What You Need to Know About Dry Socket


dry-socket-austin-oral-surgery-199x300I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories about dry socket, a painful dental condition that can occur following the removal of a permanent adult tooth. However, with the millions of Americans who have teeth removed each year, the vast majority heal perfectly and comfortably, experiencing minimal discomfort and swelling.

Fact: Only 2-5% of people develop dry socket after tooth extractions, though it becomes more common following wisdom tooth removal. At Austin Oral Surgery, we provide pre and post-surgical instructions and care, to ensure you will not have to endure the pain and stress of dry socket.

What is Dry Socket?

Following tooth extraction a condition called alveolar osteitis, commonly known as dry socket, can develop when the protective blood clot that forms at the removal site either dissolves or becomes dislodged a few days after surgery. This can result in pain and continuous bleeding, and it can even lead to infection.

Some people are more susceptible to developing a dry socket after having a tooth extraction. The following can increase your chances of developing dry socket:

  • smoking
  • using a straw
  • taking birth control pills
  • history of developing dry socket
  • trauma during surgery
  • rinsing or brushing vigorously

What can I do to avoid developing dry socket?

Make sure to follow your doctor’s post-surgical instructions. A detailed list of Austin Oral Surgery suggestions can be found here. To summarize, eat soft foods, drink cool liquids, maintain good oral hygiene, and take the prescribed medication.

How is it treated?

If you develop dry socket, your doctor may want you to come in for cleaning and daily dressing changes until it heals. For pain management, over-the-counter medication may be used, but if pain is more severe you may be prescribed a stronger medication by your doctor. Also, prescribed antibiotics are useful in fighting and preventing infection.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding dry socket, do not hesitate to contact Austin Oral Surgery.