A dry socket occurs in a very small percentage of tooth extractions, and while it is definitely painful, it is also easily treatable. After an extraction, an empty hole will be left in the patient’s gum and underlying bone; that’s where the recently removed tooth’s root used to be. Typically, a blood clot will form in the socket to protect the tissues underneath and help the area to heal. If that clot doesn’t form or gets dislodged somehow, a dry socket occurs.
Dry sockets are painful because without the blockage, your bone and nerve are exposed. That means that everything you eat and drink—even the air you breathe—is coming in contact with those tissues. It also increases the chance of infection.
You are at a higher risk of developing a dry socket following a tooth extraction if you use a straw or rinse your mouth repeatedly after an extraction. You’re also at a higher risk if you smoke or take oral contraception. If you have a history of dry socket, be sure to let your local Livonia dentist know before the extraction and we’ll help prepare you for an easy recovery.