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Learn More about the Symptoms and Treatment for Dry Socket

Dry Socket treatmentNobody likes the thought of having a tooth extracted but if it is necessary then modern techniques and anaesthetics can be relied upon to make it a painless experience. Once the tooth is gone then the focus is on avoiding a dry socket after extraction.

Dry socket is a painful complication where a blood clot doesn’t form after extraction or the clot becomes dislodged exposing bone and nerves.

The blood clot serves to protect the underlying tissues, bone and nerves as the extraction site heals. Dry socket is only a temporary complication that resolves easily with the necessary treatment.

The following factors increase the risk of dry socket:

  • Chewing tobacco
  • Having had dry socket in the past
  • Infections in the gum or teeth near the site
  • Not following instructions after the tooth extraction
  • Oral contraceptives or estrogen replacement therapy
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Use of a drinking straw

Notable symptoms of dry socket include:

  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Foul smell from the mouth
  • Lack of a blood clot at the extraction site
  • Pain radiating from the tooth socket to the ear, eye, temple, or neck on the same side
  • Severe pain at the site within 3 days of extraction
  • Visible bone at the extraction site

Your dentist will most likely diagnose dry socket if you have severe pain after extraction. An x-ray will be required to rule out bone infection and to check if fragments of bone or root remained at the site.

Treatment for Dry Socket

Treatment will basically revolve around pain management. The dentist will begin by flushing the extraction site to get rid of any food debris. The socket will then be packed with medicated dressings before giving a prescription for pain medication. There will be follow-up appointments with the dentist to ensure proper healing of the socket.


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Dr Ashley Davenport BDS MFGDP(UK)

I qualified as a dentist in 1995 and can honestly say that I have been doing a job that I love for the past 20 plus years. Most people who know me well know that dentistry is a passion for me and that if I won the lottery I would still want to have some dentistry in my life. I get huge satisfaction from treating patients and making a difference to ...

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Dr Catherine Myatt BDS MFGDP(UK)

Cath joined the practice as a dentist in 2002.  She and Ashley met on their postgraduate Vocational Training course in Birmingham when they ended up working at the same practice in West Bromwich.  When Ashley was looking for an associate at Balsall Common Dental Practice, Cath came to take the role and she has been here ever since.  In 2017 Cath...

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201 Station Road
Balsall Common
West Midlands
Tel: 01676 529000

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Last updated: April 20th, 2024

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