After a tooth is removed a socket remains. The socket fills with a blot clot that must be protected during healing. Loss of the blood clot results in a condition called “dry socket”. This is a painful condition that occurs when the bone in the socket is exposed to the oral cavity. Healing occurs over the course of a few weeks. The condition is treated by placing a soothing medicated dressing into the socket. The dressing is changed a few times per week.
A dry socket most commonly occurs in smokers and women. Oral contraceptives have been implicated as a risk factor in developing a dry socket.