A dry socket is a problem faced when a wound starts healing after a tooth extraction. It can occur a few days after the removal of a permanent adult tooth. However, the dry socket problem is not very common, affecting just 1 to 5% of all tooth extractions, although it must be stated that the occurrence of such is significantly higher in certain types of tooth extractions.
In order to understand a dry socket better, we must first be familiar with a dental socket. A socket is basically a hole in the bone where the tooth has been extracted. Usually when a tooth is removed, a blood clot forms in the socket to care for the bone and nerves beneath it. This also helps to stop the bleeding and prepares the groundwork for new gum tissue and bone to gradually develop over a two-month healing procedure.
However, when the recently formed blood clot in the extraction site goes missing too early, is disturbed, or does not develop correctly before the wound has healed, then the dry socket occurs. At this stage, the normal healing process is considerably longer. The bone and nerve gets exposed to air, food, liquid, and anything that comes into the mouth. This in turn leads to severe pain, and emits an unpleasant odor. The exposed bone in the socket becomes dry as a result of dissolution or loss of the blood clot. This normally takes place two or more days after an extraction and may last for five to six days.
The healing period for gum tissue usually takes about three to four weeks, while the bone takes about 8 to 12 weeks to heal.
Diabetes patients, smokers after extraction, those who grind your teeth frequently, and women who take birth control pills are more likely to suffer from dry socket. It is best to get advice from your dentist or oral surgeon who will be ready to treat the problem by reducing the hurt and promoting healing.