What do I need to know about caring for someone with dry socket?

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There are several ways to help care for someone with the painful condition of dry socket, which is caused when the area around a tooth extraction is slow to heal.
  • Adhere to the dentist's post extraction treatment regimen.
  • Teeth should continue to be brushed and flossed as normal, except for the areas next to the tooth extraction site.
  • Provide a cold cloth or ice bag for use with pain.
  • If pain persists, consult with the dentist on medications or anti-inflammory drugs that can be taken.
  • Do not allow smoking or other tobacco use, as this can delay healing.
  • Assist with cleaning the site and changing medicated bandages.
To care for someone who has dry socket after a tooth extraction, the first thing you need to know is that the condition is very painful. Help the person relieve the pain and swelling by placing ice packs on their cheek. Make sure the person rests, drinks plenty of clear fluids, and rinses with warm salt water.

A person with dry socket should not exert themselves. In addition, they should not brush their teeth, spit, or smoke, because these activities could worsen the condition. Over-the-counter pain medications can be taken, and if they do bring relief, the dentist will be able to recommend stronger pain medications.

When caring for someone with dry socket, there are several ways you can help them. You can place ice packs on their cheeks to help them cope with pain and swelling. Prepare a warm saline rinse for them, and encourage them not to use tobacco products. Give them lots of clear liquids to enable them to stay hydrated. You can also give them clove oil to help with pain and swelling. Make sure they take pain medications, and take them to any scheduled appointments with the dentist. If the condition gets worse, call the dentist.

Continue Learning about Dry Socket

Dry Socket

Dry Socket

If you've just had a tooth extracted, particularly a wisdom tooth, you may start to feel a nasty pain a few days after the tooth extraction. Call your doctor or dentist to see if this is dry socket, a condition that can happen whe...

n the blood clot that is supposed to form in the socket where your tooth was gets dislodged. This will interfere with healing. Also known as alveolar osteitis, dry socket can cause pain not only where the tooth was but through the jaw and radiating to your ears. Learn more about preventing and treating dry socket with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.