Dry socket (sore mouth after tooth extraction)

Mouth | Odontologie | Dry socket (sore mouth after tooth extraction) (Disease)


Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, is a painful complication of the healing process following tooth extraction that results in exposure of the space where the tooth was formerly located.

Symptoms include halitosis, a foul taste in the mouth, and worsening mouth pain. If left untreated it can lead to a bacterial infection of the jawbone. Treatment often includes pain medications, antibiotics, and a procedure to cover the exposed bone with medicated gauze or a special coating to promote healing.

Causes and Risk factors

Dry socket occurs when the protective blood clot that forms at the site of tooth extraction falls out, is damaged, or dissolves. This exposes the bone in the area of the empty tooth socket and causes severe discomfort. Dry socket occurs in 3% to 5% of tooth extractions.

Some people may be more likely to get dry socket after having a tooth pulled. That includes people who:

(1) smoke

(2) have poor oral hygiene

(3) have wisdom teeth pulled

(4) have greater than usual trauma during the tooth extraction surgery

(5) use birth control pills

(6) have a history of dry socket after having teeth pulled

Rinsing and spitting a lot or drinking through a straw after having a tooth extracted also can increase the risk of getting dry socket.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Dry socket is a painful condition that requires prompt treatment by a dentist or oral surgeon, especially when bare bone is visible. Proper treatment of dry socket usually resolves the pain associated with the condition and promotes healing at the site of tooth extraction.

The pain from alveolar osteitis usually lasts for 24–72 hours. There is no real treatment for alveolar osteitis; it is a self-limiting condition that will improve and disappear with time, but certain interventions can significantly decrease pain during an episode of alveolar osteitis. ...