Dry socket pain typically lasts for five to six days and is treated using over-the-counter pain relievers, according to WebMD. Typically appearing a couple days after having a tooth removed, a dry socket means that the blood clot formed in the hole where the removed tooth had been becomes dislodged. This leaves the sensitive nerves and bone inside the tooth exposed to food, fluids and air entering the mouth.
If over-the-counter pain medication does not ease the discomfort, a dentist should be called to discuss other options, according to WebMD. Prescription pain relievers or local anesthesia can be used to provide relief during the healing process.
Dry sockets appear in as few as 2 to 5 percent of people following a tooth extraction, according to WebMD. A dry socket is most common in people who smoke, have poor oral hygiene, use birth control pills and those who have a history of problems following tooth extraction. Wisdom teeth are most at risk for developing a dry socket, as are any teeth that have greater-than-usual trauma during the extraction process. A dry socket can be identified by looking at the hole where the tooth was extracted. When the blood clot is present, it appears as a dark-colored blood clot. When it has fallen out, the whitish-colored bone is exposed and visible.