Home Remedies for Treating Dry Sockets - NewMouth (2024)

A dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a common but painful complication that can happen after a tooth extraction. When a tooth is removed, a blood clot naturally forms in the empty socket where your tooth’s roots used to be.

The blood clot forms a protective barrier, reduces pain, provides a base for new tissue growth, and promotes overall healing. However, sometimes, things can go wrong in the healing process.

The blood clot might not form properly, dissolve too early, or get dislodged from the socket. This can lead to a dry socket forming.

Home Remedies for Treating Dry Sockets

While dry sockets can be painful, there are a lot of natural remedies that can give you significant relief and support the healing process. These remedies are also easily accessible and inexpensive:

  • Saltwater rinses ⁠— Mix half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and swish around the affected area several times daily. This cleanses the site and promotes healing.
  • Clove oil — Clove oil contains eugenol, a natural anesthetic that numbs pain and fights bacteria. Place a few drops on sterile gauze and hold it against the socket.
  • Honey — a natural antibacterial solution that soothes and protects the exposed socket. For the best results, use raw, unprocessed honey.
  • Turmeric — Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain and inflammation. Mix it with water to form a paste, place it on a sterile gauze, and hold it against the socket.
  • Cold Compress — In the early stages, cold can help reduce pain and swelling. Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the affected side of your face for 15 minutes.
  • Black tea bags — The tannins in black tea can help reduce swelling and offer some pain relief. Soak a cool tea bag in water and gently place it over the socket for 15 minutes.
  • Apple cider vinegar The acidity of apple cider vinegar can fight off bacteria, but dilute it with water first.
  • Tea tree oil — A few drops of tea tree oil mixed with water and used as a rinse can be a natural disinfectant.
  • Garlic — Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Crush a clove with a little salt and make a paste. Place it on a sterile gauze and hold it against the socket to help ease pain and promote healing.

Home remedies can be a wonderful complement to your dentist’s recommendations, but it’s not a replacement for professional care.

Why Does a Dry Socket Happen?

Not following your dentist’s after-care instructions can increase the chances of irritating the extraction site. Other reasons a dry socket can happen include:

  • Smoking or using any tobacco products
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Having a difficult or traumatic extraction
  • Having a history of gum disease or infection

Signs of a Dry Socket

Some pain and discomfort are normal after a tooth is pulled. However, dry socket pain is generally much more severe. It can manifest as a throbbing feeling that sometimes radiates to your ear, eye, or neck

If you look at the extraction sight, you may find an empty socket with exposed bone instead of a blood clot. You may also notice a bad odor or taste in your mouth.

The signs and symptoms of a dry socket might not appear immediately and can take a few days after your tooth extraction to manifest. If you feel any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist for a professional assessment.

How to Prevent A Dry Socket

If you want to avoid getting a dry socket, here are a few things you can do to minimize that risk:

  • Avoid straws or smoking: This can add negative pressure in your mouth and dislodge the healing clot.
  • Soft foods: Eat soft foods that require minimal chewing and won’t get stuck in the socket. This includes mashed potatoes, yogurt, applesauce, etc. Try to eat on the opposite side of the extraction.
  • Rest: Avoid strenuous activity or anything that will increase your blood pressure and risk dislodging the blood clot.
  • Drink water: Stay hydrated to help with pain and support the healing process.
  • Rinse gently: If your dentist recommends saltwater rinses, do so very gently. Swishing vigorously can disrupt the socket.
  • Don’t touch it: Avoid touching the extraction site with your fingers, tongue, or anything else.
  • Ask about medications: Let your dentist know about all your medications, including birth control pills, as some can affect blood clotting and healing.

How to Promote Healing After a Tooth Extraction

Here are a few ways to boost the healing process and take care of the extraction site after the procedure:

  • Follow your dentist’s post-op care instructions.
  • Consider using over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Place an ice pack near the extraction site for the first 24 hours.
  • Keep your head elevated to reduce swelling and bleeding.

It’s important to understand that a dry socket can still occur even if you carefully follow these guidelines. Talk to your dentist if you feel something off.

When to Seek Professional Help

While home remedies can be good at alleviating discomfort, there are times when people need professional dental care for a dry socket. Contact your dentist immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Worsening or radiating pain
  • Visible bone instead of a dark blood clot
  • Foul odor or taste
  • A fever above 100.4 °F
  • Persistent or worsening symptoms

Why Should You Get Treatment?

While a dry socket might feel like a major inconvenience, it can lead to slower or delayed healing, prolonging discomfort and potentially causing an infection that can spread to other parts of your body.

A dry socket can also cause an infection that can affect the bone (osteomyelitis) or temporary or long-term nerve damage.

Remember, your dentist is your best ally in healing from a dry socket. They can assess the situation, provide appropriate treatment and medication, and monitor your healing process to prevent further complications.

In this article

Home Remedies for Treating Dry Sockets - NewMouth (2024)


Home Remedies for Treating Dry Sockets - NewMouth? ›

Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day. Brush your teeth gently around the dry socket area. Be careful with eating or drinking. To prevent the clot from coming out, avoid carbonated beverages and do not use a straw.

How do you get rid of dry socket ASAP? ›

Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day. Brush your teeth gently around the dry socket area. Be careful with eating or drinking. To prevent the clot from coming out, avoid carbonated beverages and do not use a straw.

Can you buy anything over the counter for a dry socket? ›

You can also take some over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), naproxen (Aleve), or ibuprofen (Advil). Gargling with warm salt water (½ teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water) at least three times a day will also help.

What to use for bad breath after tooth extraction? ›

Ans: Bad breath is a common occurrence after a tooth extraction due to the limited cleaning you can do around the site. Saltwater rinses can help combat bad breath.

How to make dry socket paste? ›

Ingredients for Dry Socket Paste:
  1. 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil.
  2. 15 drops clove oil.
  3. 1/2 cup honey.
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric.
Feb 29, 2024

Can I leave a dry socket to heal on its own? ›

Yes, in most cases a dry socket will heal on its own. However, because most people experience moderate to severe dry socket pain, seeing your dentist for prompt treatment can help ease discomfort sooner.

Does salt water stop dry socket? ›

Dry socket is a painful condition that can easily develop, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. Make sure to rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day and gently brush your teeth.

What ointment is good for dry sockets? ›

Dry Socket Treatment

The patented StellaLife VEGA Oral Care Gel provides quick pain relief and has been found to speed up healing. Dentists have found it effective in the pain management of dry sockets and recovery following dental surgical & non-surgical procedures.

Can you use Orajel for a dry socket? ›

Dry socket paste is just one of many ways you can reduce the pain associated with this condition. You can also use any of the following alternative treatments to achieve the same effect: Medicated gauze dressing. Topical anesthetics like lidocaine (Orajel, Oraqix)

Does honey help dry sockets? ›

A 2014 study found that honey dressings for dry socket resulted in a significant reduction in inflammation, edema, pain, and discomfort. It also showed evidence of preventing further infection. To use honey to help dry socket, put raw honey on sterile gauze and place it directly on the affected area.

How do you fix dry socket breath? ›

The most important and effective way to treat bad breath after a tooth extraction is to maintain good oral hygiene. Buy a toothbrush with very soft bristles, and ask your dentist about the best way to brush the affected area without disturbing the healing process.

How to get rid of dry socket smell? ›

Dry Socket

Its symptoms include foul breath, severe pain, swelling, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. The condition can usually be treated with over-the-counter pain medications and rinsing with salt water.

When can I stop worrying about a dry socket? ›

A dry socket is only a concern for as long as it takes for your mouth to heal after an extraction. For most patients who've had a tooth extracted, that healing should take between seven and ten days.

How to fix a dry socket at home? ›

How To Treat A Dry Socket: Top 6 Methods
  1. 1) Rinse Your Mouth Gently with Warm Saltwater.
  2. 2) Use Cold and Heat Therapy to Ease the Pain.
  3. 3) Try Clove or Tea Tree Oil on the Wound.
  4. 4) Place Honey on the Wound.
  5. 5) Chamomile or Black Tea for Antioxidants.
  6. 6) Over-the-Counter NSAIDs.
  7. How long does a dry socket take to heal?
Apr 21, 2021

What kills dry socket? ›

Rinse with Warm Salt Water

Warm salt water help rid your mouth of bacteria and prevents infections. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water. You can use it to flush out the dry socket with a syringe given to you by your surgeon or swish it around in your mouth. You should do this after meals.

What is an alternative to dry socket paste? ›

While it is best to see a dentist to treat a dry socket, some home remedies may help manage them. These include clove oil, honey, and salt water. Dry socket happens when a blood clot either does not form properly or falls out after a tooth extraction.

Can I use Orajel on a dry socket? ›

Dry socket paste is just one of many ways you can reduce the pain associated with this condition. You can also use any of the following alternative treatments to achieve the same effect: Medicated gauze dressing. Topical anesthetics like lidocaine (Orajel, Oraqix)

What is the best painkiller for dry socket? ›

Aspirin or ibuprofen can help relieve some pain. Still, you may need a prescription medicine from your dentist or oral surgeon. If you believe the clot over your extraction site has become dislodged, call your dentist.

How long should dry socket packing stay in? ›

If the non-resorbable packing is placed you will need to return to the office in the next two to four days to have the dressing removed and possibly replaced depending on how fast the site heals. Sometimes a dry socket requires multiple dressing change appointments until it has healed adequately.

What do dentists use to fill a dry socket? ›

After flushing the socket to remove food and debris, your dentist will pack it with a medicated dressing in the form of a paste. One of the ingredients in dry socket paste is eugenol, which is present in clove oil and acts as an anesthetic. Eugenol also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.


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