Dental HealthWisdom Tooth Extraction

Normal Socket After Tooth Extraction Vs Dry Socket

Normal Socket after tooth extraction vs dry Socket, what you need to know and when to see your dentist if you experience any of these symptoms described in this article. It is estimated that millions of individuals around the world have their wisdom teeth extracted yearly.

Dry Socket, or alveolar osteitis, is a common complication of tooth extraction. Most surgeons or dentists believe it is better to remove a wisdom tooth while it is still developing than wait until it is imparted. However, not all wisdom teeth get imparted. I have my wisdom tooth and am 36 when writing this article. Like any other surgery, when tooth extraction is not well handled, it can lead to complications like dry Socket, damaged jaw, other side effects of drugs, etc. 

After a successful wisdom tooth extraction or any tooth extraction, the empty Socket where the tooth was extracted will heal as you continue with your medications. At the same time, any pain from the procedure gradually disappears.

Dry Socket Vs Normal Socket 

But develop complications like clot pull-out, which will cause a dry socket. The pain will improve and suddenly worsen, which could be more painful than the extraction procedure. The dry socket pain may throb and radiate across a large area of the jaw and up towards the ear.

Infected Socket after tooth extraction

Symptoms Of Dry Socket

  1. Severe pain at the site of the extraction and 
  2. Missing blood clot at the extraction site.
  3. The visible bone at the extraction site.
  4. A foul smell coming from the mouth.
  5. A bad taste in the mouth.
  6. Pain radiating from the tooth socket to the ear, eye, temple, or neck on the same side of your face as the extraction
  7. Bad breath or a foul odor coming from your mouth 
  8. Unpleasant taste in your mouth

Symptoms Of Normal Socket

Your wisdom tooth extraction socket should start healing over 8 to 10 days if you don’t have any complications or infections. Your pains and another after-effect of the surgery should be subsiding as it progresses to full recovery.

Normal Socket Signs

  • 1. Pain that continues to Subside
  • 2. Visible blood clot that stays in its position until the wounds are healed
  • 3. No visible, exposed bone or tissues
  • 4. No nasty test in the mouth
  • 5. No bad breath or Bleeding
  • 6. The numbness keeps improving
  • 7. Clot did not fall out

Dry Socket Vs Normal Socket Pictures

Normal Socket After Tooth Extraction
Normal Socket After Tooth Extraction

What causes dry Socket?

After tooth extraction, the body creates inflammation. This causes mild swelling around the affected area. The blood Platelets clump together to form a clot, which protects the wound by sealing it.

The empty tooth socket is unprotected if this clot disintegrates, becomes dislodged, or does not form. This increases the risk of intense pain due to the exposed nerves in the Socket.

Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of developing a dry socket, including:

  1. Pressure on the wound: Chewing or biting down on the empty Socket can dislodge the blood clot. Similarly, using straws, sucking on foods, and blowing the nose can create negative pressure inside the mouth, increasing the risk of the blood clot detaching.
  2. Location and type of extraction: Dry Socket is more common in wisdom tooth removal and tooth extractions from the lower jaw. It is also more prevalent if the extraction is complicated or traumatic, depending on the surgeon’s experience level.
  3. Preexisting infection: People with bacterial infections in the mouth before tooth extraction have a higher risk of dry Socket. Those with preexisting diseases should speak with their dentist about antibiotics.
  4. History of severe illness and cancer: A 2019 analysis of dental records found that dry Socket was more common in people with a history of mouth sores, severe disease, and cancer.
  5. Smoking: Most studies suggest a link between smoking and dry Socket. This may be due to the tobacco or the sucking motion involved in smoking.
  6. Birth control pills: Females taking birth control pills may have higher rates of dry Socket. One study suggests people taking oral contraceptives might have a two-fold increased risk of the condition. Source dentistofnaples

How To Treatment Dry Socket

Once you notice that the blood clot has dislodged from the tooth extraction site─ especially if you are in severe pain, the American Dental Association advises going to the dentist to control the situation. The dislodged clot is not what you can treat at home.

In most cases, your dentist will likely flush out the Socket with a saline solution to clean the area and prevent the infection from spreading. Next, they will slowly pack the Socket with a medicated dressing that will control the pain while encouraging the body to form another cloth and heal correctly. 

Once the dressing is in place, you will usually have to return to the dentist once every 2-3 days to change the dressing, have the wound cleaned, and have the dentist inspect the Socket to see how well it is healing. Adults can also take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil).

When can you stop worrying about dry Socket? 

Normal Socket After Tooth Extraction

Most cases of dry Socket develop within 3–5 days after surgery. For standard tooth extractions, complete recovery takes a couple of weeks. However, wisdom tooth extractions can take much longer to heal. Once the wound fully heals, there is no risk of dry Socket.

After a tooth extraction, a normal socket will develop a blood clot that stays in place while the wound heals, while a person’s pain will steadily improve. In a dry socket, the blood clot will partially or fully detach from the injury, which can worsen the pain. 

Tooth Extraction Recovery time

In most cases, the pain of dry Socket improves within 24–72 hours, according to the Canadian Dental Association. In some people, the pain may last up to 7 days.

However, prompt treatment can reduce the pain faster. Suppose the socket dressing is not practical, or the pain persists for longer than a few days. In that case, a dentist may reevaluate to see if another condition is responsible for the pain.

Can you have a dry socket with no pain?

For most people, the main symptom of dry Socket is severe pain. However, pain tolerance and perceptions differ from person to person. Therefore, some people may experience less pain than others. Dentists will typically diagnose dry Socket based on the presence of pain and breakdown of the clot after tooth extraction.

The primary treatment for dry Socket is pain management, so if the condition causes little or no pain, it does not require treatment. The Socket will heal and get better on its own.

However, contracting a bacterial infection is a potential complication following a tooth extraction. People with symptoms that indicate a disease, such as pus from the Socket, should seek treatment, even if the affected area is not painful.


This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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