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If you’ve ever had a tooth pulled, you know that the exposed root area is soon covered by a blood clot to prevent infection and help the area heal over. However, the blood clot isn’t cemented to your gums; if it becomes dislodged or dissolved, the root and bone are once again exposed and can result in a painful experience. This is known as alveolar osteitis, or dry socket.

Dry socket can be caused by a number of circumstances, including infection, smoking and tobacco use and improper dental care following a tooth extraction. To minimize your risk of developing dry socket, carefully follow the post-extraction instructions provided by Dr. Jon C. Packman, which are designed to keep your mouth healthy and speed up the healing process.

Symptoms of dry socket are:

– Severe pain that radiates across your face from the extraction site (usually develops a few days after the tooth is pulled)
– Visible bone in the socket area
– Bad breath or a foul odor emanating from your mouth
– Persistent unpleasant taste in your mouth
– Swollen lymph nodes
– Mild fever

If you do develop dry socket, contact Jon C. Packman, DDS, PLLC immediately to begin treatment. Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Jon C. Packman may place a medicated dressing over the socket or prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug to reduce discomfort while the infected area heals. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 704.873.2211 or come pay us a visit in Statesville, North Carolina.