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Dry Socket

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What is a dry socket?

A dry socket is a painful condition that develops 1 to 3 days after a permanent tooth has been extracted (removed). It happens when the blood clot at the site of the extraction dissolves, exposing your jawbone.

What increases my risk for a dry socket?

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Difficulty of extraction
  • Smoking
  • Being female
  • Being 20 to 40 years of age

What are the signs and symptoms of a dry socket?

  • Severe, constant pain that is most intense 3 days after extraction
  • Swollen, red, and tender gums

How can a dry socket be prevented?

  • Do not smoke. Nicotine in cigarettes may prevent your blood from clotting properly. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.
  • Rinse with a chlorhexidine mouthwash before and after your tooth extraction. Ask your healthcare provider where you can find an oral solution with chlorhexidine.

How is a dry socket treated?

  • Irrigation cleanses your dry socket and helps remove dead tissue or food. Ask your healthcare provider how to use a syringe to irrigate your dry socket.
  • A dressing covers your exposed bone and prevents irritation and pain. It also keeps food from entering the dry socket.
  • NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed if you have an infection.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You continue to have pain even after you take pain medicine.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • Your swelling is so bad that you cannot close or open your mouth.
  • You have trouble breathing.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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