Dry Socket

What is a dry socket?

The socket is the hole in the bone where the tooth has been removed. After a tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms in the socket to protect the bone and nerves underneath. Sometimes that clot can become dislodged or dissolve a couple of days after the extraction. That leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, fluid and anything else that enters the mouth. This can lead to infection and result in throbbing pain that may last several days. Dry socket may start a few days after the extraction.

Signs and symptoms

  • Pain and swelling developing 3-7 days after the extraction. The pain may extend to your ear or eye on the same side of your face

  • Bad taste and odour in the mouth

  • Slight fever

Who is at risk?

Fortunately, only 2-5% of people develop a dry socket after tooth extraction. Some people are more likely to get dry socket after an extraction including people who:

  • Smoke

  • Have poor oral hygiene

  • Have wisdom teeth extracted

  • Use birth control pills

  • Have a history of dry socket

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