Question

Dry Socket

Is there a cure for dry socket?

A Answers (3)

  • ADe Vizio, DMD, Dentist, answered on behalf of Colgate
    Dry socket is a painful situation that can happen after you have a tooth pulled, but it can be cured when your dentist washes out the socket and packs it with a dressing that is soaked with medicine. After a tooth is pulled (extracted), the hole where the tooth used to be (called the socket) usually gets filled by a blood clot. The blood clot protects the socket from exposure to air and bits of food. When the bone and gum tissue begin healing, they take the place of the protective blood clot.

    Sometimes, though, the blood clot gets washed away before all the healing has happened, exposing the socket to air and food and leaving you in a lot of pain. The dentist can help by washing out the socket, giving you an anesthetic to reduce your pain, and packing the socket with a medicated dressing or paste. This treatment may need to be repeated daily or every several days until the socket heals on its own.
  • When a person has dry socket, it can be painful for three to five days or so. It is a condition that sometimes occurs after a tooth is extracted and the socket is slow to heal.

    The dentist's treatment may include cleaning the site and placing a medicated dressing in the socket, which helps provide relief of pain. The dentist may change the dressing daily until the pain diminishes and the socket begins to heal. The dentist may recommend a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or prescribe other pain relievers.

    Cigarette smoking or other tobacco use can delay healing and should be avoided.
  • Dry socket will usually be cured in a week or two. However, you will want to treat the pain that occurs until it is completely healed. You can do this by taking oral medication or using medicated dressings. Your doctor will also rinse the socket to clear it of debris and will show you how to do this at home.

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Are there alternative treatments for dry socket?