A dry socket can occur when the blood clot that sits over the tooth socket or hole, breaks away. With the blood clot removed, the wound, bone and nerves are exposed to air, fluid and food.
Symptoms of dry socket include severe throbbing pain, bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Additionally, the tooth socket where the wisdom tooth was removed may appear to look dry with visible white bone, instead of a dark-coloured blood clot.
Patients are encouraged to contact their dentist immediately if these symptoms occur. The dentist will carry out an examination to diagnose dry socket.
If diagnosed with dry socket, the dentist will wash the socket to clear it of any debris and place an analgesic dressing to cover and protect it.
You may additionally be advised to take anti-inflammatory and pain medication. It is important to be mindful that hormonal changes and birth control medication in women can increase the risk of dry socket.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.