What is a dry socket?

A dry socket is a possible complication after a tooth is removed. It occurs when a blood clot from the socket is prematurely losses, hence exposing the bone to the oral cavity, saliva, air, and food. Dry sockets may appear after two to three days or even a week later. Patients will describe a dull, throbbing pain that radiates to the ear, temple, forehead, or down the jaw.

Smokers and women on birth control pills seem to be at a slightly higher risk for dry socket.