What Are the Symptoms of Dental Dry Socket?

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Common symptoms of a dental dry socket include pain typically two days after a tooth has been pulled and a dry-looking opening where the tooth was located, according to WebMD. Additional symptoms of a dry socket may include ear pain, unpleasant tastes or smells in the mouth and bad breath.

Some patients with a dental dry socket may experience pain that travels from the ear, eye or neck to the side of the face where a tooth was pulled, explains Mayo Clinic. In addition, some patients with a dental dry socket have slight fevers or swollen lymph nodes around the neck or jaw. A visible bone from the socket may be exposed, and a blood clot from the tooth extraction area may be partially or completely lost.

Although the exact cause of a dental dry socket is unknown, health experts suspect that very small fragments of the bone or roots remaining in the wound area may be the cause, according to Mayo Clinic. Bacterial contamination of the dental socket or tissue or bone trauma from a difficult tooth removal may cause a dental dry socket.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs typically ease the pain of dental dry sockets, explains WebMD. When aspirin or ibuprofen does not alleviate discomfort, some dentists may anesthetize the area or prescribe stronger pain medication. Dentists treat dry socket by cleaning the area, then inserting gauze or a special paste to promote healing. Normally, a person with dry socket sees the dentist each day for a dressing change