Have you ever heard about dry socket condition? Dry socket is a complication of having a tooth extracted, particularly wisdom.
This condition could lead to a throbbing, aching pain in the jaw or gum. If you are looking for ways to treat dry socket without having to see a dentist, you are at the right place.
However, before that, let’s get to know some basic information about this condition.
1. What is Dry Socket?
Basically, the socket is a hone in the bone in which the tooth has been eliminated. Dry socket is a problem in which there is an inflammation of jawbone post tooth extraction.
Also called as “alveolar osteitis”, dry socket is among many complications happening from a tooth extraction.
It is shown that dry socket is not common, happening in approximately 2% of tooth extractions. But, that number increases at least 20% if it involves the removal of mandibular affected third molars.
The process of this condition happening is: after the tooth is pulled, the blood clot will form in the socket in order to protect the bone and nerves underneath.
Occasionally, the clot could dissolve or become dislodged a few days after the extraction. As a result, the bone and nerve will be exposed to the food, fluid, air or anything else entering the mouth.
It causes infection along with severe pain which could last for 5-6 days.
2. What are Common Causes of Dry Socket?
A dry socket is normally caused by the total or partial loss of a blot clot in the tooth socket after tooth extraction.
Generally, a dry socket is the consequence of chemical, bacterial, mechanical, and physiologic factors.
The following are some instances for each:
- Chemical: the nicotine in cigarette could result in a reduction in the blood supply within the mouth. Consequently, blood clots might fail to form at the spot of a recent tooth extraction.
- Bacterial: the pre-existing infection presenting in the human mouth before a dental extraction like periodontal disease could prevent appropriate formation of the blood clot. Some oral bacteria could lead to the clot’s breakdown [Read: Kidney Infection].
- Physiologic: dense jaw bone, hormones, or poor supply of blood are some factors preventing the formation of blood clot.
- Mechanical: aggressive spitting, rinsing, sucking via a straw, or dragging on the tobacco could result in loss as well as dislodgement of blood clot.
3. What are Symptoms of Dry Socket?
Once looking into the area in which the tooth was eliminated, you will see a dry-looking socket. In fact, signs and symptoms of dry sockets are various, but some of the most common are:
- Total or partial loss of the blood clot at the site of tooth extraction. You can see it as an empty socket.
- Severe pain in some days after having a tooth extraction
- The visibility of bone in the socket
- Pain radiating from the socket to your eye, ear, neck or temple on the same face side having an extraction
- Unpleasant smell and taste within the mouth
- A foul odor or bad breath in the mouth
4. When to see a Doctor?
Discomfort and pain are normal after having a tooth extraction. But, you ought to be able to manage the normal pain with a prescribed pain reliever by an oral surgeon or dentist and the pain should alleviate over time.
In case you have worsening or new pain in a few days post tooth extraction, you need to see a dentist instantly.
5. What are Risk Factors?
There are some specific factors probably increasing your potential risk of developing dry socket, which are:
- Tobacco and smoking: The chemicals in tobacco as well as other forms of cigarette might slow or prevent the healing process and contaminate the wound spot. Sucking action on a cigarette also physically and premature dislodges the blood clot.
- Improper care: If you fail to follow proper guidelines of home-care oral hygiene, your risk of dry socket also increases.
- Oral contraceptives: The high levels of estrogen from oral contraceptive might disrupt regular healing processes and boost the risk of dry socket.
- Having dry socket in the past: In case you used to suffer from dry socket, you are prone to develop it in the future after another extraction.
- Gum or tooth infection: Previous or current infections around the tooth extracted might accelerate your risk of dry socket.
6. Home Remedies For Dry Socket
Here are the top 10 natural home remedies for dry socket.
Clove oil is a versatile oil comings with many benefits, which are eliminating acne, killing parasites, improving blood circulation, boosting energy, killing fungus and mold, and reducing gum and oral diseases, including dry socket.
Nowadays, clove is widely accepted as the reliable solution for dry socket and for alleviating discomfort and pain accompanied by a variety of dental disorders. This oil is safe, and you even could use it for teething with infants by simply mixing it with some coconut oil and gently rubbing it on the gums.
Actually, clove oil has been proved to be an effective remedy for dry socket thanks to its analgesic and anesthetic properties which help alleviate throbbing pain associated with dry socket.
The oil works by acting as a physical barrier between the exposed nerve endings (or the exposed bone) and the environment within the mouth. As a result, pain is relieved and decreased naturally.
Take the following steps to use clove oil for dry socket removal:
- Take a small clean cotton ball to dip in clove oil
- Place it over your affected area for about 1 minute
- After removing the ball, use warm water to rinse your mouth
- Re-apply this method several times per day
This is a common and easy option among home remedies for dry socket. Actually, using ice is a time-tested way to reduce the throbbing pain accompanied by dry socket.
Thanks to the cold temperature with its numbing effect, the pain sensation is alleviated.
Follow these guidelines:
- Take several ice cubes to put in an ice bag
- Place the bag directly over the face right at the painful site
- Keep it for 15 minutes
- Repeat this routine 2-3 times each day for 2 days to see good results
Alternatively, you could also wet a clean towel in the ice cold water, after wringing out the excess water, keep the towel on your face for 5-10 minutes.
Also, reapply this method several times per day.
Acting as a preventative measure against the condition of dry socket after a tooth extraction, saline water rinse can not only soothe the pain but also lessen swelling while killing bacteria causing infection. You just need to rinse your mouth with tepid saline water about 24 hours post a tooth extraction.
Follow the instructions here:
- Add ½ teaspoon of table salt into a glass of tepid water
- After stirring it well, use the solution to rinse your mouth twice per day
Not only is turmeric a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial herb, but it also prevents bacterial infections and alleviates the inflammation of exposed jaw bone. Besides, turmeric is analgesic, helping to handle the discomfort and pain accompanied by dry socket.
- Add some milk or water to a bowl containing ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- After having a thick paste, use a cotton swab to apply the paste over your dry socket area
- Wait for 15 minutes and wash it off with water
- Repeat this routine 2-3 times per day until you see noticeable results.
Black Tea Bags
In black tea, the tannin acid is a natural antibiotic which can prevent infection whereas also reducing the swelling and pain of gums.
Actually, unlike cold or warm compress, you could use a cold tea bag to place directly on the affected area and feel discomfort relieved almost instantly.
- Take the steps here to get the most benefits from this method:
- Dip a tea bag in a hot water cup
- Let it steep for about 5 minutes and squeeze out the excess liquid
- Put that bag in the fridge for about 15 minutes and apply it over your affected site
- Remember to bite down on the tea bag softly, leave it there for 10 minutes
- Reapply this method once or twice per day
You could use hydrogen peroxide to ease dry socket symptoms, including bad breath, foul smell and taste in mouth and throbbing pain.
It is because hydrogen peroxide acts as a disinfectant that can eliminate bacteria causing this condition and prevent any further bacterial infection development.
What is more, rinsing the mouth with the solution made from hydrogen peroxide and water can relieve swelling and pain and remove any debris or particle trapped both in your mouth and between your teeth.
- Mix hydrogen peroxide with water as the ratio of 1:4
- Use this solution to rinse your mouth 3-4 times per days for a few days to get best results
Turmeric has been used for seasoning purpose, particularly in India and other Asian countries. This herb has many curative properties and medicinal benefits.
The key to the healing power of turmeric is the chemical compound named curcumin. This component holds a number of profound healing benefits for the human body.
For instance, in some recent research studies, curcumin has been shown that it can increase lifespan, kill fungus much more effectively than clove, ginger and oregano, protect the liver oxidative stress, and induce the death of tumor cell.
Actually, the list of healing powers attributed to this ingredient seems to not stop for days. Turmeric can be beneficial for curing many health conditions, including dry socket.
In reality, being an anti-inflammatory and analgesic herb, turmeric is also one of the most recommended home remedies for dry socket.
To take advantage of this ingredient for dry socket relief, you can mix turmeric powder with some milk to have a good paste.
The paste will alleviate any swelling occurring and relieve the pain caused by dry socket.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little milk or water
- Take a cotton swab to apply the paste over your dry socked affected area
- After 20 minutes, rinse your mouth with tepid water
- Repeat 2-3 times per day
- As an alternative, you could also put 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of tepid water.
- Rinse the mouth with this solution until your pain disappears.
The Latin term of garlic is Allium Sativum. Garlic is a natural antibiotic and has anti-inflammatory effects.
It is effective in reducing the pain of teeth and gums caused by dry socket. Besides, it evens decreases the potential risk of an infection.
- Use your teeth to crush a fresh garlic clove in your mouth
- When the juice spread in your mouth, pain will subside steadily
- After 5 minutes, spit the residues of garlic out
- Rinse your mouth with warm water
- Repeat this routine twice or thrice per day
As an alternative, you could also create a paste of a little salt and 2 fresh garlic cloves by using a pestle and mortar.
Then, apply the paste over your affected site and rinse it off after 30 minutes. Repeat this routine as necessary to get good results.
Last but not least effective when it comes to home remedies for dry socket is peppermint. This herbal cure has been famous for relieving bad breathe or halitosis which often happens because of dry socket.
Because some tooth shards are lodged in the affected site, the bad breath happens.
Whilst the dentist could deal with this, you could also take advantage of peppermint to get a cooling effect and relieve the pain.
Furthermore, your breath also becomes more fragrant. You can use peppermint drops as a solution for halitosis and pain associated with dry socket.
Or, you can also add fresh leaves of peppermint to your cool drinks and have it to ensure your pain diminished.
Prevention is always better than cure. Once the blood clot gets dislodged, there are a lot of ways that dry sockets could develop.
Thus, you need to prevent it in advance post a tooth extraction. Here are some preventative measures to take to avoid getting dry socket:
- Having good oral hygiene
- Properly using medicated oral rinse as instructions
- Rinsing the mouth with saline water after having a meal to help remove excess bacteria
- Not touching the wound, changing the gauze after your procedure
- Avoid smoking for at least 24 hours after a tooth extraction
- Avoid eating anything leaving residual particles of food in your mouth, like peanuts, popcorn, and pasta, for at least 4 days post the procedure
- Consuming soft foods like mashed potatoes, clear soup and pudding
- Not drinking carbonated beverages
- Consulting your oral surgeon or dentist about prescriptions you take before the procedure