Dry Socket - Treatment

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What is the treatment for a dry socket?

Treatment usually involves symptomatic support while the socket heals. Initially, the dentist will gently irrigate to clear the socket of food debris. Next, an analgesic medicated dressing is placed within the socket to cover the exposed bone. This usually provides immediate relief. This dressing may need to be replaced every few days during the healing process. The dressing is often coated with "dry socket paste," which is made up of ingredients with pain-relieving properties, including eugenol (clove oil).

Additionally, medications can be prescribed to manage the pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Advil or Aleve) or narcotics (such as hydrocodone/acetaminophen [Vicodin]) are often used to relieve pain.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 12

I got a tooth pulled and two days later I was experiencing worse pain than when the tooth hurt. Dry socket was diagnosed after going back to the dentist. He cleaned the area up and put in some gel packet and then stitched it up. He gave me Vicodin for the pain. All that did was make me sleep for a little bit but nothing for the pain. My mother suggested naproxen, 1000 mg. I took that and it at least made the pain bearable. It still hurts but at least not so badly that I want to hurt someone. It's going on the second week and I am still hurting just the same. I almost wish I had never gotten the tooth pulled to begin with! I go tomorrow to get the stitches out.

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Comment from: Staey, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed yesterday. I went home and that evening I began to scream the house down. I went to an emergency dentist who confirmed I have dry sockets. It has to be the worst pain I've ever felt in my entire life. I am on anti-inflammatory pills, pain killers and 2 types of medication for the infection. I am about 15 hours post operation and I can say that although it is unreal it is starting to get better. I have been gargling salt after every time I drink soup. My extraction points are still bleeding unfortunately which is making it very painful but I was never given any gauze post operation. I coughed all night and dislodged the blood clots and oh my goodness, does it hurt!

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