How Long Does Dry Socket Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7 Days

When a person undergoes a tooth extraction, they run at a chance of developing dry sockets. Known as Alveolar Osteitis in the medical field, it may lead to immense pain. Although it might be noted that this is not a very common problem but rather it affects only 2 to 3 percent of people going for tooth extraction.

A dry socket might require the attention of doctors in some cases. In the other cases, one can treat them using home remedies. However, if home remedies do not help to get relief from pain, medical attention would become necessary.

How Long Does Dry Socket Last?

Stages Of Dry SocketTime Taken
Pain becomes noticeable1 to 2 days
Pain becomes severe3 to 5 days
Pain ends6 to 7 days

The stages in dealing with dry sockets can be divided into three distinct phases. These phases are clearly demarcated by the level and intensity of the pain felt. However, it may be noted that these phases are subjective in nature meaning different people feel it for a different span of time.

It all starts with the extraction of the tooth. Extraction may be required for protecting oral health from infections or for solving problems like teeth alignment or crowding. However, a person does not experience pain as soon as the tooth is extracted.

Once the tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms at the site of the extracted tooth. Although it may sometimes happen that the blood clot faces issues and becomes ineffective due to many reasons. In such a case, the person may start experiencing pain within a few days of tooth extraction.

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When the pain starts showing up after tooth extraction, there is no subsiding down of pain. The pain continues to rise in the absence of the blood clot and reaches its peak after 3 to 5 days of the extraction of the tooth.

After reaching its peak, the pain gets to subside slowly. Within a week of tooth extraction, the pain starts to lessen down partly due to either medications or home remedies, or just self-care.

Why Does A Dry Socket Last That Long?

Dry Socket does not arise because of tooth extractions. On the contrary, it arises due to the ineffectiveness of the blood clot in protecting the site of tooth extraction.

The blood clot is tasked with the protection of the tooth extraction site from germs and infection. The development of a blood clot is one of the basic reactions of our body against tooth extraction. In addition to protecting the empty tooth socket, a blood clot also helps the damaged site to recover speedily.

However, not everything goes as planned. It may happen sometimes that the blood clot does not develop or if developed, either dissolves too early or dislodges off. This puts the uncovered empty tooth socket along with the bone, tissue, and nerve endings at risk of infection or any other oral health problems.

In such a scenario, the dry socket may turn painful. The pain increases when it faces adverse situations which may only aggravate the situation instead of pacifying it.

It often happens that the food particles get stuck in the empty tooth socket. Apart from increasing pain, such a situation also poses danger to the fast recovery of the tooth extraction site.

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If the person suffering from conditions of dry socket starts smoking or uses tobacco, they might have to face an increased level of pain. Similarly, if oral contraceptives are used or medications are not put to regular use, the recovery of dry socket may get delayed.

Conclusion

A dry socket can take about a week to heal properly. Based on the intensity of pain faced, there can be three stages of recovery. It takes two to three days for the pain to show up which reaches its peak after three to five days of tooth extraction and subsides in the next two days.

A dry socket arises when the blood clot becomes ineffective in protecting the empty tooth socket. The presence of dry socket delays fast recovery of the empty socket. A person facing a dry socket might need medical assistance to heal early.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278239109018278
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0278239183901854
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