Multiple photos of dry sockets of varying severity are available on the websites JeffreySterlingMD.com and Juniordentist.com. One image, along with an explanation of how a dry socket develops, is also featured on Wikipedia.org.
Also referred to as alveolar osteitis, a dry socket is a complication that occurs after a dentist extracts a tooth, and a blood clot either fails to form or becomes dislodged. This causes irritation of the underlying alveolar bone of the jaw and intense pain that typically radiates to the ear. A dry socket occurs most often within 2 to 5 days of an extraction, and is sometimes accompanied by a fever and enlarged lymph nodes.The condition usually responds well to medical treatment, which includes local cleansing and the application of a medicated patch. Sometimes the dentist prescribes prescription pain medicine as well.