worried about complications from dry socket - far from good dental care

S

selkie400

Junior member
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
Messages
5
Hello,
I'm traveling in remote areas after an extraction (not a great idea, I realize) and don't have access to much care. I'm concerned about my dry socket not healing and the risk of infection.

How can I tell the difference between dry socket pain and infection?
How long is too long after socket packing to expect healing and loss of pain?

I don't feel pain with pressure, but I do feel heat sensitivity, and I believe it is coming from the socket area. I have a constant ache, sometimes quite bad, other times quite tolerable. My wife looked at my mouth and says the gums aren't red, but she can see bone in the socket. She says the gums are in fact a little whiter around the extraction site. I can taste bits of the packing still coming out now and then. There is no bad smell in my mouth.

More details:
I am on day 16 after this impacted wisdom tooth extraction, the tooth was under the gum and growing forward at 90 degree angle. After the extraction I got a case of dry socket which was very painful.

7 days after extraction, I went to a dentist who removed the sutures, cleaned out the socket (which smelled and tasted bad) , and packed it with Alvogyl.

The pain went away almost completely, but for the last several days now the pain has been back and and sometimes is quite bad. It comes and goes, but doesn't seem to be on an obvious trajectory to get better. I don't absolutely have to take painkillers to get through the day, but am taking Tylenol at night to help lower the pain so I can get to sleep. I've also been doing a lot of salt water and mouthwash rinses, I hope not too much.

My worry is that I could experience infection and that I'm getting further and further away from dental care who could help me identify if that's the case. I do have a course of Amoxicillin available with me if needed, but not sure what should trigger me to take that.

Is it normal to feel this kind of pain after 16 days? Should I just wait it out? What should make me take antibiotics if I can't get to a dentist? I heard that the alvogyl is just for pain relief and may even extend healing time. I'd rather just suffer through it if it makes it go away more quickly, but don't to do that if I am inadvertently letting an infection develop.

Thanks for any input!
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Oct 25, 2005
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1: Stop the mouthwash won't help at all and might possibly make things worse.

It's hard to say what's going on without seeing you, dry sockets normally heal pretty quickly after some TLC, but occasionally a nasty one comes up that needs some antibiotics.

Given your circumstances I'd probably suggest you take the amoxyl.
 
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selkie400

Junior member
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
Messages
5
Thanks! I do feel I was probably overdoing it with the mouthwash.
I managed to get to a dentist yesterday an hour away in Puerta Plata (which will be the last opportunity to do so in at least 2-3 weeks as I'm heading to remote islands next.)
He took an x-ray and inspected my mouth, he said the gum and socket looked OK and were on the path to healing, which was a relief. He could see that there's still packing material in the socket in the x-ray.
Similarly he said to go easy on the mouthwash, he said to put some of it in my mouth 3 times a day, but just let it sit in that area, don't swish it around. Should I not even do that?
I still have pain, sometimes very little sometimes more. No noticeable change over the last few days.

With regard to antibiotics, I was hesitant to take them unless it was certain I need them, but I guess given my circumstances I should. The dentist I saw yesterday didn't insist I take them, but said if there was any increase in pain I should.
 
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selkie400

Junior member
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Apr 7, 2021
Messages
5
And the socket is definitely temperature sensitive. I get a sharp pain if cold liquid gets in there.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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What mouthwash is it? The only stuff that would have any real effect is Corsodyl, but there are very good reasons for not getting it anywhere near open sockets. Anything else is a waste of time.
 
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