Dry Socket: What It Is And How to Heal It

dry socket

Dry socket pain is some of the worst pain you can experience — here’s how to heal one.

Q My daughter had her wisdom teeth removed and a week later, she can feel air going inside one socket. In another socket, pus is coming out. I took her back to the dentist two times and he didn’t do anything but rinse it. She is in so much pain and over the counter meds are not working. Another dentist gave her antibiotics for an infection. Should there be cause for concern about these two sockets?

A It sounds like your daughter has one or two dry sockets.

What is a dry socket?

A dry socket occurs within three days after an extraction after a blood clot falls out of the socket. Without the blood clot present, the bone is exposed, which is extremely painful. A dry socket causes radiating pain up and down the face and pain upon drinking cold water or breathing in cold air. It is imperative to keep the blood clot in the socket until the bone has a chance to fill the socket and essentially heal. Without the blood clot, the socket will take longer to heal and it will be quite painful during that period of time.

what is a dry socket

A dry socket is exposed bone — some of the worst pain there is.

The blood clot has two functions: It stops the area from bleeding and over time, stimulates bone healing. Think of the blood clot as a scab on a deep cut on your skin; if the scab comes off too early, the area is exposed and can be painful, just like a dry socket.

Dry sockets are rare and occur in 5% of all tooth extractions. However, studies have shown that women are more likely than men to develop a dry socket, which could be due to menstrual cycles and estrogen levels.

The reason there is so much pain when the blood clot is lost is because the pain receptors in the jaw bone are completely exposed to the outside world.

How to Know if You Have a Dry Socket

The best differentiator between normal extraction pain and dry socket pain is timing. Post extraction pain peaks and wanes within a 24 hour period, but dry socket pain peaks three to five days after the extraction and will take weeks to go away unless treated by a professional.

Symptoms also include bad breath, an earache, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth.

What Causes a Dry Socket?

I advise my patients to avoid the following for three days after a wisdom teeth extraction:

  • Drinking from a straw, smoking, or any sort of similar “sucking” action
  • Exercise
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Swishing with water
  • Drinking carbonated beverages (soda, beer, sparkling water etc.)

How to Heal a Dry Socket

The sockets need to be packed (or filled) with material by an oral surgeon to insulate the bone. This will alleviate the pain during the extended healing process as well as mimick what the blood clot would have done.

There are two ways your oral surgeon can pack the dry socket:

  • Packing the socket with dry socket paste, which will alleviate the pain almost immediately.
  • Packing the socket with bone graft material or surgical foam

The former, although it relieves pain on the spot, may be more of a short term solution. The latter is more of a long term solution, albeit more expensive.

Whenever there is pus present in the mouth, it is wise to consider antibiotics, so the second dentist was wise in prescribing these. However, I would act on either of these two methods immediately.

Take your daughter to an oral surgeon as soon as possible and discuss these two methods of packing the dry socket with him.

Mark Burhenne DDS

Image courtesy of Second Snack.

  • Jess

    What percentage of people get dry socket from drinking carbonated beverages?

  • Reta Measheaw

    Thanks for sharing such valuable information not found anywhere eles. I need some advice about tooth decay and possible extraction. 1 week ago I noticed that a small part of my 1st bi cuspid tooth (upper) had chipped away. I went to see my dentist who took a couple of xrays. She told me that I had calcification of my root canal therefore I needed the tooth removed as root canal was not an option. I don?t have any pain at all therefore this seems a bit extreme. I really don?t want the tooth removed if it is not necessary and would really appreciate some advice.

    • gena

      I had 2 molars same thing Reta and when the dentist went to pull them they both broke on him, even though i had no pain but obvious cavities. I believe they are correct.

  • Edmond Bartnett

    Hi Doctor …
    I’m a 4th yr. dental student with questions.

    When doing endo, would it be just as effective to use a sequence of..
    1- gates glidden reaming 2- sodium hypochlorite 3- EZ fill root canal sealer
    and.. that’s it… without K files, gutta percha, calcium hydroxide and
    without Gregorian Chanting ! Eagerly awaiting your response.. EB

  • anthony

    Had #19 molar extracted one week ago. Still have clear discharge from extraction site. Jaw has small lump under extraction site.
    Extracted tooth was infected for 10 days prior to extraction, thought once removed the discharge would clear up and infection would go away. DR, told me to wait another 6 days and see if it clears up on its own. I think I may have a bone infection. Should I go back on Antibiotics? Just came off Cliyndamycin this past Saturday, 150 mg 4 times a day. should I go back an AB, if so which would you recommend.
    Do you think I may need to scrap the jaw bone again to remove any infection?

  • Cathy S.

    Dear Dr.

    I had a bottom wisdom tooth removed 1 week ago Mon., the Dr. had me come back in a week and they removed the sutures. But he did not remove the gel pack and other stuff? he said he packed the hole with. Is this material okay to be left in? I can not call their office as they are closed on Fri. thru Mon. and I had noticed a couple of times this (material?) in very small quantities coming out. I am wondering what I can expect, and will it all eventually come out or disentegrate or what if anything I should do about it. Unfortunately I did not think to ask them at the office this past Monday.

    Sincerely,

    Cathy

  • Jenny

    Got a painful dry socket. Went back today and got it packed with this stuff that looked like chewing tobacco. It tastes awful but helped almost immediately and hours later I’m in no pain. What a relief!!!

  • Maggie

    Hi i need some advice, i just had my wisdom teeth out about a week ago, i woke up the day after the extraction with horrible pain where my lower right wisdom tooth use to be, so of course i went back to the surgeon i was told i had a dry socket he packed it with some paste (honest to god it looks like it has twigs in it) and sent me home, 3 days later i again woke up again in horrible pain, so again i went back to the surgeon. He told me the dry socket was my fault because i am a smoker ( and no i hadn’t has a smoke since 2 days before the extraction) he packed me with that past again and set a standing appointment for me to have it packed once a week. i’m still in a great amounts of pain even with the packing ( it keeps the pain away for 2 days then just makes me feel like i want to through up). Now i’m starting to feel the same pain in my upper left socket, and will have to seek help for that as well. I have not been given any kind of pain medication (Motrin,Tylenol and Advil give me no relief) What do i do now, how do i get rid of this horrible pain that makes even opening my jaw to talk burn like acid is being poured into my ear down my jaw and around to the front of my mouth????? Please help me i don’t know what to do!

    • Armond DiPoalo

      I have been dealing with the same thing and this morning my dentist packed it with…IDK what. The pain went away but he told me that I would probably have to come back every day or every other day to have it re-packed. I do have the best dentist, Dr Lusbader in Newburgh NY. He is there from 6am until whenever 7 days a week.

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    • Becca

      I definitely feel your pain because these last couple of weeks have been hell for me. After the initial surgery I had to return to the dentist twice because of the same dry socket, after the second visit I felt great because they packed it with that awful paste. Well tonight (almost a 2 weeks after initial surgery) I decided to do some vigorous rinsing and I used a water pick and it knocked the paste right out and immediately I started to feel pain. Although it isn’t as bad as it had been I’m sure it will get there in a few hours or so. So first thing in the morning I will be calling my dentist.

      • Anonymous

        i had my teeth removed 10 days ago and had a dry socket. now tonight i thought there was food in my bottom right side so i used the syringe and i poked it by mistake and it started bleeding a little. i hope i didn’t cause a dry socket again. I’m not in pain but so scared because i have been in so much pain the past 10 days. last 3 days have been better . my dentist not in until monday and i am definitely going. just wondering if i can get dry socket again. also i have so much muscle pain up thru my ear and in my whole jaw… this has been a horrible experience

      • robin

        i had my teeth removed 10 days ago and had a dry socket. now tonight i thought there was food in my bottom right side so i used the syringe and i poked it by mistake and it started bleeding a little. i hope i didn’t cause a dry socket again. I’m not in pain but so scared because i have been in so much pain the past 10 days. last 3 days have been better . my dentist not in until monday and i am definitely going. just wondering if i can get dry socket again. also i have so much muscle pain up thru my ear and in my whole jaw… this has been a horrible experience

        • robin

          can i get a dry socket again and would i feel pain already?? some white stuff came out -might have been food. not in pain yet just so nervous because of past 10 horrible days

    • Anonymous

      I had the same thing so I got a second opinion from a different surgeon he took an x ray and said the previous surgeon should have told me that my tooth was sitting on my nerve so when he extracted it he tore that nerve up. Now I have a 50/50 chance that my jaw will ever feel norm again. He also extracted three old packings that he saw on the x ray, the previous surgeon was packing new on top of old and just leaving them in my jaw to heal up and rot and fester. Has I not asked for that second opinion I would have abscess soon. On week three now and this surgeon is seeing me every day to repack and make sure it’s healing correctly.

  • KellyJ

    On Tuesday 3/20 I received 4 upper surgical implants. My Periodonist told me I could not wear my current dentures for 4 days following surgery and then to keep them out as much as possible while I go through the months of healing. I don’t think my surgeon is aware my dentures fit so badly, since they are always out before he examins me. I have to use a lot of powder adhesive to secure them. Will this cause my implants to dislodge or not heal properly even if I just wear them when necessary? My 4 days are up on a Saturday 3/25 and I don’t know what to do :(

  • john

    dear doctor , I had a wisdom tooth extracted 5 days ago .I begin to experience dull ,acheing in the socket .I returned to the dentist yesterday who advised me I had a “slight” socket and suggested I syringe the area whith warm ,slaty water .the Pain is 4 out of a possible 10 and is quickly resolved with Ibuproffen .My concern will this get worse ? Will it resolve of itself ?
    Many thanks , Jon m Sydney AUST

  • Andrea

    Hi, I just got all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed and have been in an extraordinary amount of pain since the day after the procedure. Mostly on the bottom right and a bit on the left. Do you think it is dry socket? and what should I do about it?

  • Mary

    I got my two bottom wisdom teeth removed on Friday, March 16. I got dry sockets about four days after the procedure. They are excruciatingly painful — like, the kind of pain that makes you unable to think of anything else.

    I went back to the surgeon and he packed it with gauze that was soaked in something that has clove oil in it. It was instant relief. However, the pain came back, and I had to go back in again. I got relief from the pain for another day until it came back again. It was last weekend, so I was plum out of luck to go to the dentist on a Saturday.

    I did a lot of Googling for home remedies and came across clove oil. So, I went to Whole Foods, picked some up, and voila…relief. HOWEVER, be VERY advised that you *have* to dilute it. It will burn you (momentarily).

    I just dropped a few drops into a cup and then put a lot of water in it, swirled it around, and sucked it up with a syringe. Next, I dropped a few drops into my holes and stuck gauze over them immediately (as to not let the oil spread to the rest of my mouth because of the hotness). Within five minutes, the pain will be gone — promise.

    I have been doing this everyday for about a week and have had no pain after I use the clove oil. I have to do it after I eat and flush out my holes, or the dry socket pain comes back. So, if you are suffering right now, go to a health store, get some clove oil and relax — I swear it works (but be VERY careful)!

    • Anonymous

      Tried it very impressed. Thankyou

  • Martina

    Hi.

    I need some advice please. I had a front tooth removed 4 weeks ago after it broke. Unfortunately I have developed a dry socket and an infection, both have been treated – had a medicated dressing put in the socket and took antiobiotics for 5 days. However, two weeks later the dressing came out and the socket was still “open” and throbbing. I went back to my dentist last Thursday to get it checked out and he stirred the wound up to make it bleed, put another dressing in and stitched the wound up. He also prescribed anonther course of antibiotics (the same as before). I have finished the antibiotics yesterday and the throbbing has gone, the rest of the stitches came out today together with some of the dressing but the wound has still not healed. Does anyone know how long it can take for the body to start the healing process after such complications? And is there anything else that can be done, other than having stitches again? I’m a 29 year old woman, non-smoker, non-drinker but I do take oral contraceptives which I’m aware have some kind of effect on it. I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you!

  • Dr. Alina Jones

    Alveolar osteitis or dry socket is the condition occuring after tooth extraction when the clot gets dislodged due to one or the other reason. It requires immediate consultation of dentist. It is most commonly seen during wisdom tooth extraction. It is usually treated with gauze mixed with ZOE. For more info visit.. http://www.identalhub.com/dental-what-is-dry-socket-879.aspx

  • JJ

    Had my lower wisdom tooth removed a week ago. After a few days I started to experience pain that I can’t even begin to describe. I went back to my doctor and he explained that I had a dry socket. Immediately he inserted a medicated gauze into the socket to relieve the pain. Returned to the dentist every two days to replace the dressing. I’m still experiencing alot of pain and I would like to know how long does it take for the Dry socket to heal completely. Is there any home remedies out there that might help with the pain.

  • Anonymous

    will i get a dry socket if the clot fell out after a few hours? or will it heal and make a new clot. please help its memorial day weekend and last weekend i was in pain the whole weekend with a wisdom tooth coming in and today i got a tooth pulled and then i ate and food got stuck in it and i got it out and the clot came with. it had been bleeding all day anyway but im scared it wont clot and become unbearable pain.

  • mary

    i am the above “anonymous” comment. i just fogot to put my name in before hitting reply

  • lauren

    Hi. I had 4 wisdom teeth cut out and was fine except that my lower left side was still hurting and didn’t seem to be healing right. I called me dent. (who I was to see in 3 days for a follow up) I told the nurse I still had pain and was worried for infection. She sent in amox. Antibiotic and a couplme more pain pills. I went in a couple days later still in pain he said I had mild symptoms ofd dry socket and packed it with the nasty stuff. Felt better, went today to have it removed and it felt fine so I left. An hour later I am in soo much pain now I KNOW i have dry socket. All offices are closed and this is a holiday weekend so I’m screwed. Can’t decide if I should go to the er or find pain pill to get me through the next couple days!

    • Sharon

      I had my wisdom teeth cut out the same day! I woke up 3 days later and it was so much painI didn’t know what to do! I went to er.. let’s just say pain pills don’t take away the pain. I went to surgen today again and he packed it with a gauze that taste horrible but instant relief! He sent me home with more and some tools to change it out. I just changed it and it sucks.. my bf tried to do it for me but he was try n to put it in my cheek!! I don’t think he should be a dentist lol. I’ve been bed bound for a week with my teeth and I just want to feelgood again. I hope u feel better soon too!

  • Tess

    I got all 4 of my wisdom teeth out 6 days ago, I was starting to feel better by the fourth day.. then at night my left bottom side was in a lot of pain.. I was prescribed oxycodone which was helping a lot but the following morning was my last pill. I ended up calling my doctor in tears telling him how much pain I was in so he prescribed me some hydrocodone which didn’t really help very much. I have been crying because of this excruciating pain.. I woke up in the middle of the night last night completely miserable because of how bad I was hurting, I went to the bathroom and tried getting the nasty taste out my mouth which just added to the completely miserable experience. This morning I went to see my oral surgeon again, and as soon as I got in the room I immediately started crying, he asked me which side I was feeling the pain, which was the left, so he rinsed it with water then stuck this gauze dipped in something in the hole, which felt like he was taking a knife to my gum, it hurt SO bad, and tasted bad too. Once he was finally done he told me I should start feelin relief in about 15 minutes. I did feel relief but then my right side started hurting.. I don’t know if I’m just scaring myself or what.. but now my left side is hurting again not as bad as before but still enough to be really uncomfortable.. I have to go back in 2 days, I don’t know exactly for what, but I just really really really want this pain to end and I want to go back to normal:(

    • Tess

      and no I have a ulcer on the right side of my mouth which is pretty uncomfortable andslightly painful:(

    • Paul

      Hi Tess

      I have complete sympathy with you as I was in exactly the same boat. One of the nights I was woken up by the pain I spent a couple of hours online. The “liquid” you dentist probably dipped the gauze in was Eugenol or Clove Oil. You can do this yourself. It hurts to begin with but after 10 minutes the pain in almost gone completely. Mix 1 drop of Clove Oil with 10 drops of Olive Oil. Take a small piece of gauze (about the size of a peanut). Dip it in the solution and push it into the socket – use a cuetip to make sure it is in far enough so it isn’t affecting your bite (but don’t shove it right the way in as you will need to get it out again later). the clove tastes aweful but its a small price to pay for the pain to go away. I’m changing the packing about every 4 hours until I can get back to the dentist. Good luck.

    • Casey

      I have been through the exact same thing. I guess the dentists after all these years of painful events can’t figure out how to solve them. It seems to me like someone having a dry socket is the worst thing for you and the best thing for the dentist. We are clients that kept coming back, two or three times a week. Like a money pit…. :( A big miserably painful money pit. I feel as if my life will never be back on track.

  • Sonny

    I’ve never left online comments but after my painful experience and reading about everyone’s experience…I had my bottom right wisdom tooth extracted and after three day’s the pain kicked in, starting from the area of extraction, bottom jaw and going towards my ear and then the worst spot, my head..It’s unbearabled pain, the off the counter meds are definitely not working.
    I went to see the oral surgeon today and he said I have a dry socket, and he placed that gauze, which taste really bad about an hour ago and I’m hoping this pain goes away.
    I’m only hoping that like most of you, that this pain goes away………. !!!!! I’m so done with this tooth pain.

    • Zoe

      I had 2 wisdom teeth removed under GA 4 weeks ago (the bottom one was impacted). I had to go to the emergency dentist after a week because the pain was excrutiating. He prescribed 2 lots of antibiotics and a mouthwash and diagnosed “infected socket and ulcerated gums”.

      4 weeks later I am still in agony. I attended the hospital yesterday where I had the tooth out and the Doctor said it was dry socket and was surprised the dentist didn’t pack it. He flushed it out and packed it with some foul tasting stuff and said it should provide relief within an hour but it hasn’t worked! I am still in a lot of pain and don’t know what to do next. He said I could go back and get it packed again but I don’t see the point if it hasn’t worked.

      • melissa

        Reply to zoe n sonny

        I also had my hole packed with clove gauze. Its stinks it burns and it didnt help with the pain. I actually feel worse. Did u ever get relief? I feel like taking the gauze out myself becuse it hurt less before

  • http://Askthedentist.com Amanda

    Hi. I have a question. I got my back left side tooth pulled about 12 days ago, and it’s not painfull but I have an acid comming from it that is making it to where I can’t eat and it’s so nasty. What is it and what can I do? Thank you. Oh and I got clove oil but that was for pain.

  • Anonymous

    go to a drug store and get a tooth first aid kit, something like that. it has cotton balls and the oil that helps. make sure its the oil one and not the ambesol shit lol dip one ball in water then dip it in the oil then put in top of socket. dry socket blows ive had it for like six days now. its annoying id advise to always eat with gauze or something over the holes not to get food in and get a syringe with salt water and change it after every meal also clove oil does work as well.

  • http://askthedentist.com Jamie

    hi i had a tooth removed, and im a heavy smoker really bad and of course i cant wait the 24 hrs to 48hrs to have a cigarette!, would i get a dry socket several hrs later if i had a cigarette even tho i had it covered with gauze?

    • amanda

      Hey i was jst wonder wat happened after u smoked? Im a heavy smoker 2 n its been killing not being able 2 smoke wen i did i put gauze over the area n then took it out right away bt did u get a dry socket or anything like tht im dying for a cigarette bt i cnt stand having the gauze in my mouth anymore

    • Casey

      I got dry socket 5 days afer the extraction because I tried to smoke.

  • tarala

    Omg I been going through this.pain for over a week. I feel like my head on the left side keeps swelling. I can’t go to work and the.clove oil effect is starting to fade. My dentist repacked it every morning for a week and I used the nicoteen patch and the Dr won’t repack it. He said it needs to heel. I didn’t know all of this but after the extractiin I was sucking some taste out the home which I thought it to be blood. I Kelsey spitting it out all weekend. No one writes on line how u not supposed to do that. Lol I got all the clove oil bottles the beauty supply has on 116th. I use a q tip to dap the liquid around the gums in hopes some dripps inside. Along with attempting to put oragel maximum strength as a topical coat being that I’m still swollen in pain all around. I’m using a bottle of clove oil every 2 days. I’m taking naproxen, 800 milg of moultrin, vicodin, 1 tylenol 3 and a sleeping oill all at bedtime just to fall asleep for 4 hours. Lord help me.

  • andrea

    Hi I had a tooth extracted on wensday and it was very pain full and it it Saturday night and the pain just keeps geting worse and I am taking vicodin and still in pain and I can see and feel the bone should I be worried? And what should I do about it?

  • marcus

    this sucks

  • http://yahoo.com christopher rivers

    i just got all 4 wisdom teeth taken out about 8 days ago and man what an horriblllllllllllle adventure that was. I dont think ive felt any pain worse in my life after it was all over! I cant even explain it. I couldnt sleep, eat, smoke, nothing except bitch to evryone tht was around me. It was super annoying. The migrane i got was omg the worst thing in my life on both sides of my head and my face and my ears. i felt like my head was a rock that was in pain like a mug if that makes any sense. The pain killers i took were oxycodone and hybiprofin. The oxy made me really nautilus and gave me the headaches in the mornings and the hybiprofin was the only thing that worked but it only worked for like 4 hours then the pain comes back. I RECENTLY JUST WENT TO GO GET MY 2 DRY SOCKETS FILLED AND MAN WHAT A RELIEF. BUT A DAY LATER BAMMMMMM..THE PAIN HITS AGAIN LIKE A LIGHTNING STRIKE. IM GOING TO BUY SOME OLIVE OIL AND CLOVR OIL AND SEE WHAT THAT DOES FOR A FEW DAYS UNTIL ALL THIS HEALING BLOWS OVER. I DEFINETLY RECOMMEND EVERYONE TO GET THE ALL TAKEN OUT AT ONCE BECAUSE I DONT THINK ANYONE WOULD WANT TO FEEL THAT PAIN TWICE IN A LIFETIME LOL. ALL I HAVE IS ONE THING TO SAY AS IM IN SO MUCH PAIN RIGHT NOW. FML! LOL THIS WAS WORSER THN BEING IN AFGHANISTAN!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • robin

    Hello I’m 5months pregnant and had a tooth pulled 11days ago..on day 8 the extraction site started to hurt all the way through out my jaw and even my ear at times and since then I’ve noticed a bad taste and breath..my dentist office is closed Sat-Monday so I have been using the pain meds I was giving to help with the pain. As I used them sparingly after the extraction. My question is will the med’s the dentist be harmful to my Baby as I keep reading online it says that Clove oil is used and further reading has claimed it to be like a posion to the baby?

  • Cam

    I am going mad here. Do I have a dry socket or not?!!
    I got my lower right wisdom tooth out 3 days ago, the procedure was not totally straightforward, took about 40 mins. But pain was ok for first 24 hours now pain is getting worse (but is calmed with ibufprofen and paracetamol) and I have had a horrible bitter/kind of burnt (?) taste coming from the “socket”, awful taste.
    My (ill advised) internet research half tells me I have a dry socket, and half tells me I haven’t.
    I tried to follow the general rules, but I got a bit of a cold the same day as extraction, and have been sneezing, each time I’m sure this could have caused the blood clot to dislodge, but I cannot tell from looking whether I have one still, or if I even ever had one!
    Some sites suggest horrible taste and pain after 3 days is normal, while others say this is definitely dry socket. So frustrating.

    • Anonymous

      I’m trying to recover from a dry socket and its the worst pain I have ever been in in my life! I can’t imagine it not hurting with what I feel and what my dentist told me about them. I’ve had 3 kids (2 with no drugs) and I think I would rather go thru that again then experience a dry socket again!

  • Cam

    One thing that would seem to differentiate dry socket is the pain is meant to be excruciating (according to ‘most’ people), but there are still plenty of sites which say pain can just be moderate to dull… which puts me back to square one. argh!

    • Anonymous

      I had an extraction of my lower right back tooth.
      A few hours later after changing the gsuze,
      I noticed something white & realuzed the blood clot eas gone.
      I have had no pain. It surely seems like .&
      Looks lije dry docket but no pain–yet.
      Is this actually dru socket if no pain?
      Scared straight.!

  • dr-omoron dental surgeon

    to the anonymous ; no, this is not a dry socket. dry socket causes are (1) vigourus surgeryto [extensive manipulation in the tooth socket](2)less or no blood in the tooth cavity after extraction of tooth(3)when patient rinses the mouth after tooth extraction vigorously and the tooth socket becomes empty of the blood clot (4)when the patient puts his finger or tongue in the tooth socket after extraction of tooth (5)smoking or tacking alcohol beverages on the same day after extraction of tooth e.t.c ……………Treatment::rinsing the the tooth cavity with tr.iodine mixed water with disposable syringe .and packing the empty tooth socket with zinc oxide paste mixed with clove oil in cotton swab.also advise metronidazol tablets to be taken by mouth three times a day ,antibiotics and pain killer .i hope this will help all the community.

    • karen

      I had a lower molar removed yesterday.Was a bad extraction had three roots instead of two and one of the roots was twisted,plus the tooth was very decade and just kept breaking up every time the dentist got hold of it.It took 30 minutes to extract and as soon as he’d finished he rinsed it and packed it with this horrible tasting stuff and has put me on metronidazole tablets 400mg. Had to take painkillers when numbness subsided and only had two today.Had tooth removed at 2pm yesterday and bleeding finally stopped at around 6pm. Rang dentist about gauze in socket because I didn’t know what it was and they said it was medicated and to leave it in place and it would fall out by itself.Just wanted to know if this is right and how long would it take to fall out? Thank you for any advise you can give me

  • Tyler

    I just had a tooth pulled and I have extremely bad breath at the moment and a weird taste does that mean I could be getting dry socket

  • Rune

    Hi Tyler, I’m not a dentist so nothing I say should be interpreted as professional advice.

    I had two wisdom teeth out on the 11th of October. The bottom tooth was a difficult extraction, complicated by a small infection in the tooth. 48 hours after the extraction, I got that cheesy smell and bad breath from the sockets. After 72 hours, I had a dry socket forming in the bottom extraction point.

    This smell is infection caused by bacteria decomposing the clot, dead flesh and food caught in the socket. From a previous extraction, I know that such infections can prolong the healing process and can even cause severe complications. I know (as a scientist) that bacteria in general do not have a very wide resistance for ph-levels, so my solution was simple, I rinsed my mouth out and packed the sockets with pure Baking Soda (because Baking Soda is high ph and not toxic) after every meal and before bed. Today the sockets are completely healed over.

    By killing of the bacteria, the body can better spend resources growing tissue in those sockets, rather than fighting bacteria.

    Fair warning though. Baking Soda tastes like soap and will hurt some on the first few applications. On the plus side, if you have indigestion, Baking Soda is an ant-acid.

    • Rune

      P.S. That should say. “slightly high ph” not “high ph”. Baking Soda ph in water is slightly higher that neutral.

  • Rune

    P.S.S Also, this paper might be interesting: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12017929

  • christa

    I just got 1 bottom wisdom tooth pulled yesterday. It’s been okay but now today kinda bothering me a bit behind my hear and down my jaw a little. Not sure if this is normal or if I’m getting dry socket. It’s tough to see into the hole where my tooth was but when I look I swear I see two little white things and I’m hoping I havent’ lost my blood clot and see bone. I’m super worried!

  • Jeff

    Omg, reading all these pain stories brings flashbacks from when I was in the military and got all 4 of my wisdom teeth pulled…SUCKD SOOO BAD! Now im on this web page because I’m about to get 2bottom molars extracted, I remember the pain vividly like it was yesterday and it’s been 10 years since I had my wisdom teeth extracted so I’m reading up trying to figure out how to prevent this dry socket,thats how scared I am to get dry socket again. I see a lot of useful hints though to help the pain if I do get dry socket, sounds like clove oil& cotton balls for me. wish me luck and I wish everybody else the best of luck!

    • Anonymous

      I feel ya buddy. The pain from dry sockets in unbearable. Do anything you can to keep from getting them.

  • myra

    Many years ago with the extraction of a widom tooth I developed a dry socket. A wet tea bag was prescribed (place over the socket) it worked. As for mouth ulcers I have learned to apply a drop of the liquid extract of golden seal to the ulcer on a qtip. Not only does it nearly eliminate the pain by within a nite or two it is completely gone! The liquid extract of Pau d Arco dropped on an achy tooth works wonders.

  • Sally

    I had all 4 wisdom teeth out on Weds 7th November. The surgeon came to see me after surgery and apologised that I may be quite sore, as the lower impacted ones were particularly difficult to extract, I had stitches in my lower right hand side which was fine, just some swelling. By Monday 12th Nov I was in writhing agony, I contacted the dental surgeon for pain relief and he sent me to my GP. I then rang back again as I felt something was wrong and was asked if I had a funny taste in my mouth, as I did, i was advised I probably had dry socket. I went for the smelly brown stuff packing in 2 of my wounds, I asked if I should continue to use a straw for liquid and was told to stop immediately as this causes a vacuum effect. He said I’d probably sucked my own clots out. I’ve been back today for my wounds packing and within an hour, they had fallen out, que absolute agony. I have just tried the baking soda rinse, thank you Rune. My GP also prescribed a nerve blocker, Amitriptyline, which she hopes will dull the pain I have in my mouth. I’m on day 2 (no better they just make you tired) but she said 2-3 before I’d get any relief from them. Will keep you posted, I sure hope I don’t suffer for weeks like some of you poor folk, I only wish I’d been warned about dry socket, I wouldn’t have used been using a straw!

    • Anonymous

      hi i just wondered how long it took to heal i have been suffering now since 28th november its now the 6th december (over a week later) and im still in pain the packing with clove oil has not taken the pain away and im thinking of not bothering going back to the dentist and getting it packed and to just get some clove oil from the chemist and putting some in the hole
      many thanx nicole

  • Rich

    Hi, I am day on 8 of my dry socket nightmare, i have 3 wisdom dry sockets. i didnt know it was possible to feel this much pain for so long. i suffered for the first 3 days with just paracetamol and ibuprofen which did nothing. ive since then been on codeine and tramalol which send me off the planet but it helps cope with the pain. I had the sockets packet at the dentist for the first time yesterday and that helped me get a full 4 hrs sleep last night (1st time in a week). Im also on antibiotics as they think one is now infected, when will this nightmare end, i hope i dont have this for weeks like one poster i read earlier. well good luck to anyone suffering like i am i understand what you are going through.

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  • Mariah

    So I had my back bottom molar ( #19) extracted and it’s been bleeding for almost 2 days! Every time I take the gauze out it take the blood clot out and I can’t air it because I’ve tried it and it just bleeds and bleeds in my mouth ? What should I do I might have to go back to the dentist !?

  • Sky

    I had # 19 thru 22 removed, at home that evening I felt a sharpness and looked in the mirror. I see all kind of bone poking out of the gums. This is causing discomfort even more so then the teeth did. I go back to the dentist the next day and he says that they will work their way out. I have had other teeth removed and I know that bone slivers are normal. These were more than slivers and they are cutting the gums. I go back a week later and he says I have a dry socket. He does go ahead and remove these bone chips that are the size of baby teeth, a total of 5 pieces. He then packed the site with the dressing for dry socket. I do not believe I have dry socket since I did not need any pain pills after the bone chips were removed. Any thoughts on this?

  • Steph

    Hi I got my upper right side middle tooth removed on Thursday but on the same night I was in such bad pain that I couldn’t sleep
    , the extraction was quick and easy so I was shocked on the next day to be told it was dry socket. The dentist flushed it out with some anticeptic mouthwash then covered it which helped for like three hours but since then I’ve been in terrible pain , taking all different pain killers and none have worked , I have an emergency appointment tomorrow but for now I’m awake at 3am not knowing what to do to ease this unbearable pain.

  • Shanell

    I got both wisdom teeth on the bottom pulled 9 days ago. Went back 3 days later and had the start of dry socket. He cleaned both extraction sites and packed it with the cloves stuff. It helped but now the pain is on the other side. It’s amazing how they say dry socket is rare, but yet so many people get it. Can someone tell me how long it actually takes the sites to heal???

  • Spacey dave

    Ohhh boy here we go… Three days ago I had my upper right bicuspid removed by the best dental surgeon a guy could ask for, Dr. Mayes, mans got skill. The tooth had been busted down to the root for about three years and was almost Always infected, and im sure like allot of peeps everything is more important than one mesely tooth when ur poor, needless to say I ended up in the er with a pretty gnarly abscess. Anyways now its been 81 hours since the extraction, smoking the whole way through, and I think it was a sneeze that finally knocked out the clot (of all the things, and I have a very intense job requiring lots of bending and straining).
    Last day or so nasty taste and breath upon awakening, accompanied by radiating pain encompassing the whole upper right quarter of my skull. After a half hour nap earlier (holiday, good excuse) the pain was quite notable, but DEFINITELY NOT the worst pain I ever had. I am wondering if the socket may be most of the way healed already (24 yr healthy male, and as aforementioned the BEST dentist got it all out in one peace, no pain or swelling post t exo) or if I have yet to bear the unrelenting storm of midnight four letter words. The clot is gone but seems that the socket is most of the way covered, at any rate home treatment seems plausible, fingers crossed ill post my experience here for others. Please. She. Baking soda, dude your a genius, I mean scientist ;) feel better all, the more pain one endures the less stuff hurts if that be the only silver lining, may the force be with you or something witty an what havvit

  • Spacey dave

    Lol p.s. * stupid swift key

  • inpain

    Hi, I had my bottom left wisdom tooth extracted on wed its now Saturday and I’m in pain. Its kinda strange though if I elevate my head the pain eases up. Could this be dry socket

    • Anonymous

      It may be dry socket, I’d give the dentist a call and explain how it feels, it couldn’t hurt to ask!

  • MAisfire

    I have dry socket and been back to the dentist 3 times to replace the dressing. He just removed it this morning and I am in serious pain AGAIN! I have a major cold right now and with all the coughing and sneezing I’m worried it’s not going to heal. Can anyone offer advice?

  • Clair

    Hi

    I have a lower molar removed last Tuesday it was a tough extraction and he had to use what he called cow horns to help open the gums to release the tooth. It didnt bleed much after coming out. Just the next day I was in agony but put this down to bruising from the extraction. On Thursday I woke up in agony unable to eat and sleep. I phoned my surgery who said to go in. They washed out the socket and packed it with funny tasting stuff . They gave me antibiotics and told me to take pain killers. I brought co codamol which Arnt even touching the pain. I have returned to the dentist today who has told me I need to see the oral surgeon who took out the tooth tomorrow . The socket isn’t healing and he may have to either create the bleeding again or stitch the socket? I’ve never heard of this before and never been in so much pain. Please can anyone advise me ?

  • Anonymous

    I had all 4 impacted wisdom teeth out Thursday, my left side seemed to be healing fine but my bottom right was in so much pain. The pain was in my jaw and up to my ear. About three days after my surgery I woke up in such pain I was in tears in the middle of the night. Today I called my oral surgeon and explained how I felt and they told me to come in. When I got there he looked at it and said it was really bad dry socket, then he took the clove oil gauze and packed it. I have never ever felt such pain although it took all of 30 seconds to pack it I felt sick from the pain it was like he shoved a needle down there! Anyways about 20 minutes after I felt so much better, I have to go back again on Wednesday. Anyone who thinks it may be dry socket or something just doesn’t seem right you really should just get it looked at its worth it! Best of luck everyone!

    • Anon25

      Hi, I had my bottom left wisdom tooth out last Thursday, I had to go back to the dentist yesterday due to intense pain. I was told I had a dry socket but that my gum was too swollen to be able to put the filler thing in. I was prescribed antibiotics and bacterial mouthwash and told of it still hurts on Friday to go back. I have been prescribed co-codomol and am taking it with ibroprofen but it only eases the pain it is still quite bad. How long does this pain last for? I am currently off work. Do you think I will need to go back on Friday to dentist?
      Also is there stronger pain relief I can be prescribed? The pain is unbearable.

  • HENNESSY

    WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE PASTE FOR A DRY SOCKETS?

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  • BrentLee

    Hello i had my bottom 2 wisdom teeth removed on December 20th, 3 days after i got a dry socket on each side now, i do not smoke,use straws ect… i went to the dentist twice and he cleaned and put a stuffing in it. all he said is it will take time to heal, well now it is almost February and i still have 2 dry sockets, i have been rinsing with salt water, with a tool that the dentist game me “to get food out” is there anything else i can do to help them heal faster? they do not hurt they are just annoying me every time i eat.

  • louis

    I have a open broken top moler that had a root canal but the crown broke off a year ago now i have a bad taste and maybe liquids secreting in my stomach that I am asking can this liquid affect my pancreast i have been Diogenosed with pancrititis could this be the reason cause I do not drink alcohol and they say that’s where pancreititis comes from?

  • Leanne

    Hi – with dry socket, is it normal to have a swelling on your face that is extremely out of proportion, under the gum line, hard to the touch and burning up? And will this go away any time soon?

  • Kandi

    I had a wisdom tooth extraction in the lower back and despite doing everything my dentist told me I still developed a dry socket. The pain was excruciating. after going back repeatedly having the bone scraped to try & reclot alomg with multiple antibiotics I have now developed fluid coming from the extraction site which is causing thrush and leaving a horrible taste in my mouth. I cannot get it to stop and its also blocking my ear off. I’ve tried everything. my dentist says its healing but after almost 2 months there is no way. Can you please help me?

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  • Snuffles

    I just recently had dry socket and jaw infection as well!!! Two problems at once…..I recognized the signs straight away less then 2 days away from my extraction on 3 rd May……Now is 5 th May, I got prompt professional help straight away. I felt the pain and saw the swelling of my jaw and rushed for help, even if it meant dumping what I was enjoying doing that more 200k’s from my hobby which was repairing steam trains! As I knew this was serious issue that occurs after tooth extraction.

    Now after numbing me, which was downright painful they packed it medicated gauzes after scrapping and digging all the dry blood plus contaminated with germs etc. out the socket. Put me on antibiotics and hopefully I got it early enough to heal it completely!!!!!

  • Charlotte Hyatt

    I had a tooth removed today. Will using dental paste for my dentures pull out my blood clot and cause me to have dry socket issues?

  • cecilia

    Hi I just had my dry socket treated today and the pain is near nonexistent now but now I’m scared to do anything. I’m mostly scared to eat anything. What should I eat? How should I care for it now that it has been treated with the paste? I don’t want to get a recurring dry socket and out of my fear I haven’t eaten a thing all day. Help?!?!

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  • Casey

    I got my wisdom teeth removed 9 days ago. About 3 days later I started to experience the WORSE pain ever which I then found out I had a dry socket. I followed all of the post-op instructions (no smoking, exercising, drinking out of a straw etc.) & somehow still managed to get a dry socket. It was in my lower wisdom tooth. My right side was in excruciating pain, my left not so bad but still some pain. I had to start a new job on Monday so I was unable to go into the dentist because they were closed by the time that I got off. I called my dentist and he thought it sounded like I had a dry socket with an infection so he prescribed me another antibiotic to also take with my current antibiotic & to rinse with peroxide & to get some amesol dipped on a small piece of gauze and pack it in which seemed to help for a couple of hours. the next day I went to the dentist ( at another location that was open later because mine was already closed) in which the dentist told me I did in fact have a dry socket but fortunately no infection. I continued to rinse with salt water & peroxide because I wasn’t told otherwise (bad idea) which I think made it worse. The dentist packed in some brown gauze stuff which I believe had clove oil on it and tasted horrible!! It caused my whole mouth to taste like it and actually made me feel nauseous! About 30 mins after him packing it helped with pain but sure enough a day later I was back in the same excruciating pain!!! Had to wait a day to see my dentist because they were closed and when I went to see my regular dentist he said he didn’t prefer the brown gauze but preferred the paste. So do I!! So much better. Seems to relieve pain more and doesn’t have nearly as bad of a taste. He asked for me to come back 2 days later to do the same thing. Now I’m on day 9 starting to feel a little better with my pain medication and him packing but still not 100%. He said it is my choice if I want to go back to get it repacked, which I definitely do but am unable to get off of work by the time they are still open. Really scared that I’m going to start feeling the same excruciating pain again and am not going to be able to make it into a dentist. Also terrified of eating as I don’t want a piece of food to get stuck in there and cause infection. Also scared of rinsing becUse I don’t want to disturb the dry socket again. I don’t know what to do. Anybody know how long it actually takes to get the pain to go away??! I’m so tired of feeling like this and worrying about that god awful pain of coming back! I’ve now had it packed 3 times ( 1 gauze & 2 pastes) Starting to feel better but is the pain going to come back once the paste goes away? I’m also almost out of my pain meds. Someone please help as I am so worried!! I can’t concentrate on anything else but this and starting a new job has been so difficult! Can’t request time off & can’t focus on what their teaching me. Feeling hopeless. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

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  • maria feliciano

    Hi I had my front teeth taking out Saturday HD massive stitches in my mouth today is Tuesday and there coming out that’s not normal I have appointment sat for it my mouth is so numb and in so much pain please help

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