What You Should Know About Wisdom Teeth and Dry Sockets
Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, is a condition that can occur after a wisdom tooth is pulled. While it is uncommon—only about 2-5% of people develop it—it is extremely uncomfortable for those who get it. If your teenager has recently had his or her wisdom teeth removed, learning more about dry socket could help your child avoid it.
Wisdom Teeth and Dry Socket
Wisdom teeth are teeth in the back of the mouth that typically grow during the late teens or early twenties. Sometimes, these teeth can grow in crooked and put your teenager at risk for complications. In this case, the wisdom teeth will need to be removed.
Once a wisdom tooth is removed, it leaves a hole in the gums where the tooth once was. Usually, a blood clot forms in this hole to protect it from food, liquids, and bacteria.
Occasionally, the blood clot will dissolve after a few days, leaving the hole exposed. This hole or "dry socket" can become infected and extremely painful.
How Do I Know If My Teen Has Dry Socket?
Once your teen's tooth is pulled, you usually will be able to see a dark blood clot in the hole where the tooth used to be. If your teen has dry socket, this hole will be empty and dry-looking. This empty socket, along with pain, usually means your teen has dry socket.
Dry socket is typically treated with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen. If the pain is severe, a dentist will likely prescribe a stronger pain medication.
Your teen's dentist will also clean the socket and pack it with a medicated dressing. If the socket becomes infected, your teen will likely be prescribed antibiotics.
Bring Your Teen to a Local Kool Smiles
If you think your teen could have dry socket after wisdom teeth removal, you can take them to your local Kool Smiles office for treatment. Our dentists will confirm if dry socket is the cause of their pain, and provide the necessary medications. Call us to make an appointment today.