Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Treatment of dry socket is mainly geared toward reducing its symptoms, particularly pain. Dry socket treatment includes:
- Flushing out the socket. Your dentist or oral surgeon flushes the socket to remove any food particles or other debris that has collected in the socket and that may contribute to pain or infection.
- Medicated dressings. Your dentist or oral surgeon packs the socket with medicated dressings. This step provides relatively fast pain relief. You may need to have the dressings changed several times in the days after treatment starts. The severity of your pain and other symptoms determines how often you need to return for dressing changes or other treatment.
- Pain medication. Talk to your doctor about which pain medications are best for your situation. If over-the-counter pain relievers aren't effective, you may need a stronger prescription pain medication.
- Self-care. You may be instructed how to flush the socket at home to promote healing and eliminate debris. To do this, you'll be given a plastic syringe with a curved tip to squirt water, salt water, or a prescription rinse into the socket. You'll be instructed to continue the rinse until the socket no longer collects any debris.
Once treatment is started, you may begin to feel some pain relief in just a few hours. Pain and other symptoms should continue to improve and will likely resolve within five to 10 days.
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