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What are Dry Sockets

What are Dry Sockets International Dental Courses UK, USA, Canada & India

Dry sockets, also referred to as alveolar osteitis, is a complication that arises when the blood clot that forms on the tooth extraction site is lost. The healing process is halted as a result of this complication. Stuart Orton-Jones has discussed similar cases in his international dental courses, which have taken place in locations such as USA, UK, Canada, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Australia, Egypt, France, Germany, Kuwait, Malaysia, and Oman.


Treatment of Dry Sockets  

Taken from the following Website

What is this condition?

A dry socket, more formally referred to as alveolar osteitis, is a post-operative complication that interferes with the healing process that takes place after a tooth extraction.

Formation involves a situation where the blood clot that’s normally expected to occupy the extraction site is instead lost. As a result, the wound’s healing process is delayed.

Signs and symptoms.

The signs of a dry socket include throbbing pain and a foul smell and taste coming from the extraction site. The pain can be continuous and severe. These symptoms typically do not appear until some days after the tooth has been removed.


Pain medications on their own, even prescription ones, are seldom effective in managing the discomfort associated with a dry socket. In most cases, the treatment that’s required is one where the patient’s dentist inserts a medicated dressing (daily if needed) directly in the wound.


Dry Sockets –

A) Formation details.

While the exact pathogenesis of dry socket formation has yet to be determined, the following factors are involved.

1) The blood clot is lost.

Formation involves a scenario where the blood clot that forms in the tooth’s socket immediately after its removal isn’t properly retained. Either it disintegrates (by way of a process termed fibrinolysis) or else is dislodged (by an activity such as vigorous rinsing).

2) Healing is delayed.

Since this blood clot is an important factor in initiating the healing process, and protecting the bony tooth socket as it takes place, the progress of the extraction site’s healing is interrupted and subsequently delayed.

B) Signs and symptoms.

With most tooth extractions, a patient will notice some degree of discomfort (no matter how minor) at their extraction site on the day their tooth is removed. And then, with each day that passes after that, their level of discomfort should gradually subside.

What happens with dry sockets?

In those cases where a dry socket forms, the patient will typically notice that their level of discomfort has progressively diminished for the first few days. But then, between days 2 and 5 after their extraction, their pain has begun to intensify.

While the initial timing of symptoms can vary, 95% of dry socket cases are noticed within the first week.

1) Pain.

• Discomfort from the extraction site starts to intensify 2 to 5 days after the tooth was initially removed.

• The pain can be moderate to severe in intensity. It often has a throbbing component.

• The pain may just be local. In some cases, it may radiate from the extraction site to the patient’s ear or eye (on the same side of their face).

2) Appearance.

• The tooth socket will appear to be empty (not filled in with a blood clot or granulation tissue).

• When looking down into the socket (if possible) exposed bone is visible. It may be partially covered with a greyish-yellow layer of necrotic tissue or accumulated debris.

• The gum tissue around the extraction site is typically reddened and inflamed.

3) Other signs and symptoms.

• The patient may notice a foul smell or taste coming from their extraction site.

• Lymph nodes in the jaw or neck may be tender and enlarged.

• Dry sockets are typically not associated with the presence of a raised temperature.

 C) How long do they last?

Once a dry socket has developed, it takes about 7 to 10 days for new tissue (a sign of renewed healing) to form and cover over the socket’s exposed bone.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your pain will last for this entire time period, and hopefully it won’t. But, in general, you can expect that the overall healing time of your extraction site will be delayed on the order of a week or longer.

D) How often do dry sockets occur?

• For routine tooth extractions, the incidence rate for dry sockets runs on the order of .5 to 5%.

• Extractions involving lower teeth, especially molars, are statistically more likely to result in dry socket formation.

• Dry sockets may occur in as many as 37% of the cases involving the extraction of mandibular (lower) impacted wisdom teeth.

• In general, surgical extractions have a ten times higher incidence rate of dry socket formation.

Taken from the following website


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