when can I stop worrying about dry socket?

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In this article, we will discuss when you can stop worrying about dry sockets. We will explore the length of time after which you can stop worrying about having a dry socket. 

We will also be discussing what exactly is dry socket, and what are the possible causes and treatments for this condition. 

When Can You Stop Worrying About a Dry Socket?

You can stop worrying about a dry socket when your exhalation is completely healed, which can take an average of 7-10 days for the gums to naturally heal and close. 

In between your extraction which is likely the cause of dry socket and you next appointment with the doctor you can do a few things to help yourself heal. 

These things include:

  • You can gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water to speed up the healing process.
  • Apply a cold compress to the surgery site for 15 minutes on and off to minimise swelling. 
  • Rinsing your mouth with an antibiotic, prescribed by your doctor to help with the healing. 
  • Brushing your teeth GENTLY and avoiding the use of mouthwash.

If you do notice a dry socket that does not heal after a week the best thing you can do for yourself is to seek medical attention.

What is a dry socket?

Dry socket is a common medical complication following a tooth extraction, often the extraction of a wisdom tooth. 

Dry socket is a condition where the blood clot that should have formed in the socket after your extraction is either accidentally removed or never formed in the first place. 

The reason why a dry socket is a complication is because when a tooth is removed the surrounding gums should close around the vacant tooth socket however, if this does not happen, it can  cause your jaw bone to be exposed permanently. 

This exposure causes infections as well as discomfort and pain due to the nerves being exposed. The risk of a dry socket occurring increases if you have a history of dry socket, are a smoker or are on oral contraceptives- Women are at a higher risk than men due to increased estrogen levels. 

What does a dry socket look like?

A Dry socket typically looks like a gaping hole where your extracted teeth looks like due to the lack of blood clot that was supposed to form and promote new tissue growth. 

Without a blood clot over your socket, raw tissue, nerve endings, and bone are exposed- under observation and light you’d often see fresh blood and a dark crater in the area where your teeth were. 

Here is a link that shows you what a dry socket may look like. 

Along with the empty gap in your gums you might also notice visible bone in your socket, have a bad taste in your mouth or a smell.

When your dry socket condition is severe and infected there might be presence of pus in your mouth with increased intensity of pain. 

What are the Causes of Dry Socket?

Where there is no hard and fast rule of what causes dry socket there are a few lifestyle conditions that make a person more susceptible to having a dry socket after extractions. 

These factors and conditions include:

  • Bad Hygiene

This can be a cause of infection in your mouth from the dry socket due to the lack of hygiene. While mouthwash and aggressive brushing is not recommended after xtractos, regular hygiene upkeep is necessary. 

Gently brushing your teeth and flossing are recommended by each dentist as a way to deter the development of this condition.

  • Utilizing Tobacco

If you are a regular smoker or you chew tobacco, It is very likely that you will develop this condition. 

Tobacco causes damage to your gum health overall, as well as your overall oral health. This can deter proper healing of your gums after an extraction. 

  • Relentless Sucking

You might also develop the condition if you are someone who drinks fluids through a straw, sucks thumbs (in case of children), and engages in other activities that involve sucking- even sucking on the extraction site unconsciously. 

The suction movement of air and cheek muscles when you suck may dislodge your blood clot and cause the condition. 

  • Using Oral Birth Control Pills As A Cause To Dry Socket

Researchers have found evidence that women are more likely to develop this condition and believe that it is because of the increased levels of Estrogens which can also be elicited from the use of contraceptives.

  • Gum and Tooth Infection As Causes To Dry Socket

There is a possibility that you will develop dry socket if you have had a past experience of infestation of the gums and tooth prior. This can be an indication of vaiors factors such as poor hygiene, poor care that can likely increase the risk of the condition.

What Should I Do If Dry Socket Develops In My Teeth?

If you have a dry socket, the best thing you can do for yourself is to call your dental care team right away and make an appointment to treat the condition. 

While you are waiting for your visit, here are a few things you can do to help treat the condition:

Gently rinse with warm but not hot salt-water solution which can have a mild antibiotic effect and can promote healing of the gums.

You can also apply a cold compress to the surgery site for 15 minutes on and off to minimise swelling if there is any swelling. 

Rinsing your mouth with an antibiotic, prescribed by your doctor to help with the healing is something you can do and be consistent with if your doctor has recommended it in your last visit. 

Avoid smoking, and avoid doing anything to the site that might cause irritation such as eating extremely hot and cold, hard foods, drinking alcohol, sucking on it or touching it. 

It is best that you are patient as you continue to use the salt or antibiotic  mouthwash and see your doctor as soon as possible.  

What are the treatments available for people with Dry Sockets?

There is no universally agreed upon treatment for Dry socket. The best your doctor can do for you is give you pain medication to curb the ache, prescribe you antibiotics to stave off an infection.

Your dentist will also clean the wound and apply medication for pain relief. They will also

replace the gauze and give you detailed instructions for keeping the site clean. They might even stitch up the extraction site. 

You may also be given an antibiotic mouthwash for you to rinse your mouth everyday multiple times a day to treat the infection. 

Treating this condition will most probably start your healing process all over again, so closely following your doctor’s instructions can get the contusion treated and your ums healing within an additional week or ten days. 

During this time, it is important that if you have ovaries, you should avoid taking oral contraceptives and use other forms of contraceptives so as to avoid the increase of estrogen in your body. 

Reduce or stop taking tobacco, chewing or smoking during this recovery period. You can Switch to a nicotine patch to help you avoid smoking and taking tobacco.


In this brief article we have discussed when you no longer need to worry about dry socket. We have also briefly discussed what a dry socket is and what treatments are available to heal dry sockets. 


Noris. T. How Long After Tooth Extraction Can You Get Dry Socket? Healthline. 20th April 2018. Retrieved on 2nd Dec 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/when-can-i-stop-worrying-about-dry-sockets#treatment

When Can I Stop Worrying About a Dry Socket? Pearl shine dental. Aug 15, 202. Retrieved on 2nd Dec 2021. https://www.pearlshinedentalclinic.com/when-can-i-stop-worrying-about-a-dry-socket/

When can I stop worrying about dry socket? Forgatedental. 8th January, 2021. Retrieved on 2nd Dec 2021. https://www.foregatedental.co.uk/blog/when-can-i-stop-worrying-about-dry-socket/

FAQs: when can i stop worrying about dry socket

Can you get a dry socket after a week?

No, If you’ve made it about a week after a surgery and your affected mouth is mostly healed, then chances are you won’t get this kind of condition. 

Can I get a dry socket after 3 days?

Yes, you can get a dry socket after 3 days. This kind of condition tends to happen after 3 to 5 days from surgery. 

How long does it take to know you have a dry socket?

It takes 2 days for you to know you have a dry socket. The pain from this kind of condition can usually start about 2 days after the tooth was pulled. 

Can a dry socket heal on its own?

Yes, a dry socket can heal on its own. Although healing will also entail discomfort on the affected person. However, the dentist will offer a dressing that contains soothing ointments that will relieve pain and promote faster healing on the affected person. 

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