Dry Sockets – Issue, Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Outlook

Warning! Your ad blocker has been detected!

Healthaon.com is reader-supported. We're made available through displaying of online ads to improve user experience. Kindly consider disabling your ad blocker, thanks.

Healthy quote | Issue | Types | Causes | Symptoms | DiagnosisRemedies | Alternatives | Approach | Outlook | Overview


A dry socket can be extremely painful.


It usually happens after a permanent tooth extraction takes place.


The condition permits when a blood clot that normally covers the socket is dissolved, dislodged, falls out, or not formed – exposing the bones, nerves and wounds of the extraction site.


However, not classified as a life-threatening complication, dry sockets take time to heal and are known to be easy-to-treat dental emergencies.


Today’s healthy quote, “Dry socket (i.e. alveolar osteitis) is a painful dental complication. Seek immediate dental care if it gets too painful!”



A dry socket can heal on its own.


Under normal conditions, dry socket takes about a week or so to recover, but patients are likely to experience some discomfort.


If you see a dentist or an oral surgeon, dressing containing soothing ointments act as pain relievers and promote faster healing – don’t delay treatment for a terrible dry socket.


The American Association of Endodontists (AAE) recommended you to visit the nearest dental clinic nearby you if the dry socket is affecting your studies, work, or daily activities because re-eruption is possible.


Regular dental visits to your trusted dentist, accompanied by brushing and flossing habits, serve as a protection against dental emergencies and common oral problems like dry sockets, cavities and tooth decay.


Dry Sockets - Issue, Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Outlook - Healthaon

How to treat a dry socket?

credits – unsplash



Acute pain happens about two to four days after a healthy tooth extraction. Common oral issues are bad breath (halitosis), foul taste, and pain.


According to Medicine network, statistics unveiled less than 2% of dental patients experienced dry sockets due to inflammation of jawbone (or alveolar osteitis) under a 5-year study, but the percentage increases to at least 20% upon removal of mandibular impacted third molars (lower wisdom teeth).


An accredited dentist or endodontist is likely to find a dry socket during the follow-up appointment. Tooth diagnostic tests like teeth-probing, spotting, visual images, X-rays, and questions help identify sockets, and other oral problems.


If you’re encountering a dry socket, you might feel pain around the extraction site, especially when you eat or drink something sweet, hot, or cold. The bone, nerve, or pulp can be either visible or not visible to the naked eye.



The different types of dry sockets depend on the prevailing oral condition, location, extent of injury, and other variables.


The three common types include:

Upper jaw. Found in the upper side of the mouth.

Lower jaw. Commonly seen for dry sockets.

Lower and upper jaws. Pain may happen at the same time.



Alveolar osteitis. Daily food and beverage consumption are highly linked to dental sockets on the teeth, gums, nerves, pulps, tissues, and molars.

Growth of bacteria, within the surrounding wound, external sources, or medicines can further detriment the overall oral health.


Common causes of dry sockets include:


Causes of Dry Socket:

Bacteria. Bacteria in mouth and tongue can dissolve blood clots pre-maturely.

Antibiotics resistance. Use of antibiotic has its limitations of not being able to decrease rate of alveolar osteitis.

Mechanical. Light, mild, or aggressive force may dislodge a clot out of position.

Smoking. Harmful substances inhaled impairs healing abilities.

Biologic. Oral products (i.e. contraceptive or hormone pills) can disrupt new blood vessel formation.

Existing injuries. Past dental injuries may cause a relapse to happen.


Causes of Dental Socket:

Lack of healing. No protective blood clot has been formed to cover the gap.

Contamination. Food, liquid, or other things can inhibit growth of clots.

Trauma. Physical damages especially the facial area can hinder the formation.

Lack of dental care. Ignoring dentist’s instructions and poor oral hygiene.

Weak bones. Poor bone density in jaw, teeth, or gums.



The primary symptom is pain. The signs and symptoms do vary, in size, location, the extent, and visibility. Read on how to spot the signs and symptoms of a dry socket below.


Common symptoms include:


Symptoms of Dry Socket:

Pain after a tooth extraction. Throbbing, persistent, or severe pain surrounding extraction site.

Bad odor. Halitosis or bad breath.

Strange taste. Foul taste present.

Blood taste. Blood clot erupted and you tasted it.

Swelling and fever. Swollen glands and a low-grade fever.


Signs & Symptoms of Dental Socket:

Pain continuation. Feeling of pain radiates to ear, eye, temple, jaw, or neck.

Sleep disorder. Unable to sleep because of worsened pain.

Pain in tooth. Excruciating pain when you chew on the surrounding extracted site.

Swollen gums. Gums turned red in color, sometimes darkened.

Halitosis. Bad breath occurs when you talk to a dentist.

Unpleasant taste. Unfavorable taste that lingers in your mouth.


Signs & Symptoms of Other Sockets:

Visible wound. Exposed bone and nerve seen.

Accident. Accidental removal of the blood clot.

Eating disorders. Forced-feeding like bulimia syndrome, and anorexia.

Reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD), acid reflux, or heartburn tears down the protective clot

Physical impact. Sports accident, auto accident, or physical force.

Gum diseases. Existing gum disease can affect your dry socket.


Prognosis & Diagnosis

During regular dental checkups, your dentist may perform additional (specialized) tests to confirm whether your dry socket is under dental care or emergency dental care.


Diagnostic tests include:

Socket tapping. Applied mild pressure on different regions of the mouth, your trusted dentist may ask you on the level of discomfort: 1-10 rating.

X-rays. An X-ray, or other imaging test (i.e. CT or computed tomography scan) can help rule out other conditions, especially bone infection (osteomyelitis).

Lab tests. A dental test will be done to determine delayed healing, infection in the socket, or the spread of bacteria to other parts of the mouth.



Any dry sockets can be treated with the help of dental works. High-quality, advanced dental treatment can mitigate, reverse, or restore your oral health. Natural and home remedies work well in the early days of a dry socket.


Depending on the type and severity, remedies include:


Treatment for Mild Socket:

Light pressure brushing. Lightly brush your teeth with proper oral care products can resolve pain in dry sockets and prevent removal of protective blood clots.

Oral products. Clove oil, water, and over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), if needed.

Herbs. Herbal remedies can alleviate tooth pain.

Antibiotics. Level I defense to prevent infection from spreading.

Avoidance. Temporarily avoid sugar-rich foods and carbonated drinks.


Treatment for Dry Socket:

Antibiotics. Slow or diminish the bacteria, helpful for patients with a weak immune system.

Herbs. Organic, natural herbs help alleviate tooth pain.

Scheduled appointment. Increase number of visits as regular dental checkups for cleaning and washing.

Urgent appointment. Your dentist may pack the socket, apply medicated gel, and seal up the wound. Instructions will be provided on how to remove the gauze.

Applied coating. A special chemical coating to numb the pain.

Removal of dressing. Salt water or prescription rinse to clean up the socket again.


Treatment for Dental Socket:

Follow-up appointment. Your dentist will look over the affected area about a week following your extraction.

Experienced dentist or oral surgeon. Always appoint accredited endodontist or dentist for tooth extractions to prevent dry socket from happening.

Stop substance intake. If you trust your dentist, he or she may recommend to avoid substance abuse whenever possible – smoking, snacking or chemical inhale.

Emergency dental care. Immediate treatment involves antiseptic therapy for the exposed roots, drainage of infected areas, and alternative prescriptions.



Enhancements on dental care is necessary to lower the risk of dry socket, decay, cavity, infection, or further strain on your teeth. Prevention is always better than cure.


Medicated dressings. Home care solutions to be applied after surgery.

Oral antibiotics. Useful for patients with a compromised immune system.

Fluoride toothpaste. Always use a toothpaste with fluoride content to brush your teeth.

Brushing techniques 101. Learn the art of brushing your teeth in the right manner, at least twice a day.

Dental flossing. Get the habit of flossing your teeth to remove stubborn plaque and debris which a normal soft-bristle toothbrush is out of reach.

Control. Limit your food and beverage consumption high in sugars and acids.

Healthy foods. Consume more calcium-rich and fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and supplements.

Wear a mouthguard. Practice safety in separating the upper and lower parts of teeth especially during intense sports activities.

Warm water. Drink lukewarm water, keep the mouth moist and avoid GMO substances.

Oral care. Use non-alcoholic mouthwash to rinse off the bacteria and plaque residing in the mouth.

Reduce acidic intakes. Lower the amounts of acidic foods and beverages.

Regular dental visits. Visit your dentist on time for professional cleanups and oral exam.



Risk of tooth cavity, decay, infection, or other oral concerns remain. Further complications include ongoing tooth pain, abscess, development of pus, broken or chipped tooth, difficulties in daily routine, or even psychology problems.


Learn more about other dental care and oral health issues that might be of concern to you.

Tooth Diagnosis | Dental Psychology | Dental Fracture | Cavities | Abscessed Tooth | Dry Sockets | Tooth Decay | Infection | Extraction | Gum Diagnosis | Dental Anxiety | Gum Infection | Dental Filling | Dental Flossing | Toothache | Teeth Brushing 101 | Root Canal | Root Canal Anxiety | Wisdom Tooth Relief | Home Tooth Extraction | Toothache Causes | Tooth Sensitivity | Emergency Dental


Else, a dental treatment prevents the need for extraction and saves the natural tooth. Never avoid the problem of an infection, abscess, crack, or whatever the issue might be.



List of questions. Always prepare some information to help you better communicate with your dentist.

Cavity. A cavity can be avoided, treated, or mitigated, depending on the type of treatment options.

Dry socket. A hydrated silica toothpaste supports repairs on the oral damage.

Consultation: In an event of a cracked tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible.

Psychology: Talk to a psychologist or counsellor to better handle toothache psychological problems.

Observations: gum diseases, tooth cavities, bacteria infections, cracks, swellings, or renewed bleeding.

Oral care: toothbrushes, toothpastes, mouthwashes, whitening agents, dental flosses, filaments etc.

Dental tips: call up your local dentist -> set an appointment date -> attend regular dental checkups etc.

Healthy practice: avoid artificial ingredients, unhealthy eating, smoking, irregular brushing habits etc.

Health and wellness: 30-minutes fitness, home workouts, calcium-rich foods and beverages, sleep etc.

Regurgitate: Dry Sockets – Issue, Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Outlook – Healthaon

Leave a Reply