If the blood that usually fills the socket is lost after a tooth extraction, a dry socket may occur. This condition exposes the underlying nerves and can lead to significant pain. Fortunately, it can be treated by a dentist who can thoroughly clean the wound and apply a dressing into the socket. A dentist may also flush out the socket, recommend pain medication, and educate you on self care instructions.
In addition to severe pain, a dry socket can may cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms such as partial or total blood clot loss, a visible bone the socket, bad breath, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
If you are a smoker who is undergoing a tooth extraction, you should know that you are at high risk for a dry socket. When you suck on a cigarette, you may dislodge the clot that is forming in order to heal the socket. The chemicals in cigarette may also prevent the body from properly healing. Therefore, it’s best to avoid smoking for at least three to five days after your extraction so that the area surrounding the tooth extraction can heal.
Although quitting before a tooth extraction is difficult, it is possible with the right mindset and resources. If you are concerned about being able to quit, ask your dentist or doctor to suggest a program that can help you ditch this bad habit for good.
Contact Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
If you have questions related to smoking and dry sockets, we encourage you to contact our office today. Call us at 703-439-1214.