What Is a Dry Socket & When Can I Stop Worrying About It?

Home / Clairemont Dentist / What Is a Dry Socket & When Can I Stop Worrying About It?
What Is a Dry Socket & When Can I Stop Worrying About It?
Share this information on your social media

Did you think your tooth extraction was enough? Well, we have some news for you.

One of the most common complications you can have after an extraction, especially a wisdom tooth extraction, is a dry socket.

It’s definitely another concern you should add to your list. This unwanted condition appears when blood fills the socket where the tooth was extracted until it is extracted. 

Your body’s ability to heal is dependent on blood, and blood is required to cure your extraction.

If blood simply washes away and the wound dries out too quickly. When a blood clot is lost, the wound is left without the blood cells and nutrients it needs to heal. 

The good thing is that a dry socket is relatively normal, and it can be easily treated. In this post, we’ll take a deeper look into this topic.

We’ll go into how to avoid a dry socket, how to handle one, show you what a dry socket looks like.

 When it comes to dry sockets, you’re probably thinking when you should stop stressing about it. Of course, we’ll react to that as well.

How to Tell If You Have Dry Socket

A dry socket develops early in the healing process, usually two to three days after tooth extraction. Some patients also report that the area was getting better until the pain unexpectedly intensified. 

If someone has several teeth removed, such as wisdom teeth, the region with the dry socket may feel different from the rest.

 In general, all of the sites will be tender, although this is an exception. A dry socket is more uncomfortable and inflamed than the others.

So, how does it feel like to have a dry socket? Well, for starters, the pain is aching and throbbing, and it can radiate from the spot. 

The lower jaw is more likely to develop a dry socket than the upper jaw. Patients with a dry socket in their lower jaw often report that the pain radiates from the tooth region to the ear.

Let’s go over some of the symptoms of dry socket in detail:

  1. Aching, throbbing, pulsing pain that worsens abruptly
  2. Pain 
  3. Swelling or inflammation in the area
  4. Feeling of warmth in the extraction spot
  5. Bad breath problems
  6. You have an unpleasant taste.

What Does Dry Socket Look Like?

A dry socket appears irritated and inflamed. For an untrained eye, it will most likely be challenging to locate it right away. 

In comparison to natural healing tooth extraction, the main point is that the gums take longer to close around the extraction site. 

Why don’t we go ahead and look at some pictures of dry sockets to get a sense of how they look?

3 Things that Cause Dry Socket 


Sucking through a straw or smoking a cigarette, as well as vigorously rinsing your mouth, are the most common causes of dry socket. Both of these acts exert a force on the blood clot in the healing spot, which can cause it to dislodge or wash away accidentally.


Smoking not only obstructs healing mechanically, but nicotine often slows healing and reduces the development of new blood vessels, raising the risk of a dry socket.


Healing following the extraction of an infected tooth has a greater risk of developing a dry socket. Bacteria and pus in the area may cause a secondary infection and obstruct the formation of a clot during the healing process. Antibiotics are also prescribed by dentists and oral surgeons following a tooth extraction to avoid infection as the tooth heals.

How to Prevent a Dry Socket?

So, here’s the situation. It’s common to experience mild pain, swelling, and tenderness two or three days after your tooth extraction. 

Do not panic, but you might have developed a dry socket if the pain continues to intensify. Book an appointment with your San Diego dentist. Dry sockets are simple to identify and handle.

Your dentist can ask you to return for a follow-up appointment. If they find out you have a dry socket, the procedure is quick and straightforward. 

The San Diego dentist will numb the area and thoroughly clean it. The key to the procedure is to eliminate any irritants and allow blood to flow back into the region, effectively restarting the healing process.

Some dentists, but not always, insert a medicated gauze strip into the wound. Allowing the blood clot to shape again, whether with or without a medicated gauze, is the secret to the site healing again.

It’s important to understand that the extraction site will not feel any better right away. It will be sore for a few days, but it should get better. Keep going; you’re on the right track. 

If food or bacteria get trapped in the dry socket, they can become infected. The dentist or oral surgeon may prescribe an additional antibiotic or a medicated mouth rinse, usually chlorohexidine, in these cases.

When Can I Stop Worrying About a Dry Socket?

Dry sockets typically last 7-10 days. Just a tiny percentage of the cases would last more than a week.

When you’ve been without a tooth for more than a week, you’re probably out of risk and most likely won’t get a dry socket.

If the situation complicates, make sure to call Dr. Serena Kurt. This San Diego dentist is experienced and highly skilled in the art of dentistry. She will give you the personalized care you deserve and the most high-quality results.


  • Aparicio Serena

    Dr. Serena Aparicio, DDS, is a highly accomplished dentist specializing in cosmetic and implant dentistry. With over 23 years of experience worldwide, Dr. Aparicio has established herself as a leading expert in her field. Fluent in both English and Spanish, she has practiced dentistry in several countries, including the USA, Canada, Germany, China, England, France, South Korea, Turkey, and Costa Rica.

Share this information on your social media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.