Posts Tagged ‘dry socket’

When Pulling Teeth, Beware of Dry Mouth, Dry Sockets and Bad Breath

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

In childhood, pulling baby teeth is a rite of passage. At first it can be a little scary, but most kids get used to it, and many look forward to their next empty socket – and visit from the tooth fairy. Of course, some tykes need help with their first loose tooth, and that means being prepared as a parent to deal with blood, germs, dry mouth and bad breath.

According to a recent post at Nanny.Net, it’s not too tough to help your child pull his or her first tooth. To start, you’ll need to wash your hands, get some gauze ready and keep your little one relaxed…

Then comes the actual pulling

This can require some wiggling or apple-eating. (Ditch the string. It’s no better than using your hands.) Finally, the source recommends putting pressure on the empty socket after the tooth comes out to stanch the blood flow, then applying ice in order to numb any little aches your child may feel.

However, things don’t end there. What many parents don’t realize is that a newly pulled tooth presents a unique opening for infections, dry mouth and bad breath. In large part, this is due to a side effect familiar to nearly anyone who’s had their wisdom teeth pulled: a dry socket.

A clot, lost

Dry sockets occur when a blood clot, the one that fills the hole in lieu of a tooth, accidentally falls out. This is most common among teens and young adults, whose wisdom teeth removals often leave large, tenuous scabs at the back of the jaws. A little too much negative pressure – say, from sucking on a straw – can pop one of these clots out.

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