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Dry socket is the medical term for a potential side-effect of a tooth extraction. Ideally, after surgery, pain should abate in a few days as the surgical wounds heal, protected by a cover of clotted blood. But with dry socket, the bone and nerves are exposed due to that blood clot having been dislodged. When this occurs, the pain can last longer than it would have normally–anywhere from 7-10 days. Dry socket can be very painful. You may first notice a dull ache that may travel up to the ear. There may be a foul taste and odor.

When you have a tooth extracted, the dentist will talk with you about avoiding dry socket. The days immediately after the extraction after surgery are the most important time for healing and the chances of getting dry socket are the highest. If you believe you have dry socket, contact your dentist immediately to have it addressed.

Once cleaning out the socket, your dentist will insert medicated gauze that will protect the wound and minimize pain. You’ll may likely receive a prescription for a pain reliever and antibiotic.

You’ll also want to avoid certain behaviors such as:

-Drinking hot or warm beverages
-Drinking carbonated beverages
-Removing the dressing without talking to your dentist
-Using straws
-Smoking
-Stress
-Certain medications.

If you are concerned about dry socket following an extraction, Dr. Rafah Abdelmonem can give you more information. Please contact American Dental Center at 305-625-5400 to make an appointment, or come by our office in North Miami, Florida.