Dry Socket : Symptoms & Signs
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
The dry socket is a case of inflammation of the jaw (or alveolar bone) after the extraction of the teeth. Medically, a dry socket is known as alveolar osteomyelitis. Dry output occurs in approximately 2% of tooth extractions, but is more common after removal of the wisdom teeth (Molar III) from the other teeth. The characteristic symptom of a dry exit is palpitations at the site where the teeth are extracted. The pain usually occurs two to four days after the extraction of the teeth. Other symptoms may include bad breath or bad taste in the mouth. Pain can also be felt on the face, eyes or ear on the affected side. In some cases, it is possible to see the exposed jaw bone through an open socket.
Causes of dry socket
The cause of the dry socket is the partial or total loss of the blood clot remaining in the alveolus after the teeth are extracted. Normally, after the extraction a blood clot will form in the alveolus to help heal and protect the jaw bone. If the blood clot is broken or missing, the bone is exposed and the healing takes longer. There are a number of factors that can increase the likelihood that a blood clot does not form properly or get lost, which includes drinking straw, rinsing heavily or irrigating the place, smoking tobacco or an infection.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.