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Have you just had a tooth extraction, or are you preparing to have one soon? Then you may want to be aware of the possibility of dry socket. Dry socket is rare, occurring in only 2-5% of extraction patients. It can be rather painful, but fortunately, with the proper care, a full recovery is easily attainable.

The term “socket” refers to the gap created in the jawbone where your tooth was extracted. Your body will naturally form a blood clot in the socket to guard the bone and the nerves underneath. Dry socket happens when the clot is dislodged, leaving the underlying nerve and bone exposed. This puts your mouth at risk for infection and can result in severe pain.

Here are some things you can do to decrease your chances of dry socket:

-Avoid any form of tobacco before the procedure.

-If you take birth control pills, book the surgery on a day when you’re taking your lowest dose.

-Check to see if certain medications you are taking may interfere with blood clotting.

-Avoid drinking through a straw after the extraction

-Avoid rinsing your mouth excessively or spitting a lot.

Think you may already have dry socket? Visit Dr. Michael Scholes immediately. Dr. Michael Scholes will cleanse the socket and plug it with a special paste or dressing to help it heal. You may need to return to the office every few days until it heals. You may also be prescribed antibiotics to avert infection or use a special mouth rinse.

Do you have any questions about your upcoming extraction? Please call Scholes Family Dental in Couer d'Alene, Idaho at 208-667-1578. We’re more than happy to help.