Dental & Oral Health

Dry Socket - A Post Extraction Complication

Written by
Dr. Nivedita Dalmia
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Apr 28, 2015 and last reviewed on Jun 25, 2019   -  2 min read



Dry socket is the most common complication that occurs post tooth extraction. This article discusses its causes, symptoms and treatment.

Dry Socket - A  Post Extraction Complication

What is a Dry Socket?

Dry socket is a painful dental condition that occurs after permanent tooth extraction, if not taken proper care of the extraction socket, it will lead to dislodgement of blood clot from the extraction socket.

Why does a Dry Socket Occur?

  • While extraction, if there was no bleeding from the site.
  • Bone and tissue damage due to traumatic extraction.
  • If small root piece has been left behind in the socket.
  • Drinking cool drinks using straw, soon after extraction.
  • Sucking things such as ice cubes after extraction.
  • Touching the extraction site with tongue all the time.
  • Poor blood supply to the socket due to smoking.
  • Poor oral hygiene and hence bacterial contamination at the extraction site.
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes (blood sugar levels not under control).

Symptoms of Dry Socket

  • Throbbing pain at the extraction site.
  • Pain radiates from the extraction site to the ear, temple, eyes, neck and also the adjacent tooth to the extraction socket.
  • Foul smell from the mouth due to food lodgement.
  • Bad taste in the mouth.
  • Irritation while having food.
  • Lymph node enlargement around jaw and neck.
  • Slight fever.


  • Irrigation of the socket with saline.
  • Giving analgesic medicament pack in the socket.
  • Antibiotic and analgesic medication.

Healing Time Required for a Dry Socket:

  • Average healing time for a dry socket is 7 days.

How to Prevent Dry Socket after Tooth Extraction?

  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid spitting, rinsing mouth for at least 24 hours post extraction, thereby followed by gently rinsing mouth.
  • Avoid sticky food as it can lead to dislodgement of blood clot.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • From the second day post extraction, rinse your mouth with lukewarm saline water for 3-4 times daily for at least 10-14 days.
  • Follow home care post extraction instructions properly.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene.

In case of persistent pain even after extraction of the affected tooth, consult a dentist online to rule out dry socket -->

Last reviewed at:
25 Jun 2019  -  2 min read




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