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Dry Sockets

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The Gentle Dental practice offers emergency/same-day dental appointments to new and existing patients who are suffering from a multitude of oral health problems.Dental Emergencies: Worried About A Dry Socket? 

Dry sockets (alveolar osteitis) is often a very painful condition that can occur when an adult tooth has been removed/extracted.

If you think you have a dry socket or are concerned that there is a problem with your healing process please get in touch with us straight away.

At the Gentle Dental, we consider dry sockets as a dental emergency. This is because it can leave nerves and bones exposed in your gums, which is why it’s critically important to seek urgent care. Call 020 8224 7562.

Patients who have had a tooth removed are at risk of the dry socket – but even though it one of the most common problems associated with tooth removal, cases are rare.

With that being said, dry socket appears more frequently in wisdom tooth extractions.

If ignored, complications can worsen leading to infections.

Symptoms of a dry socket

Dry socket occurs when there is bacterial contamination of the socket.

It can also be caused by trauma at the site of a difficult extraction.

How to identify the indications of a dry socket:

  • Unbearable pain persisting after extraction
  • Partial or complete loss of the blood cot (socket looks empty)
  • Bone noticeable in the socket
  • Pain that stretches to your ear, eye and temples
  • Bad breath/foul-smelling odour
  • Horrible taste in the mouth

Further complications:

  • Delayed healing
  • Infection taking place in the socket
  • Infection spreading to the bone

Managing dry socket pain

Dental implants are very strong and durable and can last more than 20 years with the right careDry socket is often uncomfortable and unbearable to manage. It can be taken care of at home, however, this is not recommended as it will require careful cleaning and gauze being used on the extraction site.

At-home remedies such as saltwater will only be able to do so much for your pain levels.

For patients who are experiencing severe pain, please do book an appointment with a dentist, who will be able to alleviate your symptoms and ensure everything is healing properly.

When to see a dentist

It is completely normal to experience a certain degree of pain after going through a tooth extraction.

However, this pain is usually managed with pain relief medication that is prescribed by the dentist or oral surgeon.

Here, you should expect the pain to lessen over the next few days.

If the pain gets worse it is advisable to contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.

Call 020 8224 7562.

Factors that increase the risk include:

  • Smoking
  • Poor at-home aftercare
  • Previous problems with dry socket
  • Infection in the tooth or gums

Can urgent care treat dry socket?

The dentist like Dr Ali Rifai will go through a number of steps to ensure that the site of extraction is healing as it should be.

The appointment may require X-rays to be taken to ensure that other conditions like bone infection and osteomyelitis is not present.

The site will also be inspected to see that the bone and roots are still present.

Next stages may include the prescription of antibacterial mouthwashes or oral antibiotics. Follow up appointments are usually required to assess the affected area and see how it is healing.

Once the oral surgeon has identified the problem, they will be in a better position to assign a course of treatment.

Book an appointment. Call 020 8224 7562.


We treat the following tooth emergencies, toothachechipped and cracked teeth, broken teethabscessesdefective denturescracked bridgesmissing fillings or crowns, apicoectomy, problems with braces, gum or mouth swelling, bleeding gums.

See how our emergency services have changed under COVID-19 here.

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