Dry Socket: What is it? Prevention? Treatment?

Dry Socket What Is It Prevention Treatment Gregory Balog DDS Monroe Michigan

Wondering if dry socket goes away on its own? What even is dry socket? Is it preventable? All of this and more are right here in this article. Each year roughly 5 million patients in the United States get their wisdom teeth removed. Unfortunately, there is potential for dry socket with every removal.

What is Dry Socket?

A dry socket occurs when the blood clot at the site of extraction either does not form, dislodges, or dissolves before the wound can heal. When there is no blood clot in this area, the bone and nerves become exposed which is very painful. The empty socket is then more inflamed and can fill with food and other debris which can add to the pain.

How to Treat Dry Socket

Poor oral hygiene habits cause the vast majority of cases of gum disease. As we mentioned earlier, plaque is constantly forming on your teeth. If not removed through regular brushing and flossing, this plaque will begin to harden into tartar, leading to gum disease. Other factors that may contribute to developing gum disease include genetics, smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products, certain medications (such as steroids or cancer treatments), diabetes, and pregnancy.

How to Prevent Dry Socket

If a dry socket does occur, it happens between 1-3 days after your operation.

Here’s how to do your best to avoid dry socket during your recovery:

  • Avoid blowing your nose
  • Don’t spit
  • Do not drink through a straw
  • Avoid the use of tobacco
  • Don’t smoke

It is very important to carefully follow all home-care steps your dentist gave you. Following car instructions will prevent a nagging dry socket.


We know that dry sockets are painful. The good thing is that they are treatable. Be sure to keep your dentist or doctor updated if you think you have dry socket. If you’re having issues with your tooth removal recovery, come in for a check-up and we’ll evaluate your situation. Contact us today.