What is a dry socket?
The socket is the opening in the bone where the tooth has been removed (extracted). After a tooth is extracted, a blood clot forms in the socket to protect the bone and nerves underneath. Sometimes the clot can break down after a couple of days following the extraction. This leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, fluid, and anything else that enters the month. This can lead to increasing pain that can last a week or in some cases it can be longer. There is no clear understanding of why a dry socket develops in some patients or extraction sites, and not in others. We do know that lower third molar extraction sites and people who smoke are more susceptible.