When a tooth is extracted it leaves an open socket, an empty space on the bone. This socket is covered by a blood clot to protect the bone. In case a blood clot does not form or gets lost, a dry socket occurs.
There are some other reasons for a dry socket to occur. It is important to learn the symptoms of dry socket, who is at risk of dry socket, and how dry socket is diagnosed so it can be treated.
Dry sockets are common among people who get a tooth extraction. There are effective, holistic ways for dry socket treatment.
1. Clove Oil
Clove oil has eugenol and has anesthetic, anti-inflammatory properties. It also has antiseptic properties that fight bacteria in your mouth. These properties are good to treat a dry socket.
Add clove oil to sterile gauze and apply it to the affected area. Keep it on the area for about 20 minutes. Another way to use clove oil is to first rinse the socket with warm saltwater. Then apply a clove oil dressing to it using a cotton ball on which you’ve added clove oil. Make sure that the ball is small enough to fit the socket and big enough to stop food from entering it. Replace the ball every 24 hours until the pain is relieved.
2. Salt Water rinse
Take half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Mix till the salt dissolves. Use this fluid to rinse your mouth where you have the dry socket. This will help bring down the swelling after extraction. Salt is also good for preventing infections in your mouth. Rinse gently with the solution after 24 hours of the extraction. If you already have dry sockets, rinse with the solution 2-3 times after meals every day till you see results.
3. Cold Compress
You can make a cold compress by covering an ice pack with a towel or soaking a towel in cold water. For the first 24 hours after the extraction, use the cold compress on your face for 15-20 minutes at a time to reduce the swelling. Do this 4-5 times a day to see results.
Honey has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It can sterilize a dry socket in 3-4 days. It also prevents infection in the area of extraction, as well as reducing inflammation and pain. Take some raw honey on a piece of gauze. Place it directly on the affected area. Change the gauze every few hours to keep a consistent impact on the dry socket.
5. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric has very potent healing and antiseptic properties. Take some dry turmeric powder and add it to warm water. Use this solution to rinse your mouth gently. Do this about 4-5 times a day to get rid of dry socket. You will experience relief from the pain and healing will become faster.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide can provide instant relief from the symptoms of dry socket. Make a mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and four parts water. Use this solution to rinse your mouth a few times a day. This will give you relief from the pain and aid faster recovery from the dry socket.
Garlic has natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. These can be harnessed to treat dry sockets. Take some garlic cloves and salt and make a paste. Apply this paste to your socket for about 30 minutes. Remove the paste and rinse with warm water to finish.
8. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic used to treat dry sockets. Dip a cotton swab in water and place 1-2 drops of tea tree oil on it. You can add a drop of honey to this swab as the oil is quite strong. Press the swab against the dry socket for 5 minutes and rinse with warm water. Do this 2-3 times per day.
9. Black Tea
Black tea has tannic acid. This is a natural antibiotic, capable of reducing pain and swelling. Place a black tea bag in boiling water as you would to make tea. Once the tea is sufficiently brewed, remove the tea bag and squeeze it well. Let it cool. Keep it in the refrigerator to get cold. Once it is sufficiently cold, place the tea bag on the dry socket and bit down on it gently. Hold it there for 10-15 minutes. Rinse your mouth with the remaining cool tea afterwards.
Dry sockets can be excruciatingly painful. It is best to start treatment as soon as the symptoms begin to show. Make sure you go visit your dentist if you suspect the onset of symptoms. If they recommend, follow any of the above-mentioned home remedies to relieve pain and discomfort.
Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD, runs a successful dental practice in Salem, MA. Dr. Isaac strives for quality on a daily basis and this commitment to quality is reflected in her constant pursuit of advanced training. Her firm belief that even experts need to stay updated about what’s new in the dental field, enables her to provide every patient with optimal oral care. As the founder of Coral Dental Care, she is dedicated to creating healthy, beautiful smiles for her patients and also educating dental and non-dental community with her engaging articles on all things related to oral health, recent dental innovations, and latest treatment modalities.