Dry socket or alveolar osteitis is a complication of delayed healing following tooth extraction. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot is lost from its socket exposing the bone to air, bacteria and fluid. Loss of blood clot can be due to excessive fibrinolytic activity caused by bacterial, salivary factors and etc. (For your information, fibrinolysis is a process that prevents blood clot from forming) In the absence of a blood clot, healing of the extraction site is delayed because soft tissue must grow from the gum margins to cover the bone and fill the extraction socket.
Have you ever experienced severe pain a few days after having your teeth extracted with no swelling on your face? Then you may be suffering from dry socket.
What is dry socket?
Dry socket, or otherwise known as alveolar osteitis, is by far the most frequent painful complication of tooth extractions. However it is uncommon overall, affecting only 1 to 3% of extractions. This condition of delayed healing, but not usually associated with infection, is common after wisdom tooth extraction due to the large tooth socket that is left behind which can easily dislodges the blood clot that is formed.
The term ‘alveolar’ refers to the jawbone that supports the teeth, while ‘osteitis’ refers to the inflammation of the bone which is limited to the site involved. Continue reading