The treatment for dry socket involves irrigating the area with sterile saline and/or chlorhexidine – a commonly used oral antibacterial rinse. Then your oral surgeon will pack or protect the area with a sterile medicated dressing that may need to be changed several times during treatment. This step will result in almost immediate pain relief and allow the healing process to begin again.
You will be instructed to continue your pain and antibiotic medications in addition to a prescription to help alleviate any swelling. You should also keep the area clean by following your oral surgeon's instructions. This may involve using a syringe with warm water to flush out food debris and bacteria as the socket heals properly. Also, maintain your regular brushing and flossing routine throughout the rest of your mouth, taking special care around the dry socket site. Once dry socket treatment is started, pain and discomfort will begin to diminish and greatly improve in a few days.
Dry socket is a painful complication from tooth extractions, but for the most part, it's an avoidable one. The key is to have a healthy, oral environment before seeking an extraction. Don't smoke and follow good habits like regular brushing with a hydrated silica toothpaste like Colgate Total® Advanced Deep Clean Toothpaste, as well as regular dental checkups. Also, following the oral surgeon's post-operative instructions for self-care is crucial. No rinsing or sucking on a straw for the first 24 hours, for instance, will help to achieve a normal, uneventful healing.