Dealing with Dry Socket in Downtown Seattle

What’s a Dry Socket and Why Does it Happen?

Dry sockets are painful complications arising after tooth extraction. A blood clot normally forms at the bottom of the socket where a tooth has been removed, protecting the underlying bone, nerves and other tissue as healing takes place. It can happen that blood there will not clot, or it can be dislodged and expose the bone and nerves. Hence, it can cause some painful sensation.

The condition does not happen always, but when it does, certain risk factors have been associated with it. Smoking and chewing tobacco ane common culprits, as well as using oral contraceptives or estrogen replacement therapy, or as simple as drinking from a straw. There might be an infection around the extraction site. Dry socket may also be the outcome of not following your dentist’s home care instructions, or you might have had a history of dry socket, or it may be due to poor oral hygiene.

Pain and discomfort normally follow after tooth extraction, though if they worsen, then your dentist must know as that is no longer normal. Also, report any bad mouth odor or foul taste. Your dentist or oral surgeon will likely suspect dry socket and examine you for other signs of complications. X-rays can rule out a bone infection, or to see if fragments of bone or root remain.

Pain management will be your dentist’s course of action. The dentist will flush the socket to remove any irritating debris, pack it with medicated dressings and prescribe pain medication. You will have to continue the treatment with home care for several days. You may be instructed to flush the socket with saline solution or medicated rinse for several days, and take your meds, too.

While your dry socket is healing, do pay heed to what your dentist has advised you. You have to adjust to some lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation, avoidance of carbonated beverages and sugary or acidic foods that may irritate the area. Drink plenty of water, apply only gentle brushing around the area, and hot and cold packs on the jaw or cheek as directed. Rest. If you follow instructions, your condition usually improves soon after beginning treatment. Follow up with your dentist to ensure no other complications develop. Know that you are prone to develop it again.

Following Dentist’s Advice is Key

While we conscientiously aim for complications-free tooth extraction, your compliance with doctor’s advice is as valuable to treatment success. Dry socket is a treatable and preventable condition that we can work on together, here in downtown Seattle.

Cavities and Missing Teeth: Link with Dental Phobia

The Dental Phobia Dilemma

From King’s College London comes a study confirming that people with dental phobia are more likely to have active caries or missing teeth. Published in the the British Dental Journal, the study aims to explore the social and demographic backgrounds of people who have dental phobia and how that impacts their dental health and their quality of life. In a survey by the British Dental Health Foundation, before 2013, about 36% of those who didn’t see a dentist regularly said that fear was the main reason.

Dental phobia is fear of dentistry and of receiving dental care. The fear may be intense or unreasonable, so much so that the person may put off even routine dental care. It is different from dental anxiety which is a sense of uneasiness when it’s time for dental appointments. The person will have exaggerated or unfounded worries or fears. Dental phobia is a more serious condition. Persons with phobia aren’t merely anxious. They are terrified or panic stricken.

The London study analysed the data from the 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey to see what oral health conditions do dental phobic patients have. There were 10,900 participants, of whom a total of 1,367 were identified as phobic; 74% were female.

The results showed dental phobic people were more likely to have caries versus non-phobic respondents, and were likely to have one or more missing teeth. Many with dental phobia avoid seeing a dentist on a regular basis to address conditions that are preventable and chronic. Once a visit has been made, the phobic patient might also prefer a short term solution instead of a long term care plan, such as extraction. The patient makes a treatment decision favoring a one-time option rather than making multiple visits.

Dental phobia impacts a person’s physiological, psychological, social and emotional wellbeing. Dental phobic people showed higher levels of impact, even when levels of dental disease were controlled. Other research has shown that these individuals express negative feelings like sadness, tiredness, discouragement and general anxiety, less vitality and more exhaustion. Embarrassment at their poor teeth will prevent them from smiling and showing their teeth. It is implied that preventive services can help those with dental phobia like an in-home oral healthcare plan.

Understanding The Phobic Patient in Downtown Seattle

Dr. Jaime Lee, our Seattle dentist, tries her best to make our practice less intimidating for all patients, educating our clientele that dentists are not associated with discomfort and pain, but rather with care and compassion.

AAP: Don’t Give Fruit Juice to Under One Year Olds

The Dangers of Early Fruit Juices

The American Academy of Pediatrics published in 2001 a recommendation about fruit juices for children. It said that fruit juice should not be given to infants under the age of 6 months. Sixteen years later, due to a wealth of evidence, the AAP have extended this time frame suggesting that fruit juice may do more harm than good in the first 12 months of life.

Parents are so taken by fruit juices themselves. They consider them healthy and natural, rich in vitamins and minerals, and so want them for their own infants and toddlers. When they see commercial products stating they are “100 percent fruit juice”, they might readily believe. However that the juices are vitamin-rich, they also are loaded with sugar and low in other important nutrients, like fiber. There are even fruit juices containing as much as 2 teaspoons of sugar per 100-milliliter serving. Fruit juices may be tasty because of the sugar and calories, but they are not good substitutes for real fresh fruit.

It is without doubt how damaging high-sugar drinks can be for adults, much more for growing babies. One study published in 2015 cited fruit juice as one of the biggest culprits for dental erosion, and other research has linked fruit juice intake to childhood obesity.

Here are some recommendations of the AAP regarding daily intake for kids above one year. For toddlers aged 1 to 3 years, they should be consuming no more than 4 ounces of fruit juice daily, while children aged between 4 and 6 years should consume no more than 4 to 6 ounces per day. Fruit juice intake should be limited to 8 ounces per day for children and adolescents aged 7 to 18 years.

The AAP guidelines also recommend that toddlers should not be given fruit juice in bottles or sippy cups that allow them to drink freely throughout the day. This exposes their teeth to sugar and can lead to tooth decay. They also strongly discourage the consumption of unpasteurized juice products for children of all ages, and that grapefruit juice should be avoided for children taking any medications due to potentially harmful interactions. Children should also be educated about the benefits of whole fruit consumption over fruit juice.

Connecting Child Nutrition to Oral Health

We work well with your child’s pediatrician in what’s good and what’s not in child nutrition. Come visit us in downtown Seattle for consultations.