Dealing With a Dry Socket
After having a tooth pulled, I developed a dry socket. During one of the follow-ups, the dentist noticed that a piece of bone had died due to no blood flow. Should I be concerned about more bone death?
By Dr. James E Jacobs
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Sometimes when a tooth is removed, a dry socket can occur. This is when the blood clot that forms after an extraction (or a blood clot combined with some bone filler) doesn't properly fill the socket where the tooth used to be. Ideally, a tooth should be removed as gently and slowly as possible so that loss of the blood clot or any bone is prevented. A bone-filling material can help keep the blood clot inside the socket, so that more bone fills back in.
Unfortunately, in your case, a dry socket occurred and that can be very painful. This is because the bony walls of the socket have nerve endings that can cause a lot of pain when not covered. Over time, pieces of bone can start to die off from the lack of blood supply, causing them to slowly come out of your socket or jaw bone. This is nothing to be alarmed about, especially if you know what it is. Usually only a few very small pieces of bone will come out, though there is no way of saying exactly how many potentially could. There is not much you can do about it except to let nature take its course and rinse the area with warm salt water.
If you have any kind of swelling or fever, consult your doctor for an antibiotic.
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