How to Deal with a Dry Socket

If you’re experiencing a sharp pain following your tooth extraction procedure, you most likely have a dry socket. It’s best to visit your dentist or oral surgeon to receive confirmation. They will ask you about your symptoms and examine your mouth to see if you have a blood clot in your tooth socket.  

So, what is a dry socket? More importantly, how do you cope with it? Find out below.

Information on Dry Socket

A socket is a hole in the bone where your tooth was removed. After tooth extraction, a blood clot will form in the socket to protect the nerves underneath. Unfortunately, sometimes that bone can become dislodged or dissolve a few days after your surgery; this can leave your bone and nerves exposed to food bits and air, which can worsen your pain.

Discover the symptoms of dry socket below. 

How Can I Tell If I Have a Dry Socket?

You should expect to feel pain after tooth extraction surgery, but it should be manageable with your prescribed medicine. However, if your pain worsens, you may have a dry socket. Everyone’s experience with this condition is different, but people generally experience the following:

  • A noticeable hole at the extraction site due to a dislodged clot
  • Pain that won’t go away a week after your tooth extraction procedure
  • Visible bone in the socket
  • Bad odor from the socket and bad breath that won’t go away no matter how much you brush your teeth
  • A foul taste in your mouth
  • Pain that started at the site of the extraction but has spread to the rest of your mouth

How Can I Heal My Dry Socket?

Unfortunately, you can’t treat a dry socket at home, and you will need to visit your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. Do the following: 

Flush out your socket: Using a cotton swab, gently dab your socket to remove trapped food particles and other debris that may be causing pain. 

Medicated dressings: Your oral surgeon or dentist will coat your socket with medicated gel or paste, which will provide speedy relief. The degree of your pain will determine whether you need dressing changes and how much longer you need to keep receiving treatment. 

Prescription medication: Your dentist will also prescribe medication to help relieve your pain. Avoid taking pain relievers until you can consult with a professional because you will need a particular type of medication that helps with oral pain. 

Practice self-care: Once your dentist or oral surgeon removes your socket’s dressing, you will need to flush it out at home to promote healing and remove debris. You will receive instructions and a plastic syringe with a curved tip to squirt water or a prescription rinse into your socket. Continue this process until your socket no longer collects debris. 

Experiencing Dry Socket? Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

Undergoing oral surgery is inherently stressful, and developing a dry socket afterward is never pleasant. If you experience this condition after a tooth extraction procedure, you can count on the board-certified oral surgeons from Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah to help you recover.

We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, corrective jaw surgery, and more. You can count on us to address your questions and concerns so that you can have the best experience possible. We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today.

How to Deal with a Dry Socket