What is Dry Socket and How to Prevent it?
A dry socket can occur after the extraction of a tooth when the blood clot that forms to protect the nerves and bone from direct exposure is displaced. A dry socket can be very painful but can often heal quickly when treated. A dry socket can occur up to a few days after the extraction of a tooth.
Symptoms of Dry Socket
- Throbbing pain
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
Home Remedies for Dry Socket
It is essential to make sure you return to see your dentist if you experience any of the symptoms listed above. There are several options for at-home remedies to help the healing process.
Clove Oil – Clove oil is great for protecting against a dry socket because it is antibacterial, antiseptic, and has pain-relieving properties. Use it by placing a piece of gauze with a couple of drops of clove oil on the extraction site.
Salt Water – It is generally recommended to rinse with a warm salt water rinse after extraction as it helps with the healing. Saltwater also helps to reduce pain and prevent infection. Make sure to rinse gently 2-3 times a day.
Hot and Cold Compresses – The extraction site recommends a cold compress to help reduce pain and inflammation, and a hot compress is recommended for the cheek near the extraction site.
Honey – Honey has shown to reduce inflammation and prevent necrosis. Use a piece of gauze with some honey on it and dab it onto the extraction site.
NSAIDs – Anti-inflammatory drugs are recommended to help reduce inflammation and pain. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label.
Turmeric – Turmeric may also have an anti-inflammatory property. Again, you can use a small amount on a piece of gauze and apply it to the extraction site.
Green/ Black Teas – These kinds of teas can help reduce inflammation near the extraction site. You can either drink the tea or rest a soaked tea bag on the extraction site.
Aloe Vera – This helps prevent a dry socket and promotes collagen formation and blood flow to help to heal.
What to Avoid
- Avoid smoking and any other tobacco use
- Avoid drinking any fluids through a straw
- Avoid spitting too hard
- Avoid brushing specifically in the area of the dry socket (make sure to continue brushing & flossing the rest of your teeth as normal)
If you believe you may have a dry socket from an extraction site, make sure to return to your dentist for an examination. Your dentist will clean out the area & apply a medicated gel or dressing and give you follow-up instructions. If you have any questions about a dry socket, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.