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Dry socket is the
most common complication of an extraction. It develops in about 5% of tooth
extractions. It is
very painful condition that is easily treated.
Any socket in which a
patient is having pain due to the loss of the blood clot
thus exposing the bone to air, food, and fluids along
with an offensive odor. This often occurs two or
more days after an extraction and can last about 5-6
days. It is normal to have soreness and discomfort
following an extraction.
However, pain should be lessening by the second day.
condition exist when a blood clot is dislodged from the surgery site thus
exposing the bone and fine nerve endings. The blood clot helps in the stopping
of bleeding and lays the foundation or framework for new tissue and bone
to develop over a two-month healing process. This condition is more common
in the mandibular area and in back teeth due to poorer circulation in
this area, with wisdom teeth being the
most common site. Dry socket delays the healing process.
usually takes gum tissue about 3-4 weeks to heal where as the
bone can take up to six months to heal.
This condition is most often
In individuals who
before their recommended time. Smoking: decreases healing, decrease blood
supply to the protective blood clot, brings toxic
products to the area, injuries the gum
tissue and the negative pressure of sucking removes the blood clot from the surgery site.
If you do not care for your extraction
site as instructed by staff.
Not following your home care
Sucking action from
smoking, sneezing, coughing, spitting or
sucking, within the first 24 hours.
Women taking oral contraceptives are
Prevention of dry socket:
Women who use birth control
pills or have their teeth removed in the first 22 days of
the menstrual cycle are twice as likely to develop dry socket after an
extraction. Schedule extractions during the last week of
your menstrual cycle (days 23 through 28) ** when estrogen levels are low or
Avoid drinking through a straw
Avoid smoking, it contaminates the extraction
Avoid excessive mouth rinsing, it interferes
with blood clotting
Keeping food from
impacting in this area. Chew on the other side of
your mouth and gently rinse your mouth with warm
salt water after the first 24 hours.
If you have a dry socket
contact us immediately.
include the following:
Medication applied to the site.
Clove oil technique.
Additional home care instructions.
Alvogyl by Septodont
Patients usually notice pain relief
in about 5-10 minutes after the
dressing is applied.
experienced fewer cases of dry socket since every patient is asked to
rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash and each patient is instructed on
how to care for their extraction site through CD ROM patient education,
verbal instruction and home care instruction handouts. We highly
recommend patients use Breath RX in their daily oral hygiene routine to
help control oral bacterial
Continue these instructions for the next 3-4 days:
oral health care.
Avoid food with any
residuals...popcorn, peanuts and pasta
Eat soft foods...mashed
potatoes, clear or cream soups that don't contain any
Updates on Dry Socket
Oral contraceptive may
increase pain after wisdom tooth extraction
tests on 267 women showed that those on the birth control pill
were more susceptible than non-users to both postoperative
pain and a condition known as 'dry
socket.' In this condition, normal healing of the
vacant tooth socket is delayed by the failure of a blood clot
to form. Infection instead causes the socket to remain empty.
In the study, pain on the day after the operation was
experienced by 30 percent of pill takers compared to just 11
percent of non-users. Five days after the operation the
difference was 14 percent compared to 5 percent. The
researchers said these results suggest that the pill may
reduce the pain threshold. The differential was similar
when the development of dry socket was compared. Here, 11
percent of pill users were affected compared to 4 percent of
SOURCE: British Dental Journal 2003;194:453-455.
* Dr. Leonard. Dental Products Report March 2001.
** Academy of General Dentistry.
Dentalnotes Fall 2002 pg3.
February 06, 2008
Map Extraction Guide