Dry Socket

What is Dry Socket?

Man with a toothacheDry Socket (“alveolar osteitis”) is a painful condition that can happen after having an adult tooth pulled. Normally a blood clot forms after the extraction. If the clot dissolves away too quickly the bone is exposed or “dry”. Exposed bone is extremely painful and needs to be treated or it can worsen & become infected.

Signs and symptoms of dry socket may include:

  • Severe pain within a few days after a tooth extraction
  • Partial or total loss of blood clot at the tooth extraction site, which you may notice as an empty-looking (“dry”) socket
  • Visible bone in the socket

Pain that radiates from the extraction socket to your ear, eye, temple, or neck

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Treatment for dry socket?

You will need to return to your Oral Surgeon as soon as possible to receive treatment to help relieve the pain and resolve the dry socket.

At home or after office hours:

  • NSAID’s (Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen) are the best for symptomatic relief as they are anti-inflammatory over-the-counter medications.
  • Anbesol, Orajel, or Oil of Clove liquid can be dropped into the extraction socket for temporary relief and antimicrobial effects. Place a few drops into the socket several times a day as needed for pain and cover the area with a gauze pad for 10 minutes to hold the solution in the painful area.