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Dry socket (also called medically as alveolar osteitis) is a very painful dental condition that can sometimes happen following removal of a permanent adult tooth. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot at the area of tooth removal fails to develop, or it dislodges or dissolves before the wound has fully healed. Having a tooth removed by your dentist comes with certain expectations. This includes discomfort following the tooth removal. However, this discomfort should last a day or 2 at the most and be fairly mild. Dry socket pain can become very intense quickly and last for almost a week in some cases. Dry socket is actually the most common complication of a tooth extraction. Even with that fact it still only occurs a little less than 2% of the time (about 200,000 cases in US each year) and most often following removal of wisdom teeth. It is also prevalent in those with poor blood flow, smokers, and diabetics. Dry socket generally occurs 2-3 days following tooth removal procedure.

When a tooth is removed, a blood clot forms to protect the opening in your gums as it heals. If the blood clot does not form properly or becomes dislodged, it can create a dry socket. A dry socket leaves the nerves and underlying bones exposed, so it is important to see your dentist immediately. If left untreated, this can lead to dental infection and other complications. Dry socket most often occurs in those  who smoke, are on oral contraceptives (estrogen can interfere with clotting mechanisms), or do not follow post care instructions properly.  Interesting for women, the oral contraceptives also tend to lower pain tolerance which will lead to increased pain sensation if dry socket occurs.

What Is A Dry Socket? Symptoms

Dry Socket Las Vegas Marielaina Perrone DDSSigns and symptoms of dry socket may include:

-Sharp, aching pain usually starting 2-3 days after removal of a tooth or teeth

-Blood Clot Missing. If you peek into your mouth you would see an opening where tooth was and if there is no blood clot present then you probably have a dry socket. In a normal situation a blood clot forms and covers the exposed opening.

-Visible Bone Present. Bone that can be seen upon visual examination in the socket.

-Radiating Pain. Radiating from the tooth socket to your ear, eye, temple or neck on the same side of your face as the tooth removal.

-Abnormally bad breath or a foul odor emanating from your mouth. This will include having a bad taste in your mouth as well.

-Swollen Lymph Nodes. If you have swollen lymph nodes around your jaw or neck, this is a sign of dental infection and you need to be seen by your dentist immediately as this can be a serious medical emergency if untreated. Signs of a dental infection can include fever, swelling, redness, and pus discharge from extraction site.

-Over The Counter Pain Medications Do Not Work. Generally, tylenol, aleve and advil will not be strong enough of a pain reliever to be able to control dry socket pain.

How Can A Dry Socket Be Treated?

Your dentist will relieve the area of pain using a local anesthetic. If the infection has spread this may not relieve all pain and discomfort at this time but it will help. Your dentist will need to inspect the tooth removal site and clean it of any debris or food particles. Once the area is cleaned sufficiently, your dentist will probably place a medicated dressing over the area to promote healing and soothe the dry socket symptoms. These medicated dressings usually need to be changed daily until dry socket symptoms subside. Use of a warm cloth on outside of face can also aid in healing by promoting increased blood flow to the area. If there is infection present or your dentist suspects one is forming an antibiotic may be prescribed. You will also be given detailed instructions on at home care. Usually includes rinsing with warm, salt water and just being careful with area while it heals. Healing of a dry socket at this point will take between 1 and 2 weeks.

Possible Home Help Remedies For Dry Socket

Home remedies to help with dry socket pain can include:
-Rinsing with Warm salt water. Rinsing can help eliminate bacteria and reduce or prevent further infection.
-Cold and heat therapy. This can promote blood flow to area of dry socket. For the first 24 hours or so following a tooth extraction, use cold against your face for 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. After 1st day you can use heat in the form of warm cloth to help manage pain.
-Clove oil. This contains eugenol (this is traditional dental office smell), which has anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It can help to soothe pain and help prevent infections. Some people have reactions to clove oil so speak to your dentist before using. You can place clove oil on a sterile gauze and place it over dry socket area for 15 minutes or so to help relieve dry socket symptoms.
-Honey. Honey has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Clinical studies have found that honey when used for dry socket applications resulted in a significant reduction in inflammation, swelling, pain, and discomfort. There was also evidence honey possibly prevents further dental infection. Honey can be applied similar to the clove oil. Place a small amount of honey on a sterile gauze and place over dry socket wound.
-Black tea. Contains tannic acid. Tannic acid can act as a natural antibacterial agent while also having the ability to reduce both swelling and pain.
-Tea tree oil. Also has antiseptic, antibacterial, and analgesic properties.
-Oregano oil.  Has antibacterial benefits and studies have shown it may even be effective against some drug-resistant strains of bacteria.
-Chamomile tea. Chamomile has anti oxidant properties. This can promote wound healing.

What Is A Dry Socket? Conclusion

It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions especially following a tooth removal. Communicate concerns and questions immediately so they can be addressed immediately to avoid unforeseen complications. A dry socket can be quite painful and can have serious consequences if ignored. See your dentist regularly to maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.



Dental Infections (also referred to as an abscess) generally develops as a result of untreated tooth decay and poor oral hygiene. However, a dental infection can also develop from other reasons previous dental work or traumatic injury. When a dental infection begins to develop, a pocket of pus forms in the mouth as a result of an overwhelming growth of bacteria. Symptoms of a dental infection often includes swelling, pain (often radiating away from area), and sensitivity in the area. It is vital to seek professional treatment as without proper and timely treatment, the dental infection may spread to other areas of the jaw or even the brain.

Tooth decay and cavities are very common. About 90% of adults ages 20–64 have had prior tooth decay. Also, almost 30% of people in the same age group have untreated tooth decay. Treating tooth decay early is important to prevent further complications such as dental infections which can often lead to tooth loss.

Anyone who experiences dental infections should see a dentist immediately to prevent the dental infections from spreading.

One of the initial options for a dentist is to recommend an antibiotic to kill dental infections. Some antibiotics will work better than others. This is due to the type of bacteria causing the actual infection., There may also be some over-the-counter pain medications to help relieve the dental infection symptoms temporarily.

Antibiotic Use For Dental Infections

Dentists generally only recommend antibiotics for dental infections. However, not all infected teeth will require antibiotics during treatment. In some instances, a dentist may be able to drain the infected area of pus, remove the infected tooth, or complete a root canal procedure to fix the issue. Antibiotics should not be used unless absolutely necessary to complete dental infections treatment.

Antibiotic Types And Dosages For Dental Infections

The type and dosage of antibiotic your dentist will recommend will vary depending on the type of bacteria that causes dental infections. Different antibiotics work in different ways to eliminate different strains of bacteria. There are over 150 different strains of bacteria that are present in the oral cavity. Many of these bacteria have the potential to grow and cause a dental infection. Treatment can change depending on the bacteria causing the dental infection, although, dentists simply recommend an antibiotic that works against many types. This gives them the best chance to handle the infection effectively and quickly.

Classes Of Penicillin For Dental Infections

Penicillin type drugs are common forms of antibiotics for dental infections. This includes penicillin and amoxicillin. Some dentists may also recommend amoxicillin with clavulanic acid, as that combination may help eliminate bacteria that are being unsuccessfully treated by previous drugs.

Typical dosages of amoxicillin for a dental infection are either 500 milligrams (mg) every 8 hours or 1,000 mg every 12 hours.

Typical dosages of amoxicillin with clavulanic acid are around 500–2,000 mg every 8 hours or 2,000 mg every 12 hours, depending on the minimum effective dosage.

However, some bacteria have been found to resist these drugs, making them less effective. In fact, many doctors now simply choose a different antibiotic as their 1st line of treatment.

Dentists must also be aware that some people are allergic to these drugs. Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to similar medications should tell their dentist immediately before receiving their treatment recommendation.

-Clindamycin

Clindamycin is highly effective against a wide range of infectious bacteria. Some researchers recommend clindamycin as the drug of choice to treat dental infections, as bacteria may be less likely to resist this drug than penicillin-class drugs.

A typical dosage of clindamycin is either 300 mg or 600 mg every 8 hours, depending on which dosage will be effective for the individual situation.

-Azithromycin

Azithromycin also is able to work against a wide variety of bacteria, working to halt their growth. It may be effective in treating some dental infections, though dentists may only recommend it to people who are allergic to penicillin-class drugs or who do not respond to them or other drugs such as clindamycin.

 The typical dosage of azithromycin is 500 mg every 24 hours for 3 consecutive days.

-Metronidazole

Metronidazole is an antibiotic uses to treat a number of infections by both doctors and dentists. This drug is typically not the 1st choice of treatment.

The dosage for metronidazole is around 500–750 mg every 8 hours.

Time To Begin Feeling Better?

The speed with which each antibiotic takes to work on the dental infection varies depending on many factors. These can include the severity of the infection and how effective the drug is at eliminating the infectious bacteria present.

It is imperative for people to complete a full round of antibiotics, taking all of the prescribed medication exactly how the dentist says to take it. A person may begin to notice their symptoms go away after a couple of doses, completing the full dosage of antibiotics helps prevent the infection from returning or getting stronger.

The majority of acute infections resolve in 3–7 days.

Side effects Of Antibiotics For Dental Infections

While antibiotics are very effective for dental infections they can have some possible side effects. These side effects will vary by antibiotic type and individual. It is important to speak with your dentist regarding possible side effects and what to expect.

Dental Infection Treatments Beyond Antibiotics

Antibiotics may help clear active dental infections, but the tooth will still need work to clear up the root of the dental  infection. Antibiotic treatment is just one part of the treatment.

Typical treatment for dental infection can include one or more of the following procedures:

-draining the abscess

-filling in any cavities

-performing a root canal

-extracting the infected tooth

Natural Remedies For Dental infections

Some over the counter remedies may also help “control” the symptoms of a dental infection. This can include over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Sodium naproxen (Alleve).

Other things to try to relive symptoms at home:

-gently rinsing the mouth with warm salt water

-rinsing gently with baking soda and water

-avoiding very hot or very cold foods to prevent temperature sensitivity

-chewing with the opposite side of the mouth

-brushing with a very soft toothbrush around the sensitive area

-avoiding very sharp, hard-to-chew foods that may bump into the sensitive area or become stuck in the teeth

-sleeping with your head elevated to relive pressure

Dental Infections Summary

Antibiotics are not the sole answer to dental infections. They are a part of a larger dental infection treatment. Most if not all dental infections require further dental work by your dentist. This can include a root canal or a tooth extraction.

Prompt dental treatment is important to keep dental infections from spreading and making things more dangerous and painful. Some helpful home remedies mentioned above may help keep inflammation down or ease pain while taking antibiotics and preparing for the recommended dental procedure. maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen, such as brushing and flossing each day and seeing a dentist for regular checkups, may help prevent dental infections and their complications.



Any type of oral surgery can be an extremely nervous time for a patient. In the case of an impacted wisdom teeth it is very necessary. This is because impacted wisdom teeth left untreated can cause all sorts of issues affecting your dental health. Below you will find the top five (5) reasons to have your impacted wisdom teethremoved to avoid future dental issues.

Top 5 Reasons To Remove Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Lack Of Space. One of the main reasons wisdom teeth can cause so many dental issues is because there simply is not enough room in most people’s mouths for them. Most people only have room for 28 teeth. With the wisdom teeth you would have 32 teeth.

Crowding Leading To Crooked Teeth. The pressure of your wisdom teeth attempting to erupt can place forces on your other teeth pushing them forward. Causing crowding. This is especially concerning to those who have already had orthodontic treatment. If left untreated it can lead to further orthodontic treatment to recorrect the crwoding.

Cyst/Tumor Development. A cyst can develop in the sac of the developing wisdom tooth. If a cyst develops it can lead to damage to surrounding teeth as well as to the bone of the jaws. Infection and tumor development is also a possibility.

Nerve Damage. It is vital to remove your wisdom teeth when recommended. As they develop it is possible they develop in the area of the nerves of the jaws. Damage to these nerves can cause permanent damage.

Infection. Developing of an oral infection is a definite possibility and should be addressed immediately. Infection will pose a risk for both your dental and general health. Dentally, infection can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and periodontal disease.

Conclusion

An impacted wisdom tooth should be removed based on your dentist’s recommendations. The complications that could develop are not worth the risk of leaving them alone. Routine dental examinations and professional cleanings will allow your dentist the time to make the proper diagnosis as to when and if they need to be removed.



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If you have a damaged (from tooth decay or even periodontal disease) or traumatized tooth, extraction is not the only option as there is a chance that you can save your natural tooth. Whenever possible, it is always better to save your teeth rather than lose them, as missing teeth have negative effects on confidence, ability to chew, general health and the alignment of the remaining teeth. Here are the alternative procedures to tooth extraction if you would like to keep a beautiful, natural smile.

Save Your Teeth with Root Canal Procedures

Root canal treatment is the most popular alternative to teeth extraction. Endodontic treatment or a root canal treats the living parts found inside the teeth known as the pulp. The pulp consists of the soft tissue inside the teeth made up of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues that nourish the root during the development stage. When the teeth develop fully, it is possible to remove the pulp without affecting the teeth since the supporting tissues provide nourishment.

Tooth decay, repeat dental procedures, cracks, chips, trauma caused by accidents and faulty crowns can trigger infections and inflammation of the pulp. Root canal therapy treats the damaged pulp preventing major pain and abscess. Root canal treatment involves the non-surgical removal of the infected or inflamed pulp. The resulting hollow is cleaned, disinfected, shaped, filled and sealed to prevent further infections. A tooth restoration procedure using a crown or filling follows to restore the tooth to its normal function and structure. After root canal treatment, teeth can last for a lifetime without requiring another root canal treatment or dental procedure.

Save Your Teeth with Endodontic Surgery

Another alternative to losing teeth through extraction is to undergo endodontic surgery. One of the most popular surgeries is apicoectomy or root-end resection done when the inflammation or infection continues spreading to the bony tissue even after root canal treatment. An endodontist removes the infected area and sometimes part of the root and then seals the area. This is a safe procedure made comfortable by the use of local anesthesia. There are no serious complications and the bone heals within a few months.

Another sophisticated endodontic surgery procedure to save the teeth is intentional replantation. This involves the removal of the infected teeth for treatment outside the mouth. After treatment, an endodontist plants the tooth back in its socket and it resumes normal operation without the infection. Other surgery options to save the teeth include separating the tooth into two halves, or surgery to fix or remove an injured root.

Endodontic surgery is beneficial in the following situations:

  • For diagnosis and treatment of root infections, minor fractures and tiny canals that do not show on the x-rays; yet there are symptoms of infection.
  • For cleaning, treatment and sealing of too narrow canals that root canal treatment instruments cannot penetrate to reach the roots.
  • For treatment of teeth that fail to heal after a root canal treatment or develop infections after a root canal procedure.
  • For treatment of damaged roots and supporting bone structure of the teeth.

Other Ways to Save Your Damaged or Dying Teeth

Medication

Some people take painkillers to eliminate toothache and other symptoms instead of undergoing a tooth extraction immediately. However, this does not deal with the root problem but only eliminates the symptoms. It is possible to treat some infections using antibiotics, however. Still, it’s best to consult your dentist to find out the best solution for your specific needs.

Early Periodontal Disease Treatment

For people with mild gum disease, tooth loss is inevitable if the mild gum disease goes untreated and develops into chronic periodontal inflammation. Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease is the best way to prevent tooth loss associated with periodontal disease.

Apart from endodontic procedures, maintaining proper dental hygiene is the best way to save your teeth from extraction or any other restorative dental procedure. Proper dental care involves brushing teeth properly at least twice a day, flossing daily, following a healthy diet and visiting the dentist regularly. This prevents damage to the teeth in the first place, thereby eliminating the need to undergo root canal treatment or teeth extraction. This is also the best way to ensure your teeth stay healthy for a long time and delay tooth loss.

If it is too late or impossible to save the teeth and extraction is inevitable, replacing the extracted teeth with dental implants and other structures is the best way to avoid the negative effects of physically visible tooth loss.

Conclusion

It is important to see your dentist regularly for routine dental care and examinations. This will help prevent the issues listed above. Maintaining good dental health will lead to a lifetime of smiles.