What is alveolitis?
As the name suggests by the “-itis” ending, alveolitis is inflammation of the alveolar walls and the remaining periodontal tissue that anchors the tooth in the alveolus. It is a form of local osteitis, which can occur as a complication of tooth extraction.
It is facilitated by:
laborious extractions with trauma to the mucosa and bone walls;
persistence of bone chips or dental fragments in the alveolus, which delays the healing process;
pre-existing acute or chronic infections;
prolonged intra-alveolar compressive dressing;
the action of vasoconstrictors used (such as the adrenaline in the anesthetic substance), which decreases blood flow to the dental alveolus and thus prevents a blood clot from forming there.
How alveolitis manifests itself?
Post-extraction alveolitis is manifested clinically by severe pain radiating to the auricular and temporal area, which occurs 2-3 days after extraction and is only partially relieved by the usual analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication.
How do we prevent alveolitis?
The condition can be prevented if you follow your doctor’s advice for proper bone healing.
The first stage of healing is the formation of a blood clot inside the alveolus. This protects the bone from infection and, passing through successive stages, will eventually develop into bone tissue. If this clot is dislodged or does not form properly, then alveolitis can occur.
The indications given by the doctor at the end of any extraction are aimed at maintaining the intra-alveolar blood clot and avoiding its infection or disintegration.
According to the instructions, the patient should maintain the protective dressing approx. one and a half hours, do not open the mouth for at least 12 hours in order not to mobilize the blood clot, the patient will not suck the alveolar plaque in order not to trigger a new bleeding of the gingiva-alveolar plaque, for 24-48 hours avoid hard foods, which would require intense chewing that could dislodge the blood clot, avoid hot foods and drinks which could leach clot and produce local vasodilation followed by the onset of bleeding, smokers are recommended a 24-hour break to prevent cheek and tongue movements which could mobilize intra-alveolar clot.
Treatment of alveolitis
Aims to fight infection and stimulate the healing process. The infected blood clot is removed and a curettage of the alveolus is performed, the intention being to cause bleeding of the alveolar walls in order to form a new blood clot.
The alveolus is washed with weak antiseptic solutions and cones with antibiotics and local anesthetics are applied to relieve the painful symptoms, but the first signs of healing appear slowly, progressively, in about 10-14 days after the onset of painful symptoms.
General treatment with painkillers, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics is also prescribed.
It is also very important to maintain good hygiene and follow the doctor’s recommendations.