100 Worcester Street, Suite 50 | Grafton, MA 01536

Symptoms of a Dry Socket

Blonde woman cringes in pain and touches an artificially red hot spot on her cheek that indicates she has a dry socket

After you get a tooth extracted, whether it is a severely decayed or damaged tooth or an impacted wisdom tooth, a blood clot will form in the space as the area heals. This blood clot is important because it protects the otherwise exposed bone and nerves. A dry socket is the name for when that blood clot either doesn’t properly form or it gets dislodged. Not only can this hurt significantly, but it can also delay the healing.

Your blood clot can be dislodged for various reasons. For example, vigorous swishing and rinsing, physical exercise that causes a dramatic increase in blood pressure, drinking through a straw, and smoking can all dislodge your blood clot.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of a dry socket:

  1. Severe Pain That Can Radiate Up Your Jaw
  2. While it’s normal to experience some discomfort after oral surgery as the local anesthesia wears off, this should be manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers. It should also lessen over time. If you experience worsening pain in your mouth and jaw, you are likely dealing with a dry socket. This is because without that blood clot protecting your nerves, they’re more vulnerable to irritation.

  3. Bad Breath or Bad Taste in Your Mouth
  4. Having a dry socket can also lead to bad breath or a persistent bad taste in your mouth. Bad bacteria and food particles can accumulate inside the empty socket, resulting in a foul odor or taste.

  5. Visible Bone in the Extraction Site
  6. When a tooth has been extracted, you can actually see the dark spot of the blood clot. But if the blood clot isn’t there, it’ll actually look like a dry hole or you may even be able to see white bone. We know that sounds scary but don’t panic! Notify your dentist. They can clean out the socket and fill it until it starts to heal by itself.

Consult with Our Team!

If you don’t think your tooth extraction site is healing as it should, please contact us at Grafton Dental Care. As providers of gentle tooth extractions, we are very familiar with the recovery process and will be happy to help you in any way that we can.

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