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One of the most common and painful complications of tooth extraction surgery are dry sockets. They arise when the tooth socket does not form a blood clot or the clot disintegrates or becomes dislodged. When this happens, healing is delayed.

Although dry sockets can happen to just about anyone, they are most common in smokers, women who take birth control pills, and patients who use straws or have a history of dry sockets. Unfortunately, dry sockets lead to serious pain that often radiates toward the ear and along the jaw.

Dry sockets are typically more painful at night when patients are trying to sleep. The pain is more noticeable at night because patients aren’t distracted by an activity and cannot get their mind off of the throbbing pain. While pain medications may help dry socket pain at night, they often offer limited relief.

If you experience a dry socket, be sure to contact the dentist right away. The dentist will likely use a special antibacterial rinse to treat the area. They may also use a sterile medicated dressing to pack or protect the area. When this is performed, you will experience immediate pain relief and begin the healing process.

You’ll need to continue taking any pain or antibiotic medications your dentist has prescribed and keep the area as clean as possible while maintaining your regular brushing and flossing routine.

Contact Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

If you’re coping with dry socket pain at night, you should visit our office right away. Call us at 703-439-1214 to schedule an appointment and find relief.