After a tooth is extracted, especially wisdom teeth, some people might experience a condition referred to as “dry socket”. Dry socket is a painful condition that is many times worse than the extraction. Thankfully it can be treated, but it is best if you can prevent it to begin with.

Wisdom tooth extraction

What is Dry Socket?

A dry socket begins when a tooth has been removed and the bone and or the nerve in the socket is exposed. Normally, a clot forms to protect the area, but when it doesn’t, anything that is in your mouth (food, fluids, even air), can make the area sensitive and susceptible to infection.

It is normal to have a small amount of discomfort after a wisdom tooth is extracted, but if you notice intense pain, especially if it is increasing in intensity and radiating towards your ear, or you experience a bad taste in your mouth, it’s important to contact your dentist.

Who’s More at Risk?

You are at a higher risk for dry socket if you:

• Have a history of dry socket
• Use birth control
• Smoke
• Have a history of poor dental hygiene
• Take medication that inhibits blood clotting


When you have a tooth extracted, be sure to use any recommended oral antibiotics or antiseptic solutions and follow your dentist post-op instructions on how to prevent a dry socket. These instructions will likely include:

• No rinsing/spitting for 24 hours
• No drinking from straws
• No smoking for 72 hours minimum
• Avoiding hot foods/drinks
• Avoiding crunchy foods (chips, nuts, popcorn, etc.)
• Avoiding alcohol
• Limiting physical activity for 5-7 days

Dry socket

Treating Dry Socket

While dry socket only happens to 2-5% of patients, if you are one of them be sure to call your dentist immediately.

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION wants to make you smile.

Office Call: 813-908-3636

Office Text: 813-624-5036

Or find us on Facebook or Instagram

Instagram: @mydentaltampa

Office Text: 813-624-5036

Or find us on Facebook or Instagram

Instagram: @mydentaltampa