Home Remedies for Dry Socket: Treatments for Pain Relief (2023)

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Rinsing gently with warm, salty water, applying cold packs on your cheeks, and taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling. But you’ll still want to see a dentist or doctor for infections.

Dry socket, or alveolar osteitis, may develop after a permanent adult tooth is extracted.

It can occur when the blood clots at the site of extraction either dislodges, dissolves, or never develops prior to healing. This can leave your underlying bone and nerve endings exposed. It also allows the wound to become filled with food or debris, causing infection.

(Video) Dry Socket Treatment: Home Remedies Relief Pain After Tooth Extraction Wisdom Teeth Symptoms My Why

Symptoms of dry socket include:

  • severe pain, which may radiate from the socket to your ear, eye, temple, or neck
  • seeing an empty socket
  • visible bone in the socket
  • bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth

The exact causes of dry socket still need more research. The most common causes are:

  • bacterial infection
  • difficult or complicated extractions, such as an impacted wisdom tooth
  • trauma at the surgical site

You’re most at risk of developing dry socket if you:

  • smoke
  • take oral contraceptives
  • don’t follow proper wound care

There are different treatments available for dry socket that your dentist or oral surgeon can prescribe to you. When you have to wait to get into see them, however, these home treatments can help alleviate symptoms.

Even if your oral surgeon gives you medication, they’ll also encourage you to rinse the affected area with warm salt water several times a day. It can help eliminate bacteria and reduce or prevent further infection.

The Mayo Clinic recommends dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water. Swish this around in your mouth for a minute, or use it to flush out the dry socket with a syringe your surgeon gives you. Do this at least three times per day or after meals.

For the first 24 hours after a tooth extraction, use cold packs against your face for fifteen minutes at a time to reduce swelling. Afterwards, you can use heat in the form of warm washcloths to manage pain.

Heat will likely be most beneficial for soothing pain caused by dry socket, though cold can help numb your nerves more efficiently. Test each and see what works best for you. Always use warm instead of hot, and place it against the cheek where you’re feeling pain.

Clove oil

(Video) Preventing and Treating Dry Socket

Clove oil contains eugenol, which has anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial benefits. It can soothe pain and prevent infections from developing or advancing. Because of this, clove oil is sometimes used in professional dry socket pastes. Clove oil can have side effects, so consult your dentist or oral surgeon before using this as a home remedy.

These side effects may include:

  • rash or skin irritation
  • sore gums
  • swollen gums

You can add clove oil to sterile gauze and apply it directly to the affected area. Only keep the gauze on for 20 minutes at a time until you’re sure that you won’t experience side effects.

Honey has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. 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. Change the gauze every few hours if you keep it on consistently.

Black tea contains tannic acid, which acts as a natural antibacterial agent while also reducing both swelling and pain.

To use this remedy, immerse a tea bag in a cup of boiling water for five minutes. Remove it and squeeze the excess water out after it’s cooled. The tea bag should be cooled for it to be effective. Sticking it in the refrigerator, not the freezer, can allow it to act as a cold compress.

You can gently bite down on the tea bag to keep it in place for about 15 minutes. Rinse your mouth with the remaining cool tea after the 15 minutes are over.

Tea tree oil

(Video) Dry Socket 6 Effective Home Remedies For Dry Socket 6 Natural Cures For Dry Socket

Tea tree oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, and analgesic properties that make it a popular natural remedy.

Tea tree oil is available online and at many supermarkets. For this purpose, you should only use pure tea tree oil, and not simply products containing it.

You can add tea tree oil to sterile gauze and place it over the dry socket. Because it’s strong, it may be best to mix a drop or two of tea tree oil with honey or black tea when applying it to the gauze to reduce your risk of irritation.

Oregano oil has antibacterial benefits and may even be effective against some drug-resistant strains of bacteria. This applies to potential bacterial infections that are causing or developing in your dry socket.

You can apply oregano oil directly to the area, or put it on sterile gauze and leave it over your dry socket several times a day.

Chamomile has antioxidant properties which promote healing. Its anti-inflammatory benefits can immediately help soothe swelling and pain caused by dry socket. Most grocery stores will have it in stock if you don’t have it in your cupboard already.

You can utilize chamomile tea bags like black tea. Place the tea bag in boiling water for five minutes before removing it and letting it cool. Apply the tea bag to the affected area for 15 minutes. If this is uncomfortable, you can also sip on the tea once it’s cooled.

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can be effective at reducing both pain and swelling. They won’t be much help at treating or preventing an infection, but they can relieve pain until you can get to your doctor.

(Video) How to treat dry socket at home after tooth extraction and relieve the pain

Talk with or call your dentist before you take any OTC medications. You should not take NSAIDs or any other OTC medication if you’re taking prescribed pain medications after your extraction. If you see your dentist for dry socket treatment, let them know what medications you’ve taken.

Smoking and other tobacco use increase your risk of developing dry socket and can also make it more difficult to treat. You should avoid all smoking and tobacco products while you’re treating and recovering from dry socket.

Other irritating foods and beverages should also be avoided, even if they’re liquid. Spicy foods and alcoholic beverages can increase discomfort. You should be eating soft foods to avoid opening or getting debris trapped in the socket.

Dry socket can be extremely painful, so it would be difficult to ignore. However, if it goes untreated, it could result in additional complications.

The most common complication is delayed healing. Additional medicated dressings and careful attention will be needed to make sure the dry socket heals properly.

Your socket can also become infected, and if left untreated, the infection can spread to your bone. This may require oral or intravenous antibiotics to prevent the infection from spreading further.

There are few risks to utilizing home remedies to treat dry socket outside of allergic reactions, but you should talk with your doctor first to make sure these treatments are safe for you.

While research suggests there are health benefits, the FDA doesn’t monitor or regulate the purity or quality of essential oils. It’s important to talk with your doctor before you begin using essential oils and use caution when choosing a quality brand. You should also always do a test patch before using.

The takeaway


Dry socket can be excruciatingly painful. As soon as symptoms arise, you should start treatment. While you’re waiting to see your oral surgeon, you can utilize home remedies detailed above to manage your symptoms and pain.

Fortunately, while dry socket is painful, it responds quickly to treatment. Your symptoms should start decreasing soon after treatment, and they should be entirely gone in three to four days. If not, make another appointment with your dentist to look for a better solution.


Home Remedies for Dry Socket: Treatments for Pain Relief? ›

The Mayo Clinic recommends dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water. Swish this around in your mouth for a minute, or use it to flush out the dry socket with a syringe your surgeon gives you. Do this at least three times per day or after meals.

What helps dry socket pain at home? ›

Lifestyle and home remedies
  1. Take pain medications as prescribed.
  2. Avoid smoking or using tobacco products.
  3. Drink plenty of clear liquids to remain hydrated and to prevent nausea that may be associated with some pain medications.
  4. Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water several times a day.
Jan 25, 2017

How do you numb dry socket pain? ›

If you're in a lot of pain right after the tooth extraction, try using cold and heat therapy. Cold for the first 24 hours will help to reduce the swelling and take away some of the pain by numbing. After that, you can use heat by placing warm washcloths on the outside of your jaw.

What is the fastest way to get rid of a dry socket? ›

How Can I Heal My Dry Socket?
  1. Swish with warm water: Gently swishing with warm water can help cleanse the extraction site and reduce bacteria.
  2. Use honey: Coat your dry socket with honey to help reduce inflammation.
  3. Create a cold compress: Press a cold towel against your cheeks to soothe the pain.
Nov 26, 2019

What makes dry socket pain worse? ›

After tooth extraction, a normal socket will develop a blood clot while the wound heals. In a dry socket, the blood clot will partially or fully detach from the wound, which can worsen the pain.

Does heat help with dry socket pain? ›

Warm and/or cold compress

Press a cold towel or compress on the side of your face by the dry socket to reduce pain and swelling around the jaw bone. You can also try using a warm compression as the swelling starts to go down. But wait at least 24 hours after the tooth extraction.

How long should dry socket pain last? ›

A dry socket usually lasts seven days. However, pain can be felt as early as the third day after the extraction. A blood clot forms at the tooth extraction site to heal and protect it. However, the clot either dislodges, dissolves too quickly, or never forms with dry sockets.

Is heat or ice better for dry socket pain? ›

Use a Cold Compress

If you have dry sockets or are experiencing swelling, applying a cold compress to the outside area of your face can help ease your discomfort.

When is dry socket most painful experience? ›

Does dry socket hurt instantly? You will not feel a higher amount of pain the first two days after the extraction. However, if healing does not progress well and if the clot falls out, then you will start to feel a dull, throbbing, and radiating pain that keeps increasing to the point of becoming simply unbearable.

What numbing medicine can you use for dry socket? ›

Anbesol, Orajel, or Oil of Clove liquid can be dropped into the extraction socket for temporary relief and antimicrobial effects. Place a few drops into the socket several times a day as needed for pain and cover the area with a gauze pad for 10 minutes to hold the solution in the painful area.

Does honey help dry socket? ›

Honey will act as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic for your case of dry socket but is also linked to preventing infection. To use honey, simply pour some on a clean gauze, and apply it to the affected area. You can leave it for a few minutes or leave it for a few hours.

What is the longest time for dry socket to heal? ›

Dry socket usually occurs within 3-5 days of an extraction and more commonly in the lower jaw. Symptoms include severe pain, a throbbing sensation, an unpleasant taste, a fever, or swollen glands. It can last for up to 7 days. By following your dentist's instructions carefully, dry socket can usually be prevented.

What is the best pain relief after tooth extraction? ›

Pain After Tooth Extraction

If you can take ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®), take 400–600 mg every 6–8 hours or as prescribed by your doctor. Ibuprofen will help with pain relief and as an anti-inflammatory. If you cannot take ibuprofen, then 1–2 tablets of regular Tylenol® should be taken every 4 hours.

Should I go to the ER for dry socket pain? ›

If pain worsens after a tooth extraction, contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately for evaluation and treatment. If you don't have access to the doctor who performed the surgery, don't delay in getting emergency help from an urgent care facility or emergency department.

Can you make a dry socket worse? ›

After a tooth extraction: Don't smoke for at least 1 week after surgery. Don't drink hot or acidic beverages that may dissolve the blood clot, such as coffee, soda, or juice. Avoid injury to the mouth during recovery.

Does dry socket hurt continuously? ›

With the clot missing, there is exposed bone in the extraction socket. This open “dry” socket causes a constant dull throbbing pain that is quite uncomfortable. The more bone that is exposed, the more symptoms a patient may have. The dry socket pain can sometimes be felt in the ear or back of the head.

Does throbbing pain mean dry socket? ›

The explicit throbbing pain in your jaw represents another telltale signal of dry sockets. The pain may reach your ear, eye, temple or neck from the extraction site. The soft dental extraction site usually feels on the same side.

What can dentist do for dry socket? ›

If you have dry socket, your dentist will clean the socket to make sure it's free of food and other particles. This may alleviate any pain and can help prevent infection. Your dentist may also pack the socket with a medicated dressing or paste to help numb the pain.

What can you eat with dry socket? ›

Yogurt, pudding, applesauce and Jell-O are some go-to recovery foods: no chewing involved! Stick to these post-extraction staples for the first 24 hours after your surgery before moving on to soft foods that require chewing.

Will salt water burn a dry socket? ›

We recommend a gentle salt water rinse to clean the area that is healing and prevent food from getting caught. The salt water promotes healing and reduces the risk of complications. Be careful to use gentle swishing motions. Too much force while swishing the salt water could irritate and possibly lead to a dry socket.

Does dry socket hurt more at night? ›

The symptoms are usually worse at night, and your pain medication regimen may not help. Occasionally it is helpful to place a medicated dressing in the empty tooth socket. This will help decrease the pain and protect the socket from food particles.

Will the dentist give me pain meds for dry socket? ›

The great news is that dry sockets are treatable and the pain can be managed while you heal! When you get to the dentist's office, they will likely flush out the socket site to remove debris and check for further problems. They will then pack the socket with medical dressings and prescribe pain medication.

Will gabapentin help dry socket pain? ›

In a new study at the University of Rochester Medical Center's Eastman Institute for Oral Health (EIOH), researchers found that gabapentin, when combined with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, was more effective than opioids in relieving pain after tooth extractions.

Does sugar make dry socket worse? ›

Also, stay away from crunchy foods and snacks. Not only are they hard to chew and aggravate the wound, but also some food particles may get stuck in the tooth socket. Sugar is also bad as bacteria feeds on it thereby increasing the risk of infection and worse still tooth decay.

What happens if dry socket never heals? ›

Delayed healing or continual dry sockets can pose a high risk of infection and pain. In some cases, it may be necessary to place medication or a bone graft down into the opening to facilitate appropriate healing.

How do you stop the throbbing pain after tooth extraction? ›

Relieving tooth extraction pain at home
  1. Over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen can help manage aches, as well as swelling and inflammation. ...
  2. When the swelling has gone down, a warm compress may be soothing.
  3. Prop your head up with pillows when lying down.
  4. Eat soft, cold foods for the first couple of days.

Should I still have pain 5 days after tooth extraction? ›

In most cases, the pain or discomfort should have subsided after 7 to 10 days. Even though people's pain threshold and healing are different, the pain and the discomfort should decrease each day. There should be little to no pain by the time you get to five days.

Why wont painkillers stop my toothache? ›

In general, non-NSAIDs and even opioids aren't very effective for toothache pain. If over-the-counter painkillers are not working for your toothache, call your dentist right away. You may need another medication, such as an antibiotic, in preparation for having the tooth pain fixed.

Is dry socket one of the worst pains? ›

Dry Socket or alveolar osteitis is a very painful condition that sometimes follows difficult tooth extractions. To give you an idea of just how painful it can be, people who have had toothache, say it is the worst pain imaginable.

How do you make dry socket paste? ›

Make a paste using garlic cloves and a little salt. Apply the paste to the socket for 30 minutes before removing and rinsing with warm water. Turmeric – Turmeric is a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric with a little water to make a paste and apply it to the dry socket.

What is the number 1 cause of dry socket? ›

What Causes Dry Socket. A dry socket can be caused by anything that dislodges the blood clot from the socket before it has time to heal. Common culprits include suction from straws or food getting lodged in the site. Other forms of disruption or dislodging may be bad hygiene, spitting, coughing, and sneezing.

Does dry socket hurt when you drink water? ›

The pain may radiate to other areas of the face and a foul odor may be present. Drinking cold water and breathing in air may also cause discomfort. Food debris commonly collect in the empty socket and aggravate the problem.

Is dry socket the worst pain ever? ›

Dry Socket or alveolar osteitis is a very painful condition that sometimes follows difficult tooth extractions. To give you an idea of just how painful it can be, people who have had toothache, say it is the worst pain imaginable.

Does salt help with dry socket? ›

Rinse Your Mouth With Salt Water

In a study published in Evidence-Based Dentistry, researchers discovered that patients who didn't rinse their mouth with salt water after their surgery were more likely to develop dry sockets as opposed to those that did. Doing this will also help speed up your recovery.

Is dry socket an emergency? ›

When you develop dry socket, it can be extremely painful. The condition is also considered a dental emergency because it interferes with your recovery from a tooth extraction.

Can you leave a dry socket untreated? ›

Dry socket can leave the nerves and bone in your gums exposed, so it's important to seek dental care. It can be incredibly painful, and if left untreated, it can lead to complications, including: delayed healing. infection in the socket.

What antibiotic is good for dry socket? ›

Prevention methods include avoiding smoking before and after surgery and a traumatic surgery, the use of antibiotics, such as, azithromycin, can be considered, chlorohexidine rinse or gel can be effective in the reduction of dry socket incidence.

What can I buy over the counter for dry socket? ›

To help with the pain of dry socket, which occurs when a blood clot becomes dislodged after a tooth extraction, your dentist may recommend over-the-counter (OTC), or non-prescription pain relief medications, such as acetominophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve).

Is Toothpaste good for dry socket? ›

The extracted tooth's socket will be sore for a few days, so dentists recommend avoiding oral hygiene products like toothpaste and mouthwash during that time. Instead, rinse with a saltwater mixture after meals to clean and disinfect your mouth.

What does a dentist do for dry socket? ›

Flushing out the socket: Flushing out the socket can remove any food particles or other debris that may contribute to pain or possible infection. Medicated dressings: Your dentist or oral surgeon may pack the socket with medicated gel or paste and medicated dressings. These can provide relatively fast pain relief.

Does amoxicillin treat dry socket? ›

Amoxicillin also reduces the chances of developing dry socket, swelling, and trismus. There's no need to worry about postsurgical infections after a long-duration surgery. Dental surgeons may prescribe Amoxicillin before and after third molar surgery, trans alveolar extraction, and impacted tooth extraction.

Do you need antibiotics for dry socket? ›

If symptoms are mild, OTC painkillers may work. People should discuss the available pain relief options with their dentist. Antibiotic medication may be necessary if an infection develops in the socket and begins to spread to other areas of the mouth.


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