Dental Health Expert Forum
Ongoing Dry Socket Pain
About This Forum:

Questions in the Dental Health forum are answered by Dr. Jerome Tsang. Topics covered include bridges, cavities, crowns, and x-rays.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Ongoing Dry Socket Pain

On June 5 I had a lower molar extracted (tooth #18)It became a dry socket and was packed four times in a period of ten days and then  he said no more packing as it needed to start healing. He gave me Vicodin and a syringe for flushing the socket after meals. I am flushing very gently but the socket always hurts more after flushing. I still have continuous pain  but not as bad as in the beginning. I know that healing a dry socket is long term and not much that can be done. if it will go on  Just when I think there will be a totally pain free day, for no reason, or so it seems, the pain will return. I went to see an oral surgeon for a second opinion and he said the tooth is healing and feels that most of my pain is now coming from the surrounding area of the socket which has inflamation (inflammation). He prescribed Ibuprofen 600 mg three times a day and a mouth rinse twice a day and Vicodin for night. He said I have a "classic" dry socket and that I will have good days and bad days as that is part of the healing process. When can I start chewing on the socket side? Why are there good days and bad days? It seems it should steadily get better. How long does it's take to heal to the point where there is relatively no pain?  It is really depressing and frustrating to say the least. I am now terrified that future exttactions could result in the same condition. Thank you for your opinion.
Related Discussions
Avatar_dr_m_tn
I wish I could tell you more than the oral surgeon did, but I am sorry I can't. He said what there is to say about the situation. I can tell you that because you had one dry socket that it has anything to do with another extraction--there is no connection.
10 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi. I felt I had to comment of this post as I too have suffered in exactly the same way as you are. I have had 3 dry sockets in total and my first which was a year ago now, the experience of which I will never forget! I too posted a question on this forum as mine lasted for just over 5 weeks before the pain really started to get better.My socket was totally white and my dentist said he had never seem a dry socket like it in all his career (and he has been practising 25 years!). It didn't bleed at all when it was extracted - I don't know whether the two large abscesses helped the situation much. I was so relieved to get rid of the tooth pain but when I was left with the dry socket pain for such a long time I cold not belieive my luck!

I remember one particular week, I think week 2, when the pain seemed to get worse and my dentist removed a large piece of bone which was working its way out. After this the pain did ease a little.

I had mine dressed every other day until one day I woke up and the pain had just gone! The socket however did still ache for a few weeks after this time but was quite bearable after the initial 5 weeks. I will never forget the misery it caused me and I remember crying every night, especially when I laid down to go to sleep!

Your socket will heal but I am afraid, as your surgeon said and the Dr on the forum, you really cannot put a time on it. My dentist gave me my own syringe and after meals I rinsed it out myself until it closed up enough where I got to the situation when food did not get stuck.

I hope my post will have helped a little as I know when it happened to me reading a post like this would have certainly made my feel better.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your comment and advice. It has helped to know I am not alone in this.  It is hard for anyone who has not experienced this to relate to the pain, etc. and most dentists have  probably not this exerienced this either so I think sometimes they may not realize that it is not only the pain but everything that goes along with this. This is a very debilitating situation and can wreak havoc on your whole body and mind.  had always heard of dry sockets but never knew until now what a horrible experience it is and something I don't ever want to repeat. I have had more sleepness nights and crying than not in the last month or so and have also reached my limit with pain.  I feel as my life is on hold cannot go anywhere, do anything due to pain and discomfort. What I find hard to understand is why there are good days and then bad ones. It would seen that when one starts to improve that it should just continue to get progressively better.  I have not been able to sustain more than two good days in a row. Just when I think this pain is going to subside it goes right back to hurting for no apparent reason although I have noticed that when I flush the socket out with warm salt water this seems to trigger the pain (but not always). I am flushing out the socket very gently.  I am eating very carefully and not chewing on the dry socket side of my mouth. In fact I am practically living on soups, Ensure and very soft foods  due to having recently had two root canals on the opposite side of my mouth (which they are giving me problems) so as you can see I have alot going on in my mouth right now.  I personally only know one  person who had a dry socket and hers seemed to clear up right away with only one packing. HOW LUCKY!.

I am now in my fifth week so perhaps this will start to improve and what I mean by improve is to have more than two pain free days in a row.

Also is it better to flush out the socket with warm salt water or just use plain warm water. Sometimes I wonder if the salt water ( I am not using that much salt) just irritates it.

Also JoTown what did you take for the pain? I am so tired of taking Motrin. It has gotten to the point where it really doesn't do that much and I know it is not good to keep using it for so long.
Thanks again.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi again. I do so feel for you! It is like reading what I was going through last year. I can totally understand you.

I know you number your teeth differently in the US but I had my lower right 6 molar (an abscessed failed rooth canaled tooth) out first on 8th May 2006. The awful thing about this extraction was that when I got the dry socket I thought that it was a normal part of the healing pain and waited 8 days before I went back to the dentist! Ha! The pain was dreadful. It was a dry socket and after week 3 my dentist said he thought the pain was coming from the lower right 7 - he x-rayed it and found the root canal on that tooth had failed also so I decided to have that extracted too as the pain was getting too much for me to bare.....well I soon found out that that pain was a "piece of cake" until I got the second dry socket - two in a row!!! How unlucky was that!! The second molar, as I have described, was like yours and took such a long time to heal. I found that in the end although the dressing helped the pain it also hindered it closing up and got to the point where it felt uncomfortable as the dressing kept being squeezed out.

I did read an article about dry sockets (one of hundreds!!!) and this particular man said that a dry socket hurts until it fully closes and I think that this was spot on in my case. My life too was a misery and how I coped, to this day, I will never know. I have a busy life and two young children and they put up with so much!

I too ate cans and cans of soup as if anything even touched the area it hurt. I used Corsodel to flush my socket with and I used it cold which in some ways relieved the ache. I also ate quite a few ice lollies! The only good thing to come out of this situation was that I dropped two dress sizes!!

And, I also understand about having a delicate mouth the otherside as about 3 weeks after my socket eventually stopped hurting I had 4 other root canals done, all 4 of which never stopped hurting so I ended up having them extracted too so I understand how awful it is for you. I have just had my last root canal tooth extracted (which was a dry socket also but only lasted for 16 days thank goodness!!) so for the first time in a year I am now pain free and ready to move on and hopefully get some implants done once my mouth is totally healed.

I know the experience is terrible and the other teeth I had extracted really scared me but none of them have been particularly bad, even the dry socket I had recently was nowhere near as bad as lasts years.

I took Soladine (which is paracetmol and codine) and ibrophen (600mg 3 times a day) for my pain. It didn't take it away complete but certainly eased the situation a little. I also bought a bottle of clove oil from the chemist and soaked a cotton wool bud and gently dabbed it round the socket which did help a lot.

Don't loose faith! It will heal and one day you will wake up and the pain will be so much better. If you are having good days enjoy them and even if you have a bad day, remember that good one and never forget one day soon you WILL be pain free. If I can help anymore please let me know! With best wishes, Jo.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had 3 wisdom teeth out (2 partially in bone and 1 completely in bone), and I'm 24 and my surgeon keeps telling me "you're not 17 you know, this is going to be worse the older you get" but this is just weird.. I had them taken out with novicane only (the worst experience of my life) and 2 days later, on Saturday morning I developed dry socket.. that weekend was the worst ever, I've never been in pain like that, I called the on-call surgeon twice and he told me he didnt know what to do and I had to deal with it, finally Monday morning I went in and they packed it and it immediately felt better, went back Tuesday and they changed the packing with a self-dissolving one and said that should do it.. Wednesday was the 4th and I felt fine, Thursday I had a follow up and he said thinks looked good, I was still feeling minor pain but NOTHING like the weekend I had, I feel like I could deal with any amount of pain after that.. then Friday it started to hurt all over again.. that awful pain/aching that makes your ear hurt, your cheek, eyeball, throat.. everything, and I know they don't help you on the weekend so I made sure I got in on Friday-afternoon and he said "oh.. looks like you have dry-socket" and I was like "we established that on Monday!!" and he said he didn't know why or what to do and just packed it again, but this time, it didn't help at all and I got no relief, now I'm going through the weekend and I have another appt. tomorrow morning but.. has this happened to anyone, should I just suck it up and know that I'm probably going to be aching and have severe pain off/on for a few weeks.. is that normal?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi Again JoTown,
Thank you so very much for your encouragement and wonderful advice. You cannot imagine what a great help you are to me and I am so sorry that you had to suffer so much also but it is wonderful that you did fully recover. It is amazing what terrible tortures our mouths suffer in an effort to save our teeth.

I am not sure if you felt this way but I certainly have felt alone in all this as  people who have never experienced this cannot even relate to the pain and emotional havoc. I feel sorry for my poor husband who has been wonderful though all this dealing with my hysterics and ups and downs.  JoTown I don't know how you did it with two young children and a busy life but I admire you for it.  I am a retired female 64 and I often have wondered what I would do if I had to be  at a workplace.

It sounds like you might in the U.K. I am in Florida and the tooth that was extracted was a lower molar #18 on my left side. Yesterday, Sat, July 7 was a horrendous day with so much pain that I had to take two Vicodan (that is Hydrocodone-Apap with codeine) much similar I imagine to what you have taken. Then before I went to bed I took four Motrin 200 mg (Ibuprfen) It worries me to take these prescription pain killers since there are so many side effects, etc). but what what else can one do when you are in such excruciating pain.  Today, Sun, Jun 8, I am feeling better with bearable discomfort from the dry socket except for some mild jaw pain and hopefully I will not need any pain meds today except for bedtime when all pain seems to be worse.

I have also read many articles on dry socket (thank goodness for the internet) but I must say you are the only person who has really helped me since it sounds like our situations are so similar.  I also have lost quite a bit of weight (so far 14 lbs.) I am not familiar with Corsodel but I will ask my dentist about it.  I have some clove oil so I will certainly use it.

This coming Tuesday, July 10 I am returning to my Endodonist to have the second root canal completed and am not looking forward to that as the tooth he will be working on (#3) upper molar has a crack in it and who knows if it can be saved. I believe the  dentist cracked the tooth during the root canal process. He said it was already like that but why would he do a root canal on a cracked tooth?   I am also having quite a bit of jaw pain since he did these two root canals so who knows if root canals will even work.  I have  come to the conclusion  that root canals are highly over rated, done too routinely and many times as yours did, they fail. I also had one fail many years ago which had to be extracted after the dentist could not find all the roots during three torturous visits.  My biggest fear is that should one of these root canals, or both, fail that the resulting extractions would  develop  into another dry socket.  I have read that dry sockets mostly occur on the lower teeth. One of the root canals is a bottom molar (# 30).  I guess all I can do is hope for the best.

p.s. did you have good days and then suddenly  out of no where bad days with your dry sockets?

Again, thank you so much for your kind words.  You have done  wonders to boost my morale and give me hope that better days are around the corner. It is wonderful that there are websites such as these where one can find someone who can relate to the situation.
My very best wishes to you,
Veronica
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
So sorry to hear how much you are suffering. I know exactly what you are going through. It appears that the on call surgeon should never have told you to "deal with it". All dentists should know that dry socket  pain is so excruciating and must be dealt with immediately. Even my dentist with whom I am dissapointed in with my overall dry socket treatment, met me at his office on a Saturday and then again the following Saturday.  As you have read in my prior posting comment, I had mine packed four times. The first packing was the only time it really ever felt better.  The  following packings helped some but there was still alot of pain and the last packing, like in your case, did not help at all.  My dentist was reluctant to pack it the fourth time because in his years of experience he had never packed anyone more than three times!?!  and he said I should be feeling better by the third packing. (LOL)

After he removed the fourth packing he more or less just turned me loose with a prescription for Vicodin, a syringe for cleaing the socket but with no answers as to how long this would go on or what to expect. I asked him if he could see if it was healing and he said no not without a microscope!  I feel I got better information from just doing a dry socket search on the web. After two horrible weeks of pain, with only a day or two of relief,  a friend encouraged me to see a well known oral surgeon in my area for a second opinion/evaluation which I did. He was wonderful! He was able to look at it, (without a microscope) and said I had a "classic" case of dry socket but that it was healing and  there is no set time for a dry socket to heal but it was a long process and indeed yes, I would have good days and bad since that is part of the healing process.  He also said he has packed patients as many as seven and eight times. It just depends on the severity. There is no set rule.  He also said alot of my pain was coming from the surrounding gum area of the dry socket which had alot of inflamation (inflammation) and had me take Ibuprofen for that. Did they give you any prescription pain meds? They are really about the only thing, in my opinion and my own experience and that which I have read, that helps with dry socket pain.  I was given a prescription for Vicodin and at first I had to take it several times a day and for sure at night! Can't remember the last time I had a good night's sleep. Now I am not taking it as much only when I have a really bad day and  that is the only thing that helps. I don't like to take it as the after effect makes me feel awful but for me there is really nothing else that works. Hopefully with time I won't need it as much. I have tried Ibuprofen (four 200 mg) but that does not even help too much.  If you go to the web site www.oral.health.ivillage.com there is a great article on dry socket which answers many questions. There are many other articles out there on the web on dry socket that are helpful.

I know that right now it seems like this will go on forever. I am just now starting to feel better after many weeks and yes it is normal to not have pain and then suddenly have pain.  I have not been able to sustain more than two days in a row with no pain. That is what is so maddening and frustrating about this whole ordeal. Just when you think you are going to feel better the pain starts up again. What I am finding is that when I rinse the socket out (I imagine you will be given a plastic syringe with a curved tip to clean out the socket once you are no longer packed) with warm salt water even though I am not in pain, this procedure seems to trigger the pain even though I am doing this very gently.

All you can do is hang in there and take one day at time. I truly sympathize and feel for you. Don't get discouraged. Try to remember that it will eventually heal and you will feel better. I am trying to do that myself even though at times it is hard. A nutricious diet is also a big plus. I am taking extra vitamin C to help with the healing. Please read the comment from JoTown.  JoTown had this horrible experience and came through it.  Please post how you are coming along and if you need any more moral support. We all need it at times like these.

p.s Personally, if it was me, I would be looking for a dentist that is available to his patients even on the weekends.


My sincere best wishes to you,
Veronica
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad to have found this site...i had a wisdom tooth extracted 21/weeks ago. Everything was fine until the sixth day after the extraction. I started having worse pain than the first day. The following day I saw the oral surgeon to have the stitches removed(one was ingrown). I told him about the pain and he irrigated the site but did not metion anything about having a dry socket. He said I should expect pain for 3-5 more days. After I left there I experienced the worst pain in my life, but I thoughed it out thinking this was normal. After two days of excrutiating pain I called to schedule an appointment but cancelled because I felt better the next day. All along I have been having pain for 2 1/2 weeks now, but I just thought it was normal. After researching the expected healing time for an extraction I have realized that none of this pain is normal. I have scheduled to see him on Monday. After reading all the comments  I realized that it is exactly what I am going through. The pain radiates to my ear, sleeping is extremely difficult, nothing much helps to take away the pain. I have been miserable for the past couple of weeks. At this point I don't know if he is going to be able to do much. At this point I just hope the pain goes away soon I am scheduled to get married in 4weeks.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I empathise grealty with you guys. i found out about the probability of me having a dry socket through my own internet research. i went back to the dentist and my worst fears were confirmed. ive recently started a mew job and my workmates thought i was trying to get out out going to work. they all gave their own perfect mtooth extraction testimonies. i unfortunately happen to be asthmatic so i am unable to take brufen. it has been the most horrible experience of my life. i pray i am one of the lucky ones who has a swift healing. get well soon guys my thoughts are with you all. i have been greatly encouraged
Blank
581093_tn?1217964642
A related discussion, Is this dry socket?? was started.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, dry socket was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I am so thankful for having found this site...while I'm not excited for the 4-5 week recovery process that y'all are speaking of, I am glad that the pain I'm experiencing eleven days post wisdom teeth extraction (with two dry sockets) is apparently common. I'm just still taking 5mg of percocet every six to eight hours a day...and I'd really like to get off of that without feeling like I'm walking around with my jaw in a vice. :( Good luck to everyone!
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I had a dry socket about two months ago.. It healed within a month but about a week right after it healed, a new symptom occurred...it wasn't pain or anything... It was just really uncomfortable on the side where the dry socket used to be.. I can't pin point where its coming from but the right side of my mouth and face feels heavy, the vain on my right jaw feels wayyy bigger than the one on my left... It just feel the same compared to my perfectly good left side... I've been to 5-6 different dentists and all took x-rays and none could find what is wrong with me...I did a little research and found that in 5% of wisdom tooth extractions... The nerve could permanently damaged.... Does anybody have any experience or information about this????? Pls help!
Blank
2074452_tn?1331941668
A related discussion, dry socket!!!! was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
540545_tn?1377626518
Jerome Tsang, DDSBlank
Irvine Modern Dentistry
Irvine, CA
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
How to Silence Your Inner Critic an...
Apr 16 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank