a picture of dry socket

What Exactly Is A Dry Socket?

A dry socket occurs when you begin to feel throbbing pain for a few days after tooth extraction treatment. This is an indication that tooth extraction healing has been disrupted.

So, what is a dry socket? It’s a condition where your jawbone has suffered from inflammation after tooth extraction treatment. The underlying nerves have become exposed, likely to be because the blood clot in the affected area has dislodged. When it forms, the affected area is open to experiencing serious infection through bacteria.

What Are The Dry Socket Symptoms?

The symptoms of a dry socket attribute to the following:

  • Severe throbbing pain after your tooth is removed
  • The partial loss of a dislodged blood clot
  • The bone is visible under the empty socket
  • The pain radiates to your eyes, ear, temple and neck
  • Bad breath or an unpleasant taste

What Are The Risk Factors?

As mentioned above, if healing is disrupted and the affected area is exposed, there’s a chance you’ll experience oral infection. Here are some of the risk factors:

  • Smoking Tobacco – The chemicals in cigarettes can slow down healing and cause contamination to the affected area. When you suck on the cigarette, you’re contracting the jaw, and this will come into contact with the blood clot
  • A Lack of Rest – When you fail to follow the recommended aftercare guidelines, you’re highly likely to experience a dry socket as the affected area is very delicate. This also means a lack of quality sleep.
  • Infections – Infections around the extracted site can increase the risk
  • Past Experiences – It is likely that you’re in more danger of a dry socket if it occurred in the same area in the past

How Can I Reduce The Chances Of Experiencing A Dry Socket?

Your lifestyle choices play a pivotal role in reducing or increasing the chances of experiencing a dry socket. Here are some helpful recommendations that can help reduce the chances:

  • Avoid any form of tobacco such as cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products
  • Check any medications over with your dentist so it doesn’t interfere with the blood clot
  • Avoid drinking through a straw
  • Don’t swish water in the mouth
  • Stay physically inactive for at least 3 to 5 days until the blood clot fully forms
  • Always visit the dentist for check-ups when booked in

Have you recently had tooth extraction treatment and are seeking support with healing? You can check yourself in with us and we’d be more than happy to help. Contact us here today. If you ave any questions, feel free to reach out to our experienced Bendigo dentist for guidance.


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