Any kind of toothache leads to restless days and sleepless nights. Tooth decay is the main reason behind a toothache, which eventually results in tooth extraction. Also known as alveolar osteitis, this condition is often experienced as a result of wisdom teeth removal.
After tooth extraction, a hole (socket) is formed in the area from which the tooth was removed. At this site a blood clot forms which is required to protect the underlying bones, tissues, and nerves. This socket becomes dry if the blood clot is not formed or if the blood clot dislodges or dissolves due to fibrinolysis. The healing process of tooth extraction is dependent on the formation of this clot.
When the blood clot is dislodged, the nerves and tissues are exposed to water, food, etc., that is entering the mouth. This leads to severe pain and delay in the healing process. Pain after the extraction is normal, but if it persists after 3-5 days of extraction, the intensifies, then medical attention is needed. The pain is accompanied by bad breath or bad taste in the mouth, which can be very irritating.
Dry socket leads to throbbing pain which may get transferred from the extraction site to the ear or eye of the same side. Foul odor or taste emanating from the extraction site is also one of the main symptoms of this condition. Severe pain and swelling can be lowered with proper treatment by the dentist.
The dentist would fill the socket with medicated dressing consisting of analgesics and antiseptics, and may prescribe some pain killers. If all tooth extractions are taken into consideration, there are only 1-3% chances of occurrences of such cases. Lower molars extractions are more likely (almost 20%) to generate dry sockets, especially, the extraction of lower (mandibular) impacted wisdom teeth.
How to Lower Dry Socket Pain
The home remedies include the following measures:
- Lukewarm Salty Water: Gargle with lukewarm salt water, this helps in overall improvement of the dental health.
- Cold Tea Bag: Press a cold tea bag with the help of the affected teeth, at the area where the pain is intense. The tannic acid present in these tea bags help relieve pain.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a good antiseptic, and a pinch of it can be added to warm water and then used for rinsing.
- Gauze: Saliva and air contact intensify the pain, which can be prevented by pressing a moist piece of gauze at the aching area. Remember, the piece of gauze should be changed frequently to avoid any chances of infection.
- Peroxide Solution: Use peroxide solution to wash your mouth, this will reduce the pain immediately. Do not swallow it.
- Mustard Oil: A mixture of turmeric, mustard oil, and dry salt, if applied to aching socket, will prove as one of the best treatment which is also good for dental health.
- Ice: Application of a pack of ice to the affected area will cause numbness, and provide relief from the pain. It can help reduce the swelling also.
- Yogurt: Consumption of yogurt serves as a natural antibiotic.
- Clove Oil: Clove oil can also be used to get relief from the pain that develops due to this condition.
The time required to heal this condition cannot be predicted, as the wounds take their own time to heal. In some people it may take 1-2 weeks, while in others it may take as long as two months. Patient's overall health and the oral hygiene determine the healing process and so, the person is expected to follow the tooth extraction aftercare, as suggested by the dentist. Following the instructions of the dentist helps maintain good dental health.