Dry Socket: Facts and Treatment


What is Dry Socket?

Dry socket is inflammation of the jawbone after a tooth extraction.  After a tooth extraction, a blood clot usually forms as the 1st step in the healing process to protect the jawbone.  When the blood clot is lost, bone can become exposed and inflamed.  This may cause pain and delay the healing process.


Symptoms of Dry Socket

Dry socket symptoms usually develop 3-5 days after a tooth extraction.  Patients will experience a throbbing steady pain.  This pain can spread up to the ear and jawline as well.  People suffering from it find it difficult to speak, sleep or do anything…..literally.  Patients will usually experience a bad taste in their mouth or have bad breath.


How to Treat Dry Socket

If you suspect you have dry socket contact your dentist. Treatment usually involves symptomatic support while the socket heals. He/she may perform surgical procedures, prescribe painkillers and do what is necessary to offer relief from the pain. A dentist will try to flush the socket so that the remaining debris is cleared. The dentist may also apply anesthetic agents to numb the pain and syringe or pack the socket with medication-filled dressing.


While you are waiting to be seen by your dentist you may choose to take over the counter medications and complement the treatment by opting for natural remedies like clove oil.


Clove Oil

Clove oil has been used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries to relieve tooth pain.  Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol, which acts as an anesthetic and antibacterial agent. The oil extracted from clove is strong in taste and flavor. It can kill bacterial contamination inside the mouth and help reduce the pain caused by inflammation.


Using Clove Oil to Treat Dry Socket

You should talk with the dentist about the suitability of applying clove oil to alleviate the pain and aid the healing process. If your dentist advises the treatment, make sure you use Clove Oil sparingly.  It should be diluted with a carrier oil such as Coconut, Olive or Grapeseed Oil.  Clove oil is very strong and can cause irritation to the gum.  You can apply the diluted clove oil directly to the site using a dropper or apply it to sterile gauze and apply it the site.


How Long Does It Take Dry Socket to Heal?

Dry socket usually heals within 7 to 10 days.  This is how long it takes for the new tissue to grow.

Can I prevent Dry Socket?

Dry Socket is very rare and sometimes can’t be prevented.  There are some things that you can do post extraction to help aid the healing process.

Don’t Smoke

Don’t Drink with a Straw

Don’t Rinse or Spit for the 1st 24 hours, then gently rinse the extraction site (vigorous rinsing and spitting may loosen blood clots)

Follow special instructions given by the dentist or oral surgeon.

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