Dry socket can occur after having wisdom teeth removed and can be an extremely painful, unpleasant condition, albeit only temporary. It is more likely to occur where lower wisdom teeth have been removed, rather than the upper ones. Fortunately, it affects fewer than 5% of patients, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent it.
A socket is simply a hole in the bone where the tooth was extracted. It will fill with blood which then clots and protects the bone and nerves underneath until healing takes place. The blood clot is essential to healing. If the blood clot is dislodged this can lead to dry socket.
What then happens is that the bone and nerves become exposed to air and to food debris, bacteria, and saliva which can lodge in the socket where the blood clot should be. [Read more…]