Treatment

Treatment of dry socket focuses on reducing symptoms, particularly pain. Dry socket treatment may include:

  • Flushing out the socket. Flushing out the socket can remove any food particles or other debris that may contribute to pain or possible infection.
  • Medicated dressings. Your dentist or oral surgeon may pack the socket with medicated gel or paste and medicated dressings. These can provide relatively fast pain relief. The severity of your pain and other symptoms will determine whether you need dressing changes and how often or if you need other treatment.
  • Pain medication. Ask which pain medication is best for your situation. You'll likely need a prescription pain medication.
  • Self-care. Once the dressing is removed, you may need to flush the socket at home to promote healing and eliminate debris. Typically you'll receive instructions and a plastic syringe with a curved tip to squirt water, salt water or a prescription rinse into the socket. You'll likely need to continue the rinse until the socket no longer collects any debris.

Once treatment is started, you may soon begin to feel some pain relief. Pain and other symptoms should continue to improve and will likely be gone within a few days. However, keep scheduled appointments with your dentist or oral surgeon for dressing changes and other care.