Dry Socket – Reasons and Prevention

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After wisdom teeth removal, the throbbing pain from that socket that stays for two to three days is dry socket. This pain is often associated with bad breath and odor in the mouth. When this pain stays for a long time, probably the healing is not in order.

Dry socket happens when the jawbone is inflamed after extracting a tooth. This is also referred to as “alveolar osteitis” and it is one of the major complications that occurs after a tooth extraction. Dry socket is very rare to occur, and it occurs in only 2% of tooth extraction cases. This percentage rises to 20% when the mandibular impacted third molars or the wisdom teeth are removed.

When the tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms there in the open tooth sockets and fills the area. It helps in fast healing. If the blood clot breaks down or it is dislodged – it would cause dry socket.

Reasons of Dry Socket


If the mouth had preexisting infection, it may suffer from a dry socket. Treat your mouth for diseases like periodontal disease (or periodontitis) to prevent blood clot. Some oral bacteria can also cause clot breakdown.


Smokers’ mouths have decreased blood supply due to the chemical nicotine. It results in problem to blood clot formation at the tooth extraction site.


Aggressive sucking, using a straw, spitting etc. may pressure the tooth extraction site.

How to Prevent Dry Socket

  • Do not smoke for the first few days after the tooth extraction. You may have to return to the dentist’s office if you smoke after a tooth extraction with a dry socket.
  • Do not spit. Rinse your mouth gently for a few days.
  • Do not use straw or suck anything aggressively. When you suck anything, that movement or suctional force will dislodge the blood clot.
  • Do not eat anything solid. Try to eat foods like applesauce, yogurt, mashed potato etc.

If after wisdom teeth removal, you are suffering from dry socket, you should start looking for a doctor. At Oral and Facial Surgery of Oklahoma, we would help you to get relief from a dry socket.

**Disclaimer: This site content is not intended to be medical advice nor establishes a doctor-patient relationship.

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