Dry socket is a condition that sometimes occurs after a tooth is extracted. When the socket is slow to heal, the condition can be very painful for three to five days or so.
The treatment may include cleaning the site and placing a medicated dressing in the socket, which helps provide relief of pain. The dressing may be changed daily until the pain diminishes and the socket begins to heal. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug may be recommended such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or other pain relievers may be prescribed. Cigarette smoking or other tobacco use can delay healing and should be avoided.