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discomfort 8 days post-extraction?



Sep 23, 2010
I'm sure you folks are tired of answering questions like mine because I did a search and there have been a lot of them! But since it's Friday evening and I'm supposed to go out of town for a quick business trip tomorrow, I hope someone out there can help me.

I had the second lower left molar (#18?) removed 8 days ago. It had been broken and only about half was left. I had sedation but the DDS told my husband it was an easy extraction. No problems until early this AM; tried to be careful with after-care, don't smoke but might have briefly nicked the area with my toothbrush a few days ago. The discomfort didn't wake me up, but when I woke up for typical middle-aged lady reasons :p, I noticed the tooth and jaw were tingling and a bit uncomfortable. Took 400 mg. ibuprofen but it didn't seem to help much though I eventually fell asleep.

There has been intermittent discomfort all day. I've tried 600 mg. ibuprofen twice - it seemed eventually to provide relief but took longer than usual. I'd say it's been a 1-2 on the 1-10 pain scale, with odd moments up to 3. Now this doesn't sound like dry socket, does it? Because I've read all over the internet that the pain is much worse with that.

Of course I've been obsessing over it and peering into my mouth trying to make a diagnosis. I can't really see a gosh darned thing. But none of the pictures of dry socket I've seen on the internet look like anything, either. My dh is an OB, and I made him take a look. At first he thought he saw bone! Then, after my freak-out, he looked with better light and said he saw "tissue" and that the extreme back inside of the extraction site looked a little red. Then he went in to the office, probably to get away from the crazy middle-aged lady.

So my questions are - could this be dry socket? How long does that take to develop? If I wind up going on my business trip and find out it is dry socket, is it dangerous to leave it untreated until the DDS re-opens on Monday? (I already know it would be terribly painful - is it also dangerous?) And if it isn't dry socket, what could be causing the discomfort 8 days later? I almost had myself convinced it was a spicule earlier today - would that cause several hours of discomfort over a full day or more?

If anyone is still reading (and awake), could you please share your opinions and advice? Thank you!
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Verified dentist
Nov 6, 2005
it is possible that it could be the start of a dry socket, but from what you say it sounds unlikely. if it is dry socket- you will know as the pain will increase.
keep up or restart rinsing with a warm salty water mouthwash (alternatvely buy one which has chlorhexidne gluconate in it).
if the pain worsens or gets worse- call your dentist.
Dr Mike