From the Health Library of "My tooth hurts. Is it dry socket?"

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Ok.  Some of you are thinking “What is dry socket?”. Anyone who has ever suffered from it knows it all to well.  This as well as so many other dental conditions are best dealt with by appropriate hygiene (brushing and flossing) so it never gets to this point. But when it does…
‘Dry socket’ is another name for alveolar osteitis.  This is an extremely painful condition of the mouth that usually occurs within a week (say 2-5 days most frequently) after you’ve had a tooth extracted. Normally a small clot forms to protect the exposed bone.  Anything you do to cause the loss of this protective clot can lead to inflammation and sometimes infection of that bone.
Treatment involves mostly addressing the pain. Your dentist will likely rinse the socket to eliminate any offending particles and apply a medicated dressing. Prescription pain medications often are given. These measures pretty promptly bring relief, so if your pain after having had an extraction seems especially severe, get in for an evaluation promptly.
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2 thoughts on “From the Health Library of "My tooth hurts. Is it dry socket?"

  1. My sister and I both had braces. She had no cavities when the braces came off after 3 years. After 2 1/2 years, I had 16 cavities. No difference in oral hygiene, but I’ve had dry mouth and eyes since I can remember. Because i have problems with dry mouth, the dentist wasn’t surprised that I had dry socket when my first tooth was pulled about 5 years ago and have had 4 teeth pulled since that time.
    The first time I experienced dry socket, I thought someone had hit part of my mouth with a hammer. I called the dental clinic to ask why and was told to come to the office immediately. The dentist recommended “Red Cross” (oil of clove). The next time I had a tooth pulled and experienced increasing pain after 2 days, I packed the tooth using the gauze provided with the “Red Cross” kit soaked with oil of clove. I have to continue repack it once a day for about a week. The product is hard to find and I had to purchase it on-line.

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