What Is A Dry Socket?

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You’ve just had one of your adult teeth removed, but you’re in excruciating pain when you should be almost healed. Chances are that you’re suffering from a condition known as dry socket, which can be extremely painful and hinder the healing process. If you aren’t sure whether this condition could be the cause of your pain, below is a quick guide about what causes a dry socket, what it feels like, and how it’s treated. 

What Is Dry Socket? 


Dry socket develops when you’ve a permanent tooth removed, but the blood clot at the site has some issues. In some cases, it may never develop, while others will find that it does develop but dislodges prior to complete healing. 


The blood clot serves an important role in giving you comfort during the healing process. It covers the bone and nerve endings in the newly-empty socket while fresh tissue and bone develop. While you heal, the blood clot protects the nerves, which fan out to affect that entire side of the face. 


If the blood clot isn’t there, the socket is likely to become more inflamed. The clot won’t be able to keep food out of the healing socket, which can compound your pain. In most cases, this type of dry socket develops about one to three days following the removal of the tooth. 

Symptoms of Dry Socket


Fortunately, pinpointing a dry socket doesn’t necessarily require a degree in dentistry. If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms below, head back to your dentist or oral surgeon to receive treatment for your condition: 


  • Extreme pain days after the extraction
  • An empty socket where the blood clot has dislodged (may include visible bone)
  • Pain on the same side of the face around the eye, ear, temple, or neck
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth

Treatment of Dry Socket


While dry socket can be painful, there are a few things that your dentist or oral surgeon can help you feel more comfortable. They’ll start by flushing out the socket and then apply medicated dressings to give you pain relief right away. You may require this regularly until the socket heals. 


They may also prescribe pain medication for the discomfort you feel radiating from the socket to other parts of your face, ears, or neck.  

Consult Your Dentist


If you’ve recently had a tooth removed and think you might be suffering from dry socket, consult with a professional and experienced dentist immediately. East Kildonan Dental Group provides Winnipeg dental services that will help keep you comfortable, regardless of whether the pain stems from dry socket or some other condition. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you with your dental needs!

Article written by East Kildonan Dental

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