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L'dental alveolitis it is an inflammatory process that affects the alveolar bone, or that part of the jaw bone that actively supports the tooth. The alveolar bone also surrounds the root of the tooth elements by means of the periodontal ligament.
Therefore, alveolitis is typically a complication that can occur due to a dental extraction. This is a relatively rare event, which normally (in one third of cases) occurs during the extraction of the molars. This inflammation can be accompanied by swelling, bleeding, and pain.
Post-extraction dental alveolitis
The alveolitis that occurs after the extraction of a tooth it is termed post-extraction. But why can this complication arise?
It's quite simple: when a tooth is extracted, the empty cavity it leaves is filled with a blood clot. The latter has several functions: stopping the inevitable bleeding, protecting the tissues left exposed to the aggression of bacteria and naturally preparing the foundations of the "scar tissue", from which the new bone will take shape.
However, post-extraction alveolitis does occur when this clot does not form or is destroyed: in these cases, the bone remains exposed and healing is delayed. The patient feels intense pain in the affected and adjacent areas.
Symptoms of dental alveolitis
In fact, the main symptom acute pain following surgery, which, unlike normal conditions, does not progressively decrease with each passing day is precisely this problem. Conversely, the affected area is intensely sore again after the fourth or fifth day after tooth extraction, with the pain being basically localized in the site affected by the orthodontic surgery and in the surrounding area, such as the ear region in the case. of the lower molars. This pain can be persistent for a few days or even weeks: in severe cases, post-extraction alveolitis causes severe psychophysical discomfort in the patient, who struggles to sleep and perform normal daily activities such as eating or talking.
Other symptoms that must be taken into consideration are lymphadenopathy (or swelling of the lymph nodes, in this case in the neck), facial swelling, skin hypersensitivity (excessive tactile, thermal and painful skin sensitivity) and halitosis.
The dentist can diagnose post-extraction alveolitis through both palpation and direct sight of the patient's mouth. Generally, by simple contact with the affected area, the patient experiences intense pain. At the same time, the mucous membranes and gums surrounding the affected alveolus show signs of redness.
Under direct vision, the "affected" alveolus appears to be surrounded by a relatively red edematous (or swollen) gum, which is also smooth and shiny. In some cases, there may be a discharge of pus and the alveolar cavity may be filled with a whitish or grayish foul-smelling substance.
Read also: How to remove teeth
How dental alveolitis is treated
Despite the particular painfulness, both post-extractive alveolitis and post-extractive alveolitis can be treated quite easily directly by the dentist.
First, the treatment will be aimed at eliminating the patient from all pain and, therefore, encouraging and allowing the return to normal daily activities, contributing to the overall psychophysical well-being of the individual, which affects healing.
Alveolitis can also heal on its own, but its natural course will be painful and the simple intake of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs will only temporarily alleviate the symptoms.
For this condition, however, the orthodontist will intervene directly in the patient's mouth through careful curettage and thorough cleaning of the affected alveolus. If necessary, the patient will be subjected to local anesthesia. The dentist will then apply a pain reliever and analgesic drug directly to the alveolar level. The patient will almost immediately notice an improvement due to the sudden remission of pain.
Alveolitis therapy then includes the removal of any deposits that have accumulated inside the cavity and daily rinsing of the affected alveolus with chlorhexidine, rifamycin or saline solution. It is of course essential to prevent the onset of alveolitis by immediately treating the post-extraction socket. This disinfection procedure must take place simultaneously with the extraction of the dental element, better if supported by the use of a high-frequency laser.
In order to know more, we advise you to contact your reference dentist, in order to understand what are the characteristics of this condition and how to deal with it in the best and most effective way. In the event of persistent pain or discomfort after an extraction operation, we obviously suggest that you speak to the specialist in a timely manner, in order to intervene in the event of complications.