What is a “dry socket”?

  • A dry socket is when a blood clot does not form in the extraction site leaving an exposed nerve to the jawbone. Continuous sharp pain for three or four days following an extraction are the symptoms of a dry socket. The patient should return to the office immediately for treatment.

Will it still hurt after the numbness goes away?

  • The gums may be slightly sore, and the soreness will go away in a day or so with no further treatment.
  • Any Medications given to you after the extraction should be taken as directed, otherwise any non-aspirin type medication (Tylenol, Advil, Aleve) may be taken as needed.
  • Warm salt-water rinses are recommended after 24 hours. Swish lightly in the extraction area to keep it clean.

What about bleeding?

  • Following extractions, some bleeding is to be expected. Bite down on gauze or a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. Remember a little blood mixed with saliva looks like a lot of blood.
  • Keep your head elevated. No heavy lifting or straining that could cause blood flow to the head. What if swelling occurs?
  • If swelling occurs, place an ice pack or cold moist cloth on your face for 20-minute intervals. What can I eat and what can I not eat? Home care after eating?
  • A soft diet is advised for the first 24 hours. If possible, eat on the opposite side of the extraction site. NO hard or crunchy food with sharp edges.
  • Brush and floss the remaining teeth as usual but stay away from the extraction site for the first 24 hours.

What if I feel something sharp in the area?

  • Small sharp bone fragments may work up through the gums during healing. (These are not roots). They may come out on their own or with your help, if they are persistent, you can return to our office for their simple removal.

*If stitches are needed, the doctor will let you know whether it will be necessary for you to come into the office to have them removed, or if the stitches will come out on their own. *

Proper care following oral surgical procedures will hasten recovery and prevent complications. If any unusual symptoms occur, call our office at (904) 259-5007, or the after-hours emergency number (904) 234-3193.