What happens if … a few days after your tooth extraction, you begin to feel excruciating and throbbing pain. Slowly, it begins to extend to your jaw, eyes and ears. Bad news, you may have a dry socket.
After tooth extraction, a blood clot forms on the tooth socket to seal the space that once held the tooth, sealing the area so it can heal. A dry socket occurs when a clot doesn’t form or dislodges, exposing the bone and nerves. The risk of having a dry socket is highest during the first five days after the extraction.
Fortunately, there are home remedies that can relieve your pain momentarily before visiting your dentist for treatment.
The Canadian Academy of Dental Hygiene suggests that patients rinse their mouths with salt water 48 hours after an extraction. This action can prevent a dry socket in the first place. A study in Evidence-Based Dentistry found that those who didn’t use a salt water rinse after a tooth extraction were more likely to develop a dry socket than those who did. Just be sure to wait 24 to 48 hours before rinsing so you don’t dislodge the blood clot before it’s fully established.
A way to relieve the discomfort is to apply a cold pack on the affected side of the jaw instead of inside the mouth. You can make a cold pack by wrapping ice cubes in a towel or using a bag of frozen vegetables. The Canadian Dental Association recommends placing a cold compress on the face throughout the day, especially 24 hours after the extraction. Leave it for 10 minutes and then take a break for another 10 minutes. Repeat this process as necessary.
Clove oil has antiseptic properties that fight bacteria in the mouth. You can find clove oil in most supermarkets and drugstores. To use clove oil to ease the pain of a dry socket, apply a drop on a clean gauze and place it on the affected area. Keep the gauze for no more than 20 minutes as overexposure to clove oil can lead to necrosis, which is cell death resulting from a lack of blood supply.
This 2014 study showed that honey dressing significantly reduces inflammation, edema, pain and discomfort in people with a dry socket. It also found evidence of preventing further infection. To use honey to help a dry socket, soak a sterile gauze with pasteurized honey and gently dab it on the extraction site.
You can help avoid worsening or slowing the healing process by refraining from smoking, and not drinking through a straw (the suction created by a straw can dislodge the dressing placed in the socket by your dentist).
Our dentists at Dental Image Therapy Centres can help promote healing, lessen pain and reduce the risk of infection. Did you just get your tooth extracted? Are you suffering from intense pain after the procedure? Book your appointment today. Seek care now at our Winnipeg dental clinics located in Garden City Shopping Centre and St. Vital Centre.
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