Most of us have to get a tooth taken out at one time or another. In fact, for a lot of people, getting your wisdom teeth taken out in the late teens or early adulthood is almost like a rite of passage. It’s an inconvenience, it’s painful, and it can put you out of action for more than a week, but it’s something we all have to go through so it’s not usually the end of the world.
Still, though, just because it’s something almost everyone goes through doesn’t mean that it’s not still a scary experience— especially when you consider all the myths and horror stories you hear from friends and from down the grapevine. But that’s the purpose of this blog, to sort out the truth from the fictions.
First there is the dreaded dry socket. I remember being scared stiff before getting my wisdom teeth out when I heard about this painful phenomenon. It seemed like adding insult to injury, after going through involved tooth extraction surgery, to have to worry about painful and mysterious after effects. In truth dry sockets only occur after two to five percent of all patients after a tooth extraction. So that should put most of us at ease.
When a tooth is removed, the socket is the hole left in the bone where the tooth used to be. A blood clot forms in the socket to protect it from infections and interference. When that clot becomes dislodged, the socket is exposed to food, air, and fluids. This can cause intense pain lasting for five or six days. The name “dry socket” comes from the appearance of the socket in the absence of the blood clot.
So yes, dry sockets are painful and scary, but they seldom occur. If you follow the instructions of your dentist and oral surgeon after surgery you should be just fine. If you want to be extra sure not to get a dry socket, then after the surgery you especially want to avoid smoking, but also avoid drinking through a straw and taking medications with a blood thinning effect.
We at Rogers Dentistry are happy to serve Spanish Fork and the surrounding area. We hope that this article has been interesting and informative. If you have any further questions about wisdom tooth removal in particular, or dental care in general, don’t hesitate to give our Spanish Fork dentist a call.