What is Dry Socket?

Dry socket is a common term describing the painful condition after the tooth extraction.  It happens when the blood clot is dislodged from the extraction site, thus exposing the underlying bone and tissue to external environment.  The exposed bone and tissue will be more sensitive to external stimulus such as cold, hot and air.  Also the area is more prone to infections.

One way to avoid dry socket is to have the patient bite down on the cotton gauze for a couple of hours until the bleeding stops.  The pressure from biting down on the cotton gauze will help stop the bleeding.  Also it will help keep the blood clot stays within the extraction site under the gauze, thus help promoting blood clot and wound healing.  Also if there is saliva or trace of blood, patient is encouraged to open the mouth and allow it to flow out from the mouth, instead of forcefully spitting it out.  Spitting out saliva would dislodge the blood clot.

If dry socket occurs, patient will know by having painful symptoms at the extraction site.  It may follow by swelling.  The way to treat dry socket is to put medicament into the wound site.  Usually over-counter medicament cannot treat the dry socket.  It is best to go to your dentist to have it looked at and treated.


Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS

Cosmetic Dental Office in Tempe AZ — White Tooth-Colored Fillings, Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, Onlays

Serving the city of Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, and Mesa in Arizona. Practicing General Dentist