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Do I have dry socket?

letsconnect

letsconnect

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The main characteristics of dry sockets are:

1) Severe pain, usually with pain starting to get worse 2 days after the tooth has been removed. A distinguishing characteristic of dry socket is that painkillers don't reduce the pain to any great extent.

2) Often a foul smell or bad taste coming from the extraction site.

A whitish/ yellowish/ greenish/ greyish film does NOT indicate dry socket, but is a part of normal healing!

Dry sockets are much more likely with lower tooth extractions than upper ones, and much more likely after surgical extractions (like removing impacted wisdom teeth) than routine extractions. For routine extractions, the chances of experiencing a dry socket are about 1 to 4%.

For treatment, see your dentist - they can provide rapid pain relief by applying a medicated dressing.

Dry socket is painful but not that bad in the overall scheme of things. It's also fairly rare.
 
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rubynoodles37

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Mar 15, 2017
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Two years ago I got dry socket and never wanted to go through that again -EVER!
Yesterday I had a molar removed. I had had root canal treatment on it and they wouldn’t crown it for two years as it still had a bit of infection in it, it then got a crack though it so I had no option but to have it removed 🙁
It came out whole with no major problems, was a bit bloody and painful yesterday (probably more painful than normal as I have tmj disorder). It was quite painful before bed so I took pain relief and slept ok.
Today I have done salt mouth washes as instructed but there is a horrible taste and smell from my mouth which isn’t going away and makes me feel quite nauseous.
Also, there is no visible blood clot in the socket only a white piece which looks like a piece of tooth or bone.
Could this be the start of dry socket?
I’ve rung the dentist today and described all of this and told them I’m terrified it could be dry socket but they have just palmed me off saying it’s all normal and dry socket wouldn’t occur until around day 5.
I’m not so sure, is it normal to have a horrid smell/taste and to see a white area and no blood clot?
 
drhirst

drhirst

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Hi rubynoodles37,
I cannot say for sure from the photo. It's a good photo but does not show how empty the socket is as it is virtually impossible to get such a picture with a normal camera.
The main factor is pain. It normally kicks in after 48 hours. I would say if things are feeling really grim then you should be seen ASAP, as the sooner the socket is dressed the quicker the pain is reduced.
One thing to be aware of, is like most things, you can have a mild or severe dry socket. So just because your previous one was really, really bad it does not mean if this is one it is going to be just as bad. Mind you, they are all pretty horrible so let's hope for the best.

Lincoln
 
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rubynoodles37

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Thank you. Fingers crossed the pain has subsided, just this horrid taste and smell. I will contact the dentist to see what they say. 🤞
 
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BlacJAC

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May 23, 2019
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UK
If like myself, you have some sort of anxiety attached to dental treatment, then right at the top of that list is getting the dreaded dry socket after an extraction.

To start off, I'm male, 44 year old and a smoker.

Around a month ago, I acquired a gum infection between my lower left wisdom tooth and the molar in front. It was not nice. It was awful and as these things tend to pan out, they rear their head on a Friday night. Luckily, the OOH dentist saw me on the Saturday. So armed with a 5 day course of Metronidazole 400mg and instructed to go to my dentist on Monday, off i went. Next day it was decided I needed a deep clean around the wisdom tooth. Well, I nearly trashed the room such was the pain from my wisdom tooth when he went near it with that little electric cleaning tool. He stopped and decided the tooth needed to come out once the infection was away.

Fast forward to last Thursday. Quit smoking. Tooth out after umpteen numbing shots and off I went to let it heal. Saturday late afternoon a gnawing throbbing pain appeared. I had been warned about this and decided to call the OOH again. Turn up and get told there's a slight infection, but the clot is still in place. Cleaned, packed and given more Metronidazole. Yay no dry socket. That was the main worry.

Went to my dentist on Monday as the pain was kinda coming back and it all just felt irritated. She cleaned it out and stated the socket had dissolved (due to the infection, so now the dreaded dry socket was a reality. So packed again with that lovely brown clove tasting stuff and sent on my way. Was beginning to ache badly again by Wednesday so got it repacked and instructed to take painkillers every 4 hours rather than take codeine and ibuprofen all together. That worked a treat. Also got the news that there is no exposed bone as it's covered by granulation tissue and zero sign of infection.

Woke up today and it's a good day, the last day I need to take those awful antibiotics and zero pain thus far.

The purpose of this post is to tell people, even if you get a dry socket, the pain isn't always on par with those horror stories you read all over the internet. Get the pain seen to in a timely fashion (don't let it drag on for days), and it can all be dealt with by over the counter pain meds. I've lost zero sleep, yet expected to be hitting my head off the wall and wishing for death according to the net. I'm not sure if it's still classed as a dry socket now it's covered with granulation tissue. A plus in all this, 1 week free from smoking and haven't even wanted one. Next target is 6 weeks smoke free.
 
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Comeongeorge

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Uk
I had a lower molar extracted yesterday. Which took a huge amount of courage on my part.
Compounded with the fact I’m pregnant it was only cos I’m desperate and in huge amounts of pain it happened.

I had a blood clot following the procedure yesterday which to my horror has now disappeared today.
My question is does loss of blood clot always mean dry socket will occur.
I’m in a reasonable amount of pain that I would expect following extraction but have read up on horror stories this morning and I can’t stop crying am so scared.
I can’t go through weeks of pain again.
I called my dentist who have just advised watch and wait
 
Gordon

Gordon

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If you've got dry socket you'd know all about it by now, the pain is bad enough not to be mistaken for anything else. You're probably about past the peak risk period for dry socket now, so try not to worry about it.
 
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Comeongeorge

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Ah ok, thanks Gordon.
I thought peek was 2 days but happy if it isn’t and I’m passed peek, extraction was approx 30hrs ago.
As an aside any idea if loss of clot always equals dry socket as general rule?
 
Gordon

Gordon

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In my experience it's normally well inside the first 24 hrs that the issue start to become obvious.
No, it doesn't always follow. Dry socket is a very confusing issue, there doesn't seem to be any clear pattern as to why they happen at all.
 
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Comeongeorge

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Very helpful thanks
 
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Rachel1243

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Jun 22, 2019
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Netherlands
Two days ago I got 4 teeth extracted. Yesterday I noticed that there is a yellow hard oval shaped thing in one of the wounds (on top). At first I thought it was food, but it can’t be because I just ate soup. Its also not moving. Do I have an infection? What should I do?
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

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Two days ago I got 4 teeth extracted. Yesterday I noticed that there is a yellow hard oval shaped thing in one of the wounds (on top). At first I thought it was food, but it can’t be because I just ate soup. Its also not moving. Do I have an infection? What should I do?
Sounds like normal healing.
 
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dawniemcg

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Jul 6, 2019
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Ireland
Hi.
I had a tooth pulled 4 days ago,lower left and now have dry socket.
Dentist packed it and said it would dissolve over time...Ive had barely any pain.
This morning bits of the packing has come away and even though its not severe I am starting to feel more pain.
Rang my dentist who said its normal to come out in bits but the hole won't close for 2-3 months!! Also unless I'm in extreme pain theres no need to go back to them..I was horrified and im now scared stiff. Scared of something more serious taking place and the thought of having more dental work has me rattling! I'm only new here so any advice would be great
 
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Mumof4beauties

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Jul 7, 2019
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Newquay
Hi all I’m new to this but would really appreciate some advice and help. I had a lower molar taken out 3 days ago and I am concerned about the clot as it seems to be shrinking but the hole isn’t getting much smaller. I don’t have much pain, just a pinch every now and again. I have been eating soft food, drinking only water and rinsing my mouth gently with salt water to help the healing. The clot is still there but just seems to be really low in the hole and I’m so scared of getting dry socket, I’m seriously paranoid about it! I am petrified of dentists due to past experiences so I don't want this to turn into dry socket! I have attached a picture of the clot so you can see what I’m on about! Thank you in advance for you advice and help and I’m sorry about the long babbling post!
 

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Gordon

Gordon

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Sounds pretty normal for a post-dry socket healing process. Try not to panic about it.
 
Gordon

Gordon

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It's fine, you're well past the risk period for a dry socket.
 
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dawniemcg

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Thank you for your reply..I still have some packing in but the discomfort is getting worse...Is this normal?
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Not if it's getting worse, time to ring your dentist again...
 
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