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Dry socket is a common condition that may arise after a tooth has been removed. It occurs when the blood clot is dislodged before the socket heals. Dry socket exposes sensitive gum and bone tissue to air, foods, and other things that may lead to extreme sensitivity and pain. Patients who smoke, take birth control pills, use straws, or brush the treatment site are at an increased risk of dry socket. The most common symptoms of dry socket include:

  • Throbbing pain around the socket
  • Radiating pain that may be noticeable in the head, ear, or neck
  • Bad breath
  • A foul taste in the mouth that does not respond to brushing or flossing
  • Bone tissue that’s visible inside the socket
  • Gray discoloration near the outside of the socket

The majority of patients who develop dry socket decide to control their symptoms at home. Although dry socket will likely heal on its own, patients typically experience severe pain and discomfort while the site heals. If you decide to treat dry socket in the comfort of your home, we recommend cleaning the wound with cool water, adding saline to the socket, and protecting it with gauze.

For faster healing, we suggest visiting our office. We’ll provide a dressing that contains special ointments that are specifically designed to relieve pain and expedite the healing process. We may also prescribe anti-inflammatory pain medications and antibiotics.

Schedule an Appointment at Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are coping with dry socket and ready to find relief from the pain, don’t hesitate to contact our Ashburn, VA office today at 703-439-1214 to schedule an appointment. We understand how painful this condition can be and are dedicated to bringing you comfort.