Dry Socket Experiences?

Anyone have a tooth pulled and later develop dry socket?

In the past two years I’ve lost four teeth and three healed quickly and easily. The last one, pulled on Wednesday morning, was totally painless by Thursday evening and all was well. Until tonight when I was slowly more and more achy and sore along my bottom jaw up into my ear. I just checked in the mirror and I see the blood clot is gone and I can see (and poke!) jaw bone in the middle of the healing area.

I’ve eaten only soft food (mainly liquids like chicken broth) since removal to try to keep the blood clot in, careful rinsing with salt water, brushing carefully…and still, bye-bye blood clot.

Here’s hoping the ache in the jaw is something unrelated but in the meantime regale me with your horror stories about your dry sockets. Do you know of any easy-to-do, home remedies that really work because I live in the middle of nowhere and my dentist is 2+ hours away. :frowning:

Moved to IMHO, home of medical and dental threads, from MPSIMS.

You can’t home treat this. There is a significant risk of very serious complications.

Dentist here. Your dentist has dry socket paste but 2 hours is a long drive. Is there a drugstore nearby? If so get some eugenol(oil of clove) at the drug store. It is best to put it in the socket on a resorbable material such as gelfoam but don’t know if they’d have any. Place a bit on some gauze and place over the socket. Place a clean layer of gauze over that and bit gently. Help most folks, YMMV. If no drugstore you could try biteing on a tea bag it helps a bit. Also Ibuprophen(Advil, Motrin). I’m not your doctor,not done an exam not licensed in your state etc. but if I was I’d say take four Advil now and two more every four hours and one Tylenol every four hours starting two hours after the first dose of Advil. That way you are taking something every two hours. Six Tylenol a day is plenty(the stuff is tough on your liver).

What would those complications be? In 27 years I’ve never seen a dry socket that didn’t stop on it’s own. It is just a matter of how long and how much it hurts without treatment. If you are thinking infection(i’m guessing) that is a different situation.

Thanks, rsat3acr for the information! So far the pain isn’t horrible (I actually took one Naproxen since that was all I had in the house) and our pharmacy (which is really just 5-6 shelves in someones basement!) is closed until Monday but I ran over to the grocery store and they had both maximum strength Orajel and nighttime Oragel (which is the same but in the form of a thicker paste, so it stays put better). I was hesitant to put anything right on the open area and exposed bone? Putting the nighttime one on the surrounding side gums actually helped quite a bit though.

My dentist gave me some gauze to take home so I can use that and I’ll try the tea bag if needed.

When it started to ache I was pretty sure what it was and online it’s all horror stories of how much it hurts but so far, while it’s not pleasant by any means, it’s not “kill me” territory.

Also, thanks twickster. I always think of IMHO as polls and forget it’s the medical advice forum.

Actually, I’m going to opt not to tell you about it, because you seem to be doing all right, and I don’t want to scare you.

I’ll say this though, it’s been over 25 years and I did a full-body cringe just seeing your thread title.

I’ve read a bunch of horror stories online and, for some perverse reason, watched a youtube video of a man who looked to be almost in tears being treated in an ER room. All those already scared me!

However, a “no horrid details needed” question: How long did your pain last? Even if it gets bad, if I at least I know how long approximately it might last until I no longer want to remove my own head, that will help.

oralgel is fine,sorry I just figured any pharm. would have eugenol. Putting it in the socket is fine. Just don’t stick grubby fingers in there. Gauze over the medication so you keep it in the socket and aren’t swallowing it. As with all meds use as little as you can to get the job done.

Great, thanks again, rsat3acr!! I’m going to actually do that right now!

It’s too late for prevention but (for future reference) my understanding is that when you rinse with salt water the trick is to just pour the salt water in your mouth and let it sit, then open your mouth and let it run out. Any “swishing” motion can dislodge the clot. Also, drinking through a straw, smoking or anything that creates a suction can dislodge the clot.
Hope it heals quickly.

River Hippie, that is good technique, the real problem however is that “dry socket” isn’t really a function of the clot. What we call dry socket is more correctly called localized alveolar ostitis. Really the presence or absence of the clot isn’t the cause. We don’t really know but more likely from the trauma of extraction. As a general rule dry socket is more likely in men then women, lowers then uppers, posterior then anterior, older patients then younger, smokers then nonsmokers and “harder” extractions then “easier”. I seen people do everything wrong and have no problems and do everything right and get dry socket. Also doing all four wisdom teeth extractions in one mouth a one dry socket and three that are fine. Since all four had the same post op care it sometimes doesn’t make sense. Doing everything right sure can’t hurt but may or may not help prevent dry socket.

That was me. All four wisdom teeth, about age 22, bottom right got dry socket.

Months. I lost 30 percent of my body weight. It still hurts occasionally, but nothing like those first few weeks, of course. Honestly, by week five I was fully willing to amputate my jaw.

every one is different of course, that is the longest I’ve heard of. Most people I’ve been involved with, a few days to two or three weeks.

Exactly. There is no reason to think yours will be like that, OP.


I’m going to pretend I didn’t read that!

I’m inclined to think I don’t actually have dry socket. Unless there is such a thing as a mild version? It hurts (and only started hurting at all two days after it came out) but it’s not “amputate my jaw” hurts at this point. I’ve had three other extractions and none hurt like this especially starting days later. Up into the ear (almost pressure-pain) and my lower jaw. But given what I’ve read, and most of the internet stories seem to match **TruCelt’s **experience for ‘kill me’ pain, I think my issue may be something else. Which I will be very thankful about if that’s the case!

Starting two days after extraction is common time frame for dry socket. Probably just a mild one. I’ve never had anyone or known of anyone with something like TruCelt.

Thanks. Ignorance fought!

Given the way the oral surgeon sneered at me when I went back, he hadn’t either. He seemed to have assumed I was just some drug-seeking addict (went on about the dangers of narcotics) and nothing I could say would get him on to the subject of diagnosing and treating the problem. I just got “dry-sockets” a pat on the head and a prescription for motrin. (Yes, I am that olde.)

My experience is pretty much the opposite of a horror story. There was some mild pain and swelling - I’d liken it to a badly sprained ankle - for about a week. I did go see the dentist the day after I realized the symptoms and the dentist did something that probably helped.

The real horror story in my wisdom tooth extraction is that the dentist missed a fragment of the tooth. It was only a shard about a quarter inch long, but there was lots of swelling, pus, etc. as it worked its way out. Even that’s not so much in the grand scheme of horror stories.