How long should dry socket packing stay inside your mouth? Is this one of the questions that bother you after a tooth extraction? A dry socket is a painful condition that takes place around your extracted tooth. The most common cause is a dislodged blood clot or debris due to which the wounded site gets exposed to the environment.
Interestingly, only 2% to 5% of people suffer from this condition. Moreover, people with smoking habits have a 13% chance of developing dry sockets after tooth extraction. There are many measures which you can take to avoid this condition, which we will discuss later.
In this article, you will find details about how long dry socket packing should stay in, its type, and various other things.
Find out how to safely eat your food while having a dry socket at the end of this article!
What is Dry Socket Packing, and When do You Need it?
Someone suffering from a dry socket might need immediate medical attention since it sometimes causes intolerable pain. A dentist usually uses a paste to cover the affected area. Any food debris present within the socket gets removed to prevent infection.
Since the pain and infections link with the exposed nerves and bones at the site of tooth extraction. A dry socket packing makes sure that you get relief from the pain while the wounded region heals completely. You will need to wait for the healing process. Additionally, replace the packing after a few days. But during this process, make sure to take guidance from your doctor if you suffer from pain.
What is the Commonly Used Socket Packing, and How Long Does It Stay in
If pain medications or analgesics are not working for you, then doctors will apply the packing. The commonly used dry socket packing is the dry socket past, hydrogel, SaliCept, Dresser-X made of cotton gauze. These covers stick firmly into the socket and will also provide immediate relief. They last, typically for almost 3-5 days.
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The Consequences of Unsupervised Packing at Home
It’s one of the most frequently asked questions on the internet “Can we attempt to apply packing paste to our socket at home?” Well, the answer is definitely no! You should never try to apply packing on your sockets by yourself. It will put your health at risk if the tools have improper sterilization.
Although there could be alternative ways to deal with a dry socket, putting instruments in your mouth is dangerous. Your oral cavity is a habitat for many microorganisms and a more fragile place for pathogens to get into your system. If your tools remain contaminated, then due to the daily and invasive nature of the procedure. You will unintentionally let germs get inside your body.
Your Dry Socket Packing Came Out? What Should You Do?
Since your mouth is a mechanical center, there is a chance that the dry socket packing will wear out. If this happens, then the pain will also come back. As a result, you might need to perform dry socket dressing daily until the wound heals.
The packing can come out due to several reasons. One reason could be a traumatic force and the other the building up of tissue around the healing area. In simple words, you can’t rely on just one dressing.
Hence the wear out of dry socket dressing seems inevitable, even if you take precautions. It will usually last for up to 5 days and gradually flush out as you rinse your mouth. In the next section, you will find how to eat safely without dislodging your dry socket dressing.
Safety Measures to Consider While Eating Food
There is nothing worse than getting your dry socket cover dislodged before it could provide any benefit. Moreover, the expensive nature of the treatment can only increase your frustration. So here are a few measures you can take to prevent the socket cover from wearing out before its prescribed time.
- Don’t put too much mechanical force in your mouth.
- Refrain from drinking beverages
- Brush your teeth carefully.
- Follow dentist’s recommendations.
- Avoid touching the packing area.
How to Save Yourself from this Condition?
Although, the cases of developing this condition after tooth extraction are rare. There are many reasons which might lead to dry socket. So, make sure that it never happens to you because the pain and complications will hurt you both health-wise and financially.
Here are a few things you could do after getting your tooth extracted.
- Avoid smoking because it only prolongs the healing time.
- Brush regularly while making sure that it doesn’t cause the blood clot to wear out.
- Reduce cheek muscle movement by avoiding things such as straws.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene to prevent chances of infection.
- Keep in touch with your dentist.
Medications Used for Dry Socket Related Pain
Although the dry socket packing gets coated with analgesics, it might not necessarily, provide relief in many conditions. Fortunately, there are many medicines such as NSAIDs and antibiotics for this purpose. In general, the cleaning and dressing action on the socket provide sufficient relief.
However, a dentist might choose alternative medicines in case the packing doesn’t provide relief. Always consult your health professional and take medication according to the prescriptions.
Side Effects of Using these Medications
The adverse effects are minor in this case, but over-the-counter drugs such as NSAIDs could cause bleeding problems, including stomach irritation, GIT pain, bruising, etc. Moreover, the side effects of swallowing dry socket packing are also minimal. Although, you will experience issues such as headaches, stomach problems along with sore and swollen gums.
How Long Should Dry Socket Packing Stay in Your Mouth: Final Thoughts
A dry socket is a painful condition and could lead to unbearable situations after tooth extraction. Furthermore, there are many things you could do to prevent dry sockets. Dry socket packing or dressing is one of the techniques used by dentists to treat dry sockets.
The packing doesn’t last for more than five days and usually wears out on its own. But you must make sure that it doesn’t wear out immediately before its prescribed period. Moreover, it’s better to consult your doctor instead of applying socket packing or paste on your own.
The risks behind unsupervised dry socket packing are huge, which is also apparent in several research articles. Hence, in my opinion, it’s not a good idea to take needles into your mouth at random. Your oral lining is very fragile and could easily puncture, consequently providing opportunities for cross-contamination.