What is a dry socket?

A dry socket, known medically as alveolar osteitis, is a dental problem, which develops a few days after a tooth is pulled out, or mostly after a wisdom tooth has been extracted. The painful condition arises when a tooth is extracted and blood clots form at this site that are dislodges or dissolved before the wound has properly healed. Normally, these blood clots remain intact and protect the bone and nerve ending till the gum and wound has healed. A dry socket gives a throbbing pain to the patient in the tooth extracted region, and leads to bad breath and bad taste in the mouth.


What are the causes of a dry socket?

Although there are no specific reasons for dry sockets, bacterial infections, bone or tissue trauma during the tooth extraction, and small piece of bone remaining in the wound after the extraction are some of the reasons outlined for the cause. Excessive smoking, a dense jawbone, oral contraceptives, or oral infections in the past increase the risks of dry socket formations.


What are the symptoms of a dry socket?

To read an in depth detail on the symptoms of dry sockets, click here.


Treating a dry socket at home

There are different remedies to aid in the reduction of pain of a dry socket, but either way, visiting a dentist is vital when a dry socket forms for the prescription of the correct drugs and treatment.


  • Use oil of cloves (also called eugenol by pharmacists). Clean the mouth with saline water, and apply a few drops of the oil on a gauze. With a pair of tweezers, insert the gauze over the affected area.

  • Using honey. Rinse your mouth with saline water, and rub honey over the infect area with it on a gauze.


  • Take a pain reliever. Take an ibuprofen for the pain according to the prescribed amount of dosage.

  • Use an ice pack. Place the ice pack over the affected area, wrapped in a clean towel. Remember to place it on the cheek.

  • Gargle with saline water. Create a mix of warm water and salt and rinse your mouth with it a few times for relief.

  • Have yogurt. Eating yogurt will help with the infection as it provides as a natural antibiotic.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink water to wash away the infection and lower the pain.