• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

Persistent pain and gum discoloration after extraction



Jul 30, 2012
It's 3 weeks and a day after my extraction and it still hurts. I was diagnosed with dry socket, but last time I saw my dentist, one week ago, he said it wasn't a dry socket any more and it was healing well. I can feel that the hole is closing over, but it's still quite painful, and there's a patch in front of it that's blue/grey and doesn't really show any signs of turning back to pink. I'm not sure, but I think that's where the pain is concentrated. Is this normal?


From your pictures and timeline it sounds like it is healing a bit slowly, but normally. A dry socket can delay healing and cause you to have continued pain for a couple of weeks afterwards. They greyish/blue area could be a couple of things. It could be a bruise that is also healing slowly. The other thing that comes to mind is what is known as an "amalgam tattoo". If the tooth that was extracted had a silver amalgam filling in it, some of the metal from the filling could have gotten trapped in the gum tissue and literally created a tattoo (like you'd have done on your skin). Either one isn't a big deal and shouldn't affect how the area heals. Give it another week or two and it should start feeling a good bit better.
The healing seems to come in steps where I can feel the hole has closed over a bit more, with a slight reduction in pain, but then the pain tends to return, and on occasion it was worse than before the "step". But I think I've had another improvement step since last night, which was only one or two days after the last one, and both times the pain has taken longer to come back (not in much pain at the moment, last painkillers taken over 15 hours ago), so I'm beginning to feel more encouraged. But I'm still obsessing over it, as you can probably tell by this post!

The tooth was more filling than natural material, so the amalgam tattoo theory fits, although it seems like a strange concept to a layperson. If it's a bruise, could that indicate damaged bone underneath? Even if that's the case, I suppose there's nothing to do except wait for it to either heal or work its way to the surface.

I also suspect that the lack of adjacent teeth is allowing my tongue to press or rub against the tender area and aggravate the pain.
If it is a bruise, the bone underneath is probably just fine. Most of the bruising comes from the trauma to the soft tissues. It just takes a while for your body to clear it it all out. Some people are faster than others.

I had major surgery on my foot a couple of years back and it stayed bruised for several months!

Fortunately your mouth tends to heal a lot more quickly than that.