Dry socket is a situation in which a blood clot is lost or not formed well in a tooth socket after the tooth’s extraction.
Factors that could increase the likelihood of a dry socket include; poorly managed tooth extraction, poor oral hygiene, birth control pills, tobacco usage, mouth rinsing and spitting a lot.
Symptoms of dry sockets include; halitosis (bad breath), weird taste in mouth, empty socket with no blood clot, pain around the socket, slight fever, and pain a few days after tooth extraction.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider in order to prevent dry socket;
- Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Ensure you maintain a good oral hygiene.
- Ensure you use the services of a professional dentist when doing a tooth extraction.
- Avoid increasing your dosage of prescription medication or over-the-counter painkillers without consulting your dentist.
- Avoid taking alcoholic and sugary non-alcoholic beverages within the first 48 hours of tooth extraction.
- Avoid using straws when taking a drink within the first week of your tooth extraction.
- Do not touch the socket with your fingers.
- Sleep with your head elevated to reduce pain.
Below are 18 home remedies and natural treatments to treat dry socket;
1. Saline Water
Studies reveal that saline water mouthwash can help in alleviating dry socket or alveolar osteitis which is common after a tooth extraction. The salt content fights infection by inhibiting bacteria growth while the warm water helps in reducing associated pain and discomfort. Fill a glass with warm water and add half a teaspoon of salt. Stir well and rinse your mouth with it 3 times a day.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Being an antiseptic agent, tea tree oil eliminates the infection caused due to the impurities that get stuck in the exposed bone after an extraction. Simply take a cotton swab and dip it in water. Now add a little tea tree oil to it and apply it on the affected area. Press it against the area and for 5 minutes and wash off with warm water. Repeat this 2-3 times daily. It will relieve the pain and promote healing.
3. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a natural soothing agent and would help in reducing pain and inflammation. Extract the gel from an aloe leaf with the help of a spoon and apply it in the affected area using a cotton swab and leave the aloe vera gel on the socket. Apply it several times for 2-3 days.
4. Clove Oil
Clove oil is yet another effective home remedy for dry socket. Clove oil has analgesic and anesthetic properties which naturally treats pain. Take a cotton swab and dip it in clove oil. Put it in the affected area for about a minute. Rinse your mouth using warm water. Repeat this several times during the day whenever your experience pain.
Yogurt helps in increasing the number of good bacteria in your body which makes it easy to fight an infection. It also acts as an antibiotic agent and aids in maintaining an ideal microorganism balance in your oral cavity. Consume yogurt (unsweetened and unflavored) along with your meals 3-4 times in a day to relieve the condition in a natural way.
Garlic is a powerful natural ingredient to relieve inflammation and pain. It also reduces the chances of infection and relieves dry socket in an excellent way. To get rid of pain, slowly chew a fresh garlic clove so that its juices help in reducing the inflammation of the affected area. Spit it after a few minutes and rinse with warm water. Alternatively, you may also apply a paste of raw garlic and salt to the affected area and let it stay for 30 minutes. Then, wash off with water.
7. Tea Bags
Tea is antibiotic in nature due to the presence of tannic acid. It alleviates pain and swelling from the extraction side. Pour some hot water in a cup and add a black tea bag to it. Let it steep for a few minutes. Remove and refrigerate the tea bag and place it in the dry socket. Gently press it with your teeth to release the fluids present in it. Remove it after 5-10 minutes. Then, rinse your mouth with the tea.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
There is nothing better than apple cider vinegar to maintain the pH of your oral cavity. ACV would also help in killing the infection causing bacteria in a natural way. Take equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and mix well. Now use it as a mouthwash several times during the day.
This anti-inflammatory and analgesic natural ingredient is helpful in alleviating a dry socket. It not only reduces infection and swelling from the site but also reduces pain in a natural way. Make a paste by mixing powdered turmeric with water and apply it to the affected area using a cotton swab. Leave it for 20 minutes and use warm water to rinse your mouth.
10. Valerian Root
Valerian roots have a numbing action and can relieve pain associated with a dry socket. It also has a relaxing action on the body that induces better sleep and faster healing. Pour some boiled water in a cup and add dried valerian roots to it. Steep it for 10-12 minutes and strain it. Drink this valerian root tea twice every day for effective results.
11. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a mild natural disinfectant that removes impurities that causes inflammation at the tooth extraction site. Rinsing your mouth several times with diluted hydrogen peroxide is an effective way to get rid of the throbbing pain and inflammation. Mix one part of hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts of water and use it as a mouthwash 3-4 times daily for a few days.
The strong anesthetic properties of peppermint have an excellent ability to numb the affected area and instantly reduce pain and swelling. You may use peppermint oil on the affected area with the help of a cotton swab dipped in water and then in the oil. Leave it for 8-10 minutes and rinse your oral cavity with water.
Chamomile is great for soothing an inflammation in the body and would also help you get rid of dry socket in a natural way. Chamomile also has a sedative action on the irritated tissues which helps in relieving pain and discomfort. Make a chamomile tea by putting the dried flowers in a cup of hot water. Let it stand for a few minutes and strain the tea. Drink it twice every day for a relaxing effect.
14. Avoid Tobacco
You must be very careful after a tooth extraction to keep the blood clot from dislodging. The act of chewing tobacco and even smoking cigarettes may physically destroy the blood clot resulting in dry socket. Furthermore, the harmful chemicals and toxins present in tobacco may delay healing and may also aggravate the issue. It is best to stay away from smoking and chewing tobacco.
Neem is also known as margosa or Indian lilac and can be an effective remedy for dry socket. The strong healing properties of neem help in fighting infection and promote healing in a natural way. All you need is a few fresh neem leaves. Clean them and crush them to make a fine paste. Apply it to the affected area. Repeat the application twice daily for at least two days.
16. Stay Hydrated
Consuming enough fluids would promote a faster healing by increasing oxygenation of the blood. Therefore, it is important to stay hydrated and get rid of dry socket by keeping the gums supple. Keep drinking water throughout the day and try to use the other side of the mouth to drink water so that the extraction site is least affected. Also, try to consume soft foods for several days to prevent any damage to the extracted site.
17. Salt and Lemon
Lemon contains vitamin C which induces a faster healing. When mixed with salt, it can foster beneficial results by inhibiting infections and relieving dry socket. Extract some fresh lemon juice and mix it with salt. Apply mixture to the affected area a few times during the day.
18. Cold Compress
A cold compress can relieve you from the pain arising from a dry socket. It works instantly by numbing the nerves present in the area and reduce the sensation of pain. Take some cold water in a bowl and soak a thin towel in it. Remove excess water from the towel and place the towel on your face where you are feeling the pain. Do it for 15 minutes several times during a day. After applying a cold compress for two days, apply a warm compress in a similar way to reduce swelling and pain.
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