What Are Dry Sockets, and What Can You Expect?

Getting a tooth pulled or your wisdom taken out can be painful and downright embarrassing.

You might not want to see friends for days, so that they won’t make fun of you for your puffy cheeks. You can’t eat, drink and have to sit in bed all day with the inability to take care of yourself.

If it isn’t painful enough just getting a tooth pulled or wisdom teeth taken out, it is possible that you can experience dry sockets. 

You will know you have a dry socket if your pain doesn’t go away after a few days. Although only a small percentage of people experience dry sockets after tooth withdrawals, it can be very uncomfortable for those who do.

How do you avoid dry sockets?

  •             Don’t drink water through a straw
  •             Spit all excess saliva for the first days after surgery
  •             Don’t rinse with mouthwash more than recommended
  •             Be very gentle when swishing with mouthwash

You are more likely to get a dry socket if you:

  •             Smoke
  •             Have bad oral hygiene
  •             Use birth control
  •             Experience unusual trauma during the tooth withdrawal

What does a dry socket look like?

            It looks like it sounds: dry. Typically, after you get a tooth pulled, a dark blood clot will form. When you have a dry socket, instead of the dark blood clot, a whitish bone will form. The pain can start within 2 days of your withdrawal and might even spread to your ear. 

What to do to treat the dry socket?

            Aspirin and ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory drugs that you can take to combat the inflammation and relieve pain. If you don’t feel that these are adequate, your doctor can prescribe you a stronger prescription to relieve your symptoms.

            You need to visit the dentist to clean the dry socket. Your dentist will remove any excess junk from the location of your dry socket and fill it with medication to promote healing. You will potentially have to visit your dentist daily to get it filled with the healing paste. To keep your dry socket clean at home, swish with sea salt and warm water or mouthwash that your dentist recommends.

Our specialists are here to help. We are able to answer any questions about dry sockets, wisdom teeth and tooth extraction care. Call  Dr. Wagner and the Racine Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646!

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