It is a dreadful thought for many when the dentist puts all those tools inside your mouth for drilling and cutting your gums open to pull out one painful tooth. We’re not trying to scare you. It’s not that bad for many people. Anyone with an abscessed, decaying or poorly positioned tooth would have experienced this.

The post-extraction days are a critical time when you need to take good care of the operated area. Poor oral hygiene may cause various complications like gum infections or dry socket.

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In a healthy healing process following a tooth extraction, blood clots in the operated area. But in the case of a dry socket, this healing process is disturbed when the clot gets dislodged from its proper place and creates an empty space in the socket. The clinical name for this is alveolar osteitis.

Food easily gets stuck in this empty space or socket, and poor dental hygiene can give rise to a bacterial infection resulting in pain, inflammation, and swelling in that area.

Causes

The most common cause of dry socket is not following post-operative care instructions. Key among these errors is smoking within 72 hours of a tooth extraction. The toxins present in the tobacco disrupt the healing process.

Other causes include:

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  • Not maintaining oral hygiene.
  • Infection of the gums in and around the extraction site.
  • Consuming food or water by aggressively sucking through a straw after a tooth extraction.
  • Rinsing or spitting with force.
  • Thick jawbone or poor supply of blood that prevents proper clotting in the extraction site.
  • For women, use of estrogen replacement therapy or oral contraceptives can also be a contributing factor.

Symptoms

  • Moderate to severe throbbing pain from the extraction site to your ear, neck, eyes or temples in the 3 to 4 days after the extraction.
  • Bad breath or mouth odor.
  • No blood clot in the socket.
  • Visibility of bone in the extraction site.
  • Metallic or bad taste in the mouth.
  • Gums surrounding the extraction sight appearing grey or white.

Prevention

  • Refrain from smoking for 72 hours post-extraction.
  • Consult your doctor if you are on oral contraceptives or any alternative estrogen therapy.
  • Follow the post-operative special instructions from your doctor without fail.
  • Do not suck through a straw or spit forcefully.
  • Do not rinse your mouth more than your doctor recommends.
  • Eat a soft diet for a few days to avoid food getting lodged in the socket or the extraction site.
  • Do not do heavy work out sessions or activities that cause your heart to pump faster. This may prevent the blood from clotting in the extraction site.

Here are few home remedies for dry Socket that will quickly relieve you from pain and inflammation.

Method 1: Clove Oil

Clove oil has been used time and again for curing many dental issues. It contains a compound called eugenol that acts as an antiseptic and an analgesic. It alleviates pain and kills bacterial contamination inside the mouth.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply clove oil directly on the affected area

dab clove oil on the affected area
Dab clove oil on the affected area
  • Dip a cotton swab in a little clove oil and place it carefully in the dry socket for 1 minute.
  • Remove the swab and rinse your mouth.

Repeat this a few times a day to get relief from the pain.

Caution: Do not use clove oil in high concentrations, as it may cause soft tissue irritation or damage, or even bone necrosis (dead bone).

Method 2: Honey

Using honey as a home remedy for dry socket is the simplest, easiest and safest method. Honey reduces the symptoms associated with dry socket like inflammation, swelling and fluid oozing from the wound.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply honey in the socket

apply honey on the pain area
Use honey soaked cotton as treatment for packing the dry socket
  • Clean the tooth’s socket by rinsing your mouth with saline water.
  • Dip a ¼-inch piece of gauze or a cotton ball in honey and loosely place into the socket.
  • Leave it there for 24 hours.

Repeat the process, including rinsing your mouth and reapplying honey, every 24 hours until the pain subsides.

Method 3: Coconut Oil

The pain in a dry socket is usually caused by bacterial proliferation due to improper hygiene. Coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help reduce bacteria in the mouth. Apart from helping a dry socket heal, it is known to cure diseases like periodontal dermatitis and other oral problems.

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This is done through a procedure called oil pulling and is considered one of the tools for maintaining good oral health.

Single-Step Treatment: Do oil pulling with coconut oil

swish coconut oil in your mouth to reduce pain and inflammation from dry socket
Swish coconut oil in your mouth to reduce pain and inflammation from dry socket
  • Drink 1 to 2 glasses of water to get your salivary glands working.
  • Put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around.
  • An ideal length of time to swish the oil is about 20 minutes. However, if you’re doing it for the first time, begin with 5 minutes.
  • When you’re done swishing, the oil will look milky-white. This means that it has absorbed the bacteria and biofilm sediments from your teeth and gums.
  • Spit it out into a trash can and rinse your mouth with water.

Do this twice a day to get rid of the painful dry socket.

Note: Do not spit the oil in the sink or toilet. It may cause clogging problems.

Method 4: Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been used in various medicines to treat allergies, viruses and other inflammatory conditions. It has bioflavonoids that support blood circulation and it’s a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin C supplements are beneficial in speeding up the healing after a tooth extraction and reducing the likelihood of dry socket or other complications.

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Single-Step Treatment: Take vitamin C supplements

consume vitamin C tablets
Consume vitamin C tablets

According to the recommended dietary allowance, the daily intake of vitamin C should be:

MenWomenPregnancyLactation
USA60 mg60 mg70 mg95 mg
UK40 mg40 mg50 mg70 mg
Australia40 mg30 mg60 mg75 mg

You can take the vitamin C supplements to fulfill your daily requirement. Consult your doctor before starting any supplements.

Method 5: Tea Bag

Using tea bags as home remedy for dry socket can also help reduce the pain associated with it. Tea contains tannic acid and is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial. It helps reduce the inflammation and swelling of the problem area.

Single-Step Treatment: Chill a brewed tea bag & place it on the affected area

place a brewed and chilled tea bag on the affected area
Place a brewed and chilled tea bag on the affected area
  • Dip a tea bag in a warm cup of water.
  • Brew it for 5 minutes, remove it from the warm water and squeeze out the excess water.
  • Set the tea aside to cool and refrigerate the tea bag for 15 minutes.
  • Gently place the chilled tea bag on the dry socket. Do not apply pressure or push it inside the socket.
  • Close your mouth and keep the tea bag in place for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Let your mouth do the pressing for you.
  • Remove the tea bag and rinse your mouth with the tea.

Repeat as needed.

Method 6: Salt Water

Rinsing your mouth with salt water, or saline water is a good preventive home remedy for dry socket and other post-tooth extraction complications.

The salt, or sodium chloride, is a powerful antibacterial ingredient that inhibits the propagation of bacteria and kills them. It also draws moisture away from the inflamed area, which helps reduce any bacterial or fungal growth in the dry socket.

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Single-Step Treatment: Rinse your mouth with salt water

swish salt water solution in your mouth
Swish salt water solution in your mouth
  • Put ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, and stir it until the salt dissolves.
  • Rinse your mouth with this salt water.

Use this remedy twice a day to get rid of dry socket pain.

Method 7: Garlic-Infused Oil

Garlic has been used as a natural antibacterial ingredient for ages. A compound called allicin in garlic acts as an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic agent, which kills the pain and inflammation causing bacteria and promotes quick healing.

Single-Step Treatment: Dip a cotton swab in garlic-infused oil & place it in the dry socket

dab garlic-infused oil on a gauze and apply it on the dry socket
Dab garlic-infused oil on a gauze and apply it on the dry socket to reduce pain
  • Dip a cotton ball or swab in garlic-infused oil and place it in the dry socket. You can use one of our easy methods to make garlic-infused oil.
  • Let it stay in the dry socket for 4 to 5 minutes, then remove it.

Repeat as needed.

Method 8: Cold Compress

The pain you experience when you have a dry socket is due to the swelling and inflammation in and around the affected area. Doctors suggest using a cold compress after having a tooth pulled to prevent inflammation and swelling. If you are experiencing pain, it will also numb the pain-receptor nerves and alleviate the pain.

Single-Step Treatment: Dip a towel in cold water & place it on the painful area

give yourself a cold compress on the affected area
Give yourself a cold compress on the affected area
  • Put some ice cubes in a bowl of water and let them melt.
  • Dip a thin towel in the cold water and place it on your jaw where you’re experiencing the pain.
  • Hold it for about 10 to 15 minutes, dip the towel in cold water again and repeat.

Do this for 4 or 5 times per day until the pain reduces.

Tips

  • Do not drink or eat hot or warm water or foods after having a tooth extracted.
  • Do not swish or rinse violently, as it may cause the wound to lose its stitch.
  • Do not eat anything that can easily get lodged in the dry socket and would be difficult to get out.
  • You can also use a paste of turmeric and honey as a home remedy for dry socket by placing it in the affected area. It will help alleviate the pain.
  • Too much vitamin C supplements may cause stomach upset. Consult your doctor before going ahead with the vitamin C supplements.
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