Dry Socket

Dry socket is a painful, radiating, foul-smelling condition in the lower jaw which occurs about 3 – 4 days after your wisdom teeth surgery. It takes several visits to calm the dry socket and relieve the pain.

It is avoidable if instructions are gently carried out.

Please pay careful attention to the live instruction in the office, the post-op video, and the written instructions we give during the course of your treatment.

Dry socket occurs when the blood clot is pulled out of the socket from:

  • overuse of gauze for more than 2 hours on the day of surgery
  • talking or chewing while the gauze is in
  • spitting on the day of surgery
  • gargling/washing the area on the day of surgery
  • using straws the week of the surgery
  • playing with the area
  • sucking on the area
  • picking at the area
  • smoking
  • lack of hygiene

The blood clot is what heals your wisdom teeth surgery or any surgery.

It attaches to the bone and gums and protects the hole from the bacteria and food debris in the mouth.

The blood clot contains platelets, which in itself has growth factors, calcium, serotonin, and other agents that control the “hemostasis” and “inflammation” stages of healing. You cannot heal without inflammation (which may manifest as swollen cheeks and pain).

Smoking is well known across all surgical specialties to cause infection, delayed healing, and destruction of a wound. The heat and tobacco byproducts (such as carbon monoxide) cause literal burning of the blood supply, and the blood supply is what heals you. Your blood brings nutrients to and wastes away from the wound site. You are strongly advised not to smoke during the healing period of at least 2 weeks.