Is Dry Socket Making your Life Difficult? Here is How to Treat it

Updated on February 4th, 2020
how to prevent dry socket

Dry socket is a painful dental condition that occurs when you have a tooth extracted from the bone and gums. Usually, blood clot covers accumulate the hole to protect the exposed as the underlying parts of the cut are healed. But sometimes the clot doesn’t form properly resulting in a dry socket, which could damage the bone, nerves, or the underlying tissues.

It can be very painful and lead to infections or severe complications. Studies report that it is a rare condition, and only 2-5% of people suffer from dry socket post tooth extraction.

Causes and Symptoms

Other than the failure of the formation of a blood clot, dry socket can also occur due to excessive smoking and consumption of tobacco. Oral contraceptives like birth control pills can also cause dry socket. Some common symptoms of dry socket are:

  • Intense pain
  • Nasty taste in the mouth
  • Pain in the ear, eyes, neck, or the temple
  • Visible bone

Did you know?

An average person spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth in a lifetime.

How to Prevent Dry Socket Naturally

CURE 1: Home Remedies

1. Saltwater

saltwater for

Rinsing the mouth with saltwater massages the aggravated area along with reducing swelling and killing bacteria. Studies confirm that even doctors recommend using saltwater several times a day to deal with dry socket(1).

How to use?

To achieve the desired results, dissolve half a tablespoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Take some amount of the mixture in the mouth and swish it around for a minute. Make sure the water is not too hot; otherwise, it will further aggravate your condition.

How much to use?

Try to do this as many times as possible in a day and a minimum of three days. Make sure you do this immediately after eating which can wash away the food residue.

[ Read: Natural Remedies to Cure Toothache ]

2. Hot compress

A hot compress in dry socket manages the pain by massaging the area and relaxing any tense jaw muscles due to the constant pain. Hot compress also numbs the nerve endings.

How to use?

Use the hot compress for 10-15 minutes continuously during extensive pain. Make sure the heating pad is not too hot.

How much to use?

Use it as and when required to manage the pain. Do it a minimum of 3 times a day to easily deal with the pain.

3. Cold compress

Cold compress on Jaw

Cold compress subsides the swelling and pain caused due to dry socket by numbing the area. It is highly effective on the day of the tooth extraction when the pain is at its most. Studies also confirm that cold compress used during the first 24 hours helps greatly.

How to use?

Hold a cold pack against your face for 15 minutes. If you do not have a cold pack, you can put some ice in the handkerchief and use it as a cold pack.

How much to use?

Do this repeatedly until the swelling subsides with 45 minute breaks in between. Do this a minimum of 3 times a day to achieve desirable effects.

[ Read: Hot or Cold Compresses for Swelling ]

CURE 2: Herbal Remedies

1. Turmeric

Turmeric(2) is effective in treating dry sockets as it is rich in a compound called curcumin which heals the wound. A recent study conducted in 2018 confirmed that turmeric used along with mustard oil significantly decreased discomfort due to dry socket.

How to use?

Make turmeric paste by adding some water in turmeric powder. Mix well and apply it on the aggravated area for 20 minutes. Once it dries, rinse with warm water.

How much to use?

Do this 2-3 times a day to see quick results and relieve pain. It can be difficult to do the first time, but gradually you will find your way through.

2. Green tea

Green Tea

Green tea acts as a natural healing agent and helps in reducing pain. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties which reduce the risk of infection.  Research states that you can also directly put used green tea bags on the affected area.

How to use?

Boil some green tea leaves in water and bring it to boil. Filter the tea and drink it hot. You can also put some lemon and honey in it to improve the taste.

How much to use?

Drink green tea 3-4 times a day to see quick results.

[Read: Treat Bad Breath Naturally ]

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera improves healing due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies reveal that aloe vera increases collagen formation, which promotes good blood circulation and muscle relaxation.

How to use?

Put some aloe vera gel in cotton and put it on the aggravated area. If you do not have gel, you can use fresh aloe vera.

How much to use?

Do this a minimum of three times a day to relieve constant pain due to dry socket.

CURE 3: Essential Oils

1. Clove oil

Clove Oil Uses

Clove oil is rich in antiseptic and antioxidant properties which helps in preventing pain. Studies reveal that clove oil contains eugenol which works as a great anti-inflammatory agent.

How to use?

Take some drops of clove oil and place on a sterile gauze and use it directly on the affected area for 20 minutes.  Rinse the mouth with warm water after.

How much to use?

Do this a minimum of three times a day to subside the pain.

[ Read: Clove Oil for Toothache ]

2. Lavender oil

Used widely in aromatherapy, lavender oil helps reduce pain and prevent infections. Studies reveal that lavender oil is a powerful healer that soothes inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

How to use?

Use it in aromatherapy or apply it directly to the affected area through cotton or gauze. You can also add lavender oil in bath water.

How much to use?

Do this regularly until the pain subsides and your condition is relieved.

3. Chamomile oil

Chamomile oil is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which promotes healing. Studies show that chamomile is highly soothing and one of the best natural home remedies.

How to use?

Add a few drops of the oil in cotton or gauze and place it for 20 minutes on the aggravated area. Rinse the mouth with warm water.

How much to use?

Do this 2-3 times a day to subside the pain and swelling.

[ Read: Chamomile Oil Benefits ]

No two people have the same set of teeth—your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint.

Mentioned below are some things you can keep in mind to avoid dry socket:

  • Do not use straws as they create suction which can then dislodge the blood clot from its place.
  • Do not drink excessive alcohol and smoke cigarettes, as repeated inhalation can also dislodge the blood clot.
  • Maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing regularly.


1. How to smoke and not get a dry socket?

It is advisable to avoid smoking after tooth extraction, but in case you do, wait at least 48 hours after the surgery.

2. Can coughing cause dry socket?

Yes, excessive coughing and sneezing can cause a dry socket.

3. Does dry socket heal itself?

Yes. It usually takes 7-10 days for a dry socket to heal, but it can be painful.

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