed, there is little protection. The pain from dry socket normally begins two days after the tooth is removed. The pain starts in the gums or jaw and often moves to the ear.
- Mouth odor – Dry socket causes unpleasant smelling breath, and can cause a foul taste in the mouth.
How does dry socket look?
According to WebMD, you can tell if your child has dry socket if you see "whitish bone" where the tooth was removed. GudHealth provides several pictures of dry socket to give you a better idea of what it looks like.
Prevention and risk factors
Eating hard, chewy, hot or spicy foods after a wisdom tooth extraction might cause dry socket because the foods can get stuck in the socket or irritate the wound. Some other factors that can cause dry socket include:
- Spitting or sucking through a straw too hard
- Unhealthy teeth
- Hormonal changes due to menstrual cycle or certain medications
- Learn more about causes of dry socket
When your child has wisdom teeth removed at Kool Smiles, we take extra care to be sure the socket is carefully cleaned. We encourage all our patients not to smoke, particularly after a wisdom tooth removal.
If your child starts to develop symptoms of dry socket after having their wisdom teeth extracted, call us right away for treatment at (855) 854-3621. We can check to make sure there is no infection present and, if necessary, repack the socket to help relieve the pain.