Dry Socket Information & Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve recently had a tooth removed, you may be at risk for a dry socket. Although dry socket is the most common complication of tooth removal, it’s still relatively rare. Dry socket is a more common occurrence with lower tooth removal.


What is dry socket?

Dry socket occurs three to four days after an adult tooth is removed. When an adult tooth is removed a blood clot should form to protect the hole in your gums as it heals. If the blood becomes dislodged from your gums, does not form properly, or dissolves before the wound heals it can create a dry socket. A dry socket can leave the nerves and bone in your gums exposed. If left untreated it may lead to infection and other complications.

How do I know if I have dry socket?

If 3-4 days after your surgery, you feel that you are experiencing pain that is getting worse and is not eased by pain medication, it can often mean you have a dry socket.

The main symptoms include increased pain, aches, and throbbing. This may also be accompanied by bad breath and increased swelling. The only way to know for sure is to have your doctor examine the treated area. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

How is dry socket treated?

After a doctor has evaluated the area, A dry socket is easily treated by cleaning, rinsing, and placing a medicated dressing. Follow up visits will be scheduled to check the healing process.

What to avoid:

  • Smoking & tobacco products
  • No harsh vigorous rinsing (only soft, mild rinsing for the first 7-10 days)
  • Keep the area clean and free from food accumulating in the area
  • Oral contraceptive medications have been known to be an increased risk factor for developing a dry socket
  • Diabetics are also at a higher risk of developing dry sockets

If you would like to download our helpful guide to assist with pre-op prior to your surgery, click below

Dry Socket FAQ