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Oral Surgery/Dry socket after wisdom teeth extraction

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Question
Extraction site
Extraction site  
I had 4 wisdom teeth extracted on 04/25/13. Three were impacted and one was partially erupted. The partially erupted extraction site has a small hole in the gums where it looked like the wound partially healed but not all the way. I've been terrified throughout the entire recovery process to get dry socket and I think my over-rinsing of my mouth after surgery may have caused it. The socket area itself aches pretty badly to the point where I fell like my whole jaw on that side is throbbing.

If this is in fact dry socket should I be continuing to use a anti-bacterial mouthwash to clean out the hole or will that just prevent it from clotting? And at what point should I return to my oral surgeon? I'm still healing and my whole mouth aches something fierce so I don't know if I am just being paranoid or if there is cause for concern.

Answer
Brittany - I cannot be sure from the picture, but there appears to be no evidence of inflammation.  The fact that the socket is still sore does indicate some inflammation within the socket.  I suggest that you get back the surgeon and have him examine the socket.  If it is an early dry socket, it is better to catch it early.  

So the are does not appear to be too bad, but with the soreness, it is a good idea that you get it evaluated.

I wish you well and hope the area feels better soon.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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