Tag Archives: Dry Socket

How Can I Prevent a Dry Socket After Oral Surgery?

After tooth extraction, a protective blood clot forms over the tooth’s socket. You must prevent dry socket so that your healing isn’t prolonged.

Continue reading to learn about this condition.

Information on Dry Socket

A blood clot protects your bone’s nerve endings after oral surgery. Unfortunately, sometimes the blood clot doesn’t form or becomes dislodged, resulting in bone and nerve exposure. Not only does this condition delay healing, but it’s also painful.

Keep reading to learn about dry socket symptoms, treatment, and prevention.


Feeling discomfort after tooth extraction, such as minor swelling and soreness, is normal. However, if your pain worsens or lingers for more than a week, you may have a dry socket. Symptoms include:

  • Missing blood clot
  • Bad taste
  • Foul smell radiating from the socket
  • Aching or throbbing pain in your gum or jaw, which resembles that of a toothache
  • Pain that spreads to the rest of your face


Your oral surgeon may recommend the following treatment options:

  • Irrigating the extraction site to lift food and debris
  • Using a medicated dressing over the site until it heals
  • Packing the site with zinc oxide-eugenol paste to reduce pain and swelling
  • Prescribing medication, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Advice to Prevent Dry Socket

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should avoid the following:

Smoking: Smoking can delay healing and increase blood pressure, leading to more bleeding.

Alcohol: Drinking alcohol—which includes swishing mouthwash—for a day. You may need to avoid consuming any alcohol products for a week, depending on your healing journey. If you drink beer or use mouthwash the same day as your surgery, your blood clot is more likely to dislodge. Alcohol can stimulate extra bleeding, delaying your recovery.

Physical activities: Avoid strenuous activities, such as exercise and heavy lifting, for at least one day after surgery to prevent bleeding and allow blood clot formation. For instance, playing jump rope can dislodge a blood clot that’s still forming, causing pain or infection.

Creating suction: Drinking through a straw creates suction, which can loosen your clot and prolong healing.

Vigorous mouth rinsing: You can still rinse your mouth after oral surgery, but you should gently avoid disturbing your clot. Stick to small swishes and warm water.

Postoperative Care

The best way to care for your tooth extraction site is by following your oral surgeon’s instructions. Specific guidance varies depending on the number of teeth removed, but it often includes the following:

  • Avoid chewing on the side of the extraction site.
  • Eat soft foods to minimize the risk of damaging your socket. Avoid crunchy foods because they can get stuck in the extraction site.
  • Don’t drink hot or carbonated beverages because they can cause a burning sensation in your socket.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

Even if you follow our advice to prevent dry socket, you might still develop it. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help you experience relief if you develop this condition and answer all your questions. We specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, bone grafting, and more.

We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today.

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

Having a Dry Socket? Five Tips To Heal Quickly

Undergoing surgery to have your wisdom teeth removed isn’t the most exciting experience, but it’s worse when you end up with a dry socket. Also known as alveolar osteitis, a dry socket is a painful dental condition that can occur after you have an adult tooth extracted. This condition arises when a blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction fails to develop. Typically, blood clots form at the site of tooth extraction to serve as a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. Blood clots also promote the development of soft tissue over the clot. 

Unfortunately, some patients who experience post-extraction complications may not know about dry socket. Even if a patient is aware that they’ve developed dry socket, they may not know how to heal it. The following guide is designed to help you understand and treat this unpleasant condition. 

What Causes Dry Socket?

The following are the most common risk factors that will increase your likelihood of experiencing dry socket: 

  • Smoking after tooth extraction
  • Taking birth control after surgery, as estrogen may cause the blood clot to dissolve
  • Tissue trauma as a result of extraction
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Underlying gum disease

After your tooth extraction surgery, your dentist will advise you against the following:

  • Exercise
  • Swishing water
  • Drinking any carbonated beverages (soda, beer, sparkling water, etc.)
  • Using a straw

Dentists believe you should avoid the activities listed above because the pressure from swishing liquids, sucking from a straw, and even spitting can abruptly dislodge your clot. Strenuous exercises will raise your blood pressure and make it difficult for the clot to stay still. 

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Socket?

The main differentiator between tooth extraction pain and dry socket pain is timing. You should experience post-surgery pain one day after your surgery should, but dry socket pain usually peaks 3-5 days after the extraction. Moreover, dry socket pain is a sharp, severe pain that will radiate into your ears and the rest of your jaw. Other dry socket symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fever, and insomnia. 

How Can I Heal My Dry Socket? 

For starters, you can reduce your dry socket pain by taking over-the-counter pain relievers. The following five tips will help you treat your dry socket, at least until you can visit your dentist. 

  1. Swish with warm water: Gently swishing with warm water can help cleanse the extraction site and reduce bacteria.
  2. Use honey: Coat your dry socket with honey to help reduce inflammation.
  3. Create a cold compress: Press a cold towel against your cheeks to soothe the pain. 
  4. Drink tea: Drink anti-inflammatory tea to reduce inflammation throughout your body. 
  5. Apply essential oils: Rub a small amount of essential oil, such as tea tree oil, over your dry socket. Only use essential oils when your pain is at its worst because consistently using oils inside your mouth will kill good bacteria. 

Remember, these tips are designed to keep pain at bay temporarily, and not meant to replace a dentist appointment. If your dry socket pain persists after one week, you must visit your dentist.

If you plan on undergoing oral surgery, you’ll need to turn to an experienced orthodontist to reduce your likelihood of having a dry socket.

The orthodontists at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah are board-certified surgeons who will provide you with the best oral surgery treatment available.

Schedule your consultation with our surgeons today. 

    Having a Dry Socket? Five Tips To Heal Quickly