I'm sitting here TERRIFIED of getting 'dry socket." I would just like to know if I will be able to see that the socket is dry before the pain begins. Today(Nov. 15, 2011) is my third day after the extraction of all 4 wisdom teeth. The bottom two were impacted. I would post photos if I could get a clearer view, but my mouth is still not opening very far do to stiffness. I can not even see sutures on the bottom, left side. I feel that my post-operative instructions were not very adequate. The majority of what I learned about prevention/treatment of dry socket came from the internet. I'm already a bit of a hypochondriac, so I am extremely scared right now. I did a few things that I now realize I really should not have done. I rinsed my mouth and spit on the first day. I also ate a few potato chips on the first day as I did not have the appetite for anything else. I only chewed with my front teeth, which took forever, but my jaw did become afterwards. YI sneezed about 2-3 times.. I've read that sneezing can also dislodge the protective blood clot. How I was supposed to stop a sneeze? I don't know. The second couple of times i had to sneeze, I tried to stifle it, I feel that might have been worse. I could feel something "knock loose" then. i don't know if that's possible or if I just imagined it. Ever since I learned more of dry socket, I have tried to be extra careful. I'm feeling very minor discomfort with hardly any pain, but I am not getting much sleep due to my fear of dry socket. I was given a prescription for Penicillin(250mg) and Hydroco/APAP(7.5). I stopped taking the Lortab because, as I said, there is hardly any pain. Also, the Lortab kept making me vomit. I know I kind of rambled on, so I'll ask my questions directly. 1. How should the surgery site(s) look after 3-4 days? 2. Is it easier to see the blood clot with a dental mirror? 3. Can you see the open socket before the dry socket pain begins? 4. Will bone always be visible if it is a dry socket? 5. Can sneezing, vomiting, cheek biting, excessive chewing, and/or coughing increase my chances of getting dry socket? 6. If I do develop a dry socket, what can bring me temporary relief from the pan until I can get to my oral surgeon? 7. I have purchased 100% pure clove oil just in case....How exactly would I apply this oil if needed? 8. Will a regular dentist be able to treat my dry socket if it occurs, or does it HAVE to be the surgeon? 9. What do I do if I can't take the prescribed pain medicine? i have started taking 400mg Ibuprofen when needed, but I would like to take Lortab if dry socket happens, since I assume it is stronger...Do you think drinking more water and eating more will stop me from vomiting after Lortab?...How about Gatorade? 10. What is the average cost of a dry socket treatment from a oral surgeon/dentist?...How often must it be applied? Thank you in advance, because I know I posted a lot. Your help will be greatly appreciated. I already have to deal with daily migraines and if the pain from dry socket is half as bad as I have seen it described over the internet, I am just going to be sick. Thanks again, Patience V.

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  • Patience

    Patience 16 - November - 2011, at 05:25 AM

  • Thank you very much for your reply, Dr. Ritz. I'm already an excessive worrier, but I have actually calmed down a little now. I've still been obsessively counting the hours since I was released from surgery(94 hours), but that's definitely better than I was. ,Thanks again Patience V.

  • Dr.Ritz

    Dr.Ritz 16 - November - 2011, at 03:34 AM

  • Dry socket occurs 3-4 days after tooth extraction and there is extreme radiating pain present in case of dry socket which is difficult to localize. Even the pain meds and antibiotics are not effective during dry socket. Since you are having mild pain, so you won’t be having dry socket. Stiffness in mouth after tooth extraction can be because of keeping the mouth open for very long time during surgery. Stiffness of mouth will get better with time. Tooth extraction site will have soft tissue present and you will notice that healing occurs from bottom upwards and from margins inwards. In case of dry socket, tooth extraction socket appears as completely empty socket or partially necrotic blood clot is seen in tooth extraction socket. Blood clot is formed within 30 minutes of tooth extraction and within 1 week, granulation tissue can be seen around blood clot. In case of dry socket, if probe is passed into tooth extraction socket, then bare bone is encountered which is extremely sensitive. If a patient smokes for first 48 hours after tooth extraction, drinks with straws, rinses mouth frequently during first 24 hours, then chances of dry socket increases. Smoking, sucking, spitting too much during first 24 hours can cause dislodgement of blood clot. Sneezing, vomiting, coughing during first 24 hours after tooth extraction can also increase chance of clot dislodgement. If you experience symptoms of dry socket, then pain meds and antibiotics will be of no use. In that case, you have to visit your dentist. He will clean the extraction socket area and will give you medicated dressing in tooth extraction socket. By the time, you visit your dentist; you can keep the extraction socket area clean and can take pain meds. You can also use clove oil over tooth extraction socket area for temporary relief or use commercially available dressing which is available for dry socket. To use clove oil, put minute drops of clove oil on piece of gauze and pack it in the affected area for pain relief. Regular dentist can also do treatment of dry socket. If you are experiencing vomiting sensation after intake of Lortab, then you can tell your dentist to change your medicine. Take the meds as prescribed by the dentist. Dentist will charge you $25-$50 for treatment of dry socket. Two or three dressings at an interval of 12-24 hours is given in case of dry socket. Don’t worry. You will not get dry socket. For faster healing of tooth extraction socket to take place, follow instructions of your dentist and keep doing the warm saline rinses. Keep tooth extraction socket area clean to avoid any secondary infection. For more info on dry socket, refer to….   http://www.identalhub.com/dental-what-is-dry-socket-879.aspx

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