What Is a Dry Socket, and Why Does It Occur?
Dry socket, technically called alveolar osteitis, occurs when your extraction site doesn’t heal properly after you’ve had a tooth removed. Dry socket can happen during any type of tooth extraction, including wisdom teeth removal, and is more common in complex or problematic extraction procedures.
After a tooth is removed, there’s essentially a hole left in your jawbone where the tooth was. During a normal healing process, a blood clot will develop over the hole, forming the foundation of what will eventually be bone and soft tissue. However, if the blood clot doesn’t properly form, is dislodged, or dissolves during the early stages of healing, dry socket occurs. The hole, bone, and nerve tissue are exposed to air, food debris, and bacteria. Typically, people are most at risk for dry socket within a few days after their tooth extraction .
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