How Long Should Dry Socket Packing Stay In?

If you have had a tooth extracted, you are at risk of developing a dry socket. After your tooth extraction, your body will form a blood clot that protects the open wound and aids in the healing process. If a clot doesn’t form, dissolves too soon, or becomes dislodged, dry socket can occur. Dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis, occurs when bone, nerve endings, or tissues are exposed following an extraction. If you develop dry socket, your doctor will prescribe you dry socket packing. So, how long should dry socket packet stay in?

Dry Socket Packing

Dry socket is not common with an extraction; however, approximately 5 percent of dental patients experience dry socket following a tooth extraction. There are certain things you can do to decrease the risk of developing dry socking, including avoiding any action that changes the pressure inside your mouth, such as drinking from a straw, blowing up a balloon, or smoking.

Dry socket typically begins within a few days following your extraction. The symptoms of dry socket severe pain in the area of extraction. The pain may radiate from your jaw into your eye, ear, neck or temple. In addition to this, you may experience an unpleasant taste, experience bad breath, or notice bone showing within the extraction socket.

Pain Relief

Although you should experience some pain following a tooth extraction, the pain should be managed by the pain reliever that your dentist or oral surgeon prescribed. If the pain is not controlled or does not lessen over time, contact your dental office immediately.

If your oral surgeon or dentist determines you have developed a dry socket, he/she may prescribe dry socket packing. There are two kinds of packing for a dry socket – hemostatic packs which will dissolve in two to five days, and medicated cotton or gauze that will need to be replaced daily. Dry socket packing can be used for up to one week. Leaving the dry socket packing in place for this length of time allows the body time to heal and the wound to close.

When you use a dental socket packet, you must take care to avoid disturbing the packing. Therefore, you should avoid brushing over the area where the extraction was done when you are brushing your teeth. In this case, smaller is better. If you happen to have a kids electric toothbrush nearby, the smaller tip allows you to have more control, as not to disturb the packing.

Flushing A Dry Socket

Your dentist or oral surgeon will also explain how to flush your dry socket out after your dressing is removed. You will receive a plastic syringe that has a curved tip. You will use the syringe to flush the socket with salt water or a prescription mouth rinse. This eliminates any debris and promotes healing. It is important not to use anything with pressure behind it, like an electric water flosser. Throughout your recovery and until the socket no longer collects debris, you will continue flushing the socket out several times a day.

Soon after the dry socket packing is put in place, you will experience relief. Within a few days, your pain should be completely relieved, and healing will occur. How long should dry socket packing stay in place will depend on the severity of your dry socket. Your pain level also matters. Your dentist or oral surgeon will explain how long to keep the packing in place. They should also cover how to change the dry socket packing.

If you develop a dry socket, take your pain medications as they have been prescribed. It is much easier to control your pain levels rather than trying to get them back under control. Drink clear liquids to ensure you stay hydrated.

How Long Should Dry Socket Packing Stay In To Heal Completely?

Rinse your mouth with warm salt water every few hours. Gently brush your teeth, avoiding the dry socket area. Use caution when eating and drinking. Avoid carbonated beverages, and avoid drinking from a straw. Finally, do not smoke as the sucking and blowing action can worsen your dry socket, and the nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco products can decrease your body’s ability to heal itself.

Dry socket occurs when the blood clot that typically forms following an extraction does not form or becomes dislodged. When dry socket occurs, you can experience tremendous pain that can radiate from your jaw as the nerves and bones are exposed to air.

If you develop a dry socket, your dentist or oral surgeon will prescribe dry socket packet. How long should dry socket packing stay in will depend on the type of dry socket packet used and the severity of your dry socket. Follow your doctor’s recommendation to relieve your pain and heal your dry socket.

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