When Can You Stop Worrying About Dry Socket?

Nov 01, 2022

What Is a Dry Socket?

It is a term referring to a dental condition called alveolar osteitis. It occurs after tooth loss, typically two to four days after losing a natural tooth. A dry socket occurs when there is a disruption in the body’s natural healing process. Ideally, the blood clot forming on the extraction wound either dissolves or is dislodged before the wound has healed properly. The nerves and bone tissue underneath are exposed if the blood clot is absent.

Why Would You Remove Your Natural Tooth?

Not everyone chooses to remove their natural teeth of free will. Some people succumb to tooth loss due to underlying health problems while others decide to undergo tooth extractions near you them due to the dentist’s recommendations. Either way, it is not a joy to lose your natural teeth. Some of the factors that can necessitate tooth extractions are:

  1. Severe tooth decay
  2. An overcrowded mouth – is an orthodontic problem where your teeth are too many or too large to fit properly in your jawbone.
  3. Periodontitis – is an advanced infection of the gums that compromises the gums and jawbone significantly enough to cause tooth loss.
  4. Dental trauma or injury

What Causes a Dry Socket?

A dry socket will only occur if the blood clot on an extracted tooth is absent before proper healing has occurred. Usually, a dentist will explain the importance of protecting the wound after tooth extraction in Ellicott City. Some factors that can disrupt the formation of a blood clot on an extraction site are:

  1. Dry air in your mouth – is most commonly by drinking through a straw soon after tooth extraction.
  2. Hard, crunchy, and chewy foods too soon after the tooth extraction.
  3. Smoking and other tobacco usages
  4. Running your tongue back and forth over the extraction wound.
  5. Trauma in the extraction area
  6. Poor oral hygiene
  7. Aggression during dental care measures – for example, brushing too aggressively, using a hard-bristled toothbrush, or swishing too vigorously.
  8. Hormonal imbalance – fluctuating estrogen levels can cause the blood clot to dissolve quicker than it should. Therefore, women are more likely to suffer from a dry socket, particularly when taking oral contraceptives.

Signs You Are Suffering from a Dry Socket?

Usually, you need a dentist near you for an accurate diagnosis. It is not wise to assume you have a dry socket just because you have recently had your tooth removed. Sometimes you may experience complications due to an infection in the extraction site. However, at Excel Dental Care, we have determined the following factors as indicators that you may have a dry socket:

  1. A whitish color on the extraction site – means that the underlying bone is exposed. Typically, you should notice a dark-colored scab at the site of the missing tooth.
  2. Intense pain at the extraction site
  3. Bleeding on the wound
  4. Neck and head pain
  5. Persistent bad breath
  6. Foul taste in your mouth
  7. Tenderness, bruising, and swelling in your gums around the extraction site.

Can A Dry Socket Heal on Its Own?

Generally, a dry socket heals without urgent dental care. However, it depends on the cause of the problem and whether there is further damage to your wound. In most cases, patients need to visit a dentist for a correct diagnosis and to determine the extent of the damage. Still, your body should respond by forming a new blood clot on the extraction site.

How to Remedy a Dry Socket?

Your primary concern when handling a dry socket should be alleviating pain as soon as possible. Therefore, some of the things you can do to ease your discomfort are:

  1. Rinse your mouth with saltwater – it kills any active bacteria in your mouth that may threaten an infection on the wound.
  2. Place a clean cloth or gauze on the extraction site – it stops the bleeding, allowing your body to begin the clotting process. After placing the cloth, gently bite it down to apply some pressure on the wound.
  3. Take over-the-counter medicine – like pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  4. Cold compress to reduce swelling and pain


Ultimately, a dry socket does not have to be part of your story after tooth extraction. Caring for your mouth will play a significant role in your speedy healing and recovery post-surgery.

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