Let me guess you had your tooth extracted but there is this throbbing pain at the tooth extraction site? You also might not be able to enjoy your food or drinks because of the pain and this can be discomforting.

All these can be symptoms of “alveolar osteitis” or in simpler terms dry socket. This article tells you all you need to know about dry socket and provides you with some home remedies to deal with the situation.

What Is A Dry Socket?

After a tooth extraction, a blood clot forms at the site of extraction to complete the healing process and to protect the nerves and tissues lying underneath.

But sometimes this does not happen and there is the partial or total loss of the blood clot, which leaves the jaw bone exposed and nerves exposed. This condition is known as

This condition is known as the dry socket or “alveolar osteitis”. In most cases, the dentist takes care of your post extraction conditions and it is advisable to rely on home remedies or self-treatment only as last resort options.

Causes Of Dry Socket

The following might be the causes of a dry socket.

  • Any preexisting infections in the mouth before the tooth extraction or the presence of some bacteria which can develop due to bad oral hygiene can breakdown a blood clot or prevent its formation.
  • Smoking is also one of the causes of dry socket. The presence of nicotine in cigarettes or cigars highly affects the flow of blood in the mouth and decreases it to a great extent. This can be a reason why the blood clot won’t form at the tooth extraction site.
  • A blood clot may also dissolve or not form at all if you rinse or spit too aggressively. It may be because of sucking through a straw.

Who Can Develop A Dry Socket?

After having a tooth pulled out, some people are more at risk than others to suffer from dry socket. The list goes as follows:

  • People who smoke.
  • People who suffer from unusual trauma during tooth extraction surgery
  • Women on birth control pills
  • People who already have a history of dry socket
  • People who do not maintain good oral hygiene

What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Socket?

Dry socket is not an instant consequence of a tooth extraction. It develops 2 or 4 days after the tooth was pulled out.

If you can either see it or feel with your tongue you will notice a whitish bone at the extraction spot instead of a blood clot and it will feel dry. Common symptoms of dry socket include:

  • Throbbing pain which can become severe and radiate to your ear, eyes or the neck.
  • Bad breath and foul smell
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth

Home Remedies For Dry Socket

1. Clove Oil

Clove oil
Clove oil

Clove oil is the best when it comes to the treatment of dry socket at home. For this you have to dip a cotton ball in water and then dip it in clove oil and apply it to the dry socket and the neighboring teeth. This can be done twice a day.

2. Yogurt


Consuming yogurt can help a lot as it has anti bacterial properties which will ward off infection causing bacteria from the body. You should consume yogurt 3-4 times a day to see the results.

Yogurt is also used to get rid of thrush naturally.

3. Turmeric paste and turmeric rinse


Turmeric is the best natural antiseptic. A paste made with turmeric, mustard oil and dry salt will relieve you of the excruciating pain and will also reduce swelling to a great extent.

For the paste, you need a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of dry salt and 2-3 drops of mustard oil and apply over extraction site. Keep reapplying after every 4 hours.

A teaspoon of turmeric mixed with in a glass of warm water can also serve as a great rinse for dry socket. You need to make sure that turmeric dissolves completely in the warm water. This turmeric rinse can be greatly helpful when used 3-4 times a day.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide

To get instant relief from pain rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide solution. For this you need to mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide solution with 3 cups of water and rinse 4-5 times a day. Remember only to rinse and do not swallow the solution.

5. Lemon and salt

Lemon and salt
Lemon and salt

Another great antiseptic is a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Applying this mixture on the gums will reduce any infections in the dry socket.

6. Drink plenty of water

The pain during a dry socket can be too much to take in and really difficult to endure as it can radiate to your ears, eyes and neck. Also it may cause dizziness.

Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water and fluids can help this. Remember to drink enough water and fluids to avoid any incidents of dizziness.

7. Lukewarm saline rinse

A simple way to get relief from dry socket is to rinse your mouth with lukewarm saline water 4-5 times a day. The warm water will help to get relief from the pain and the salt will help get rid of any possible infections

8. Ice packs


To reduce the swelling and numb the pain, ice packs are a big help. You can put an ice pack on the cheek on the side of your dry socket. Be careful to not apply ice directly on your face and always use ice cubes in a towel or a towel dipped in cold water.

9. Cold Tea Bag

Cold tea bags just like ice packs will help get rid of the pain. But unlike ice packs you can directly put the tea bag in the region of the dry socket. This is a great home remedy as the tannic acid present in tea gives a soothing effect and will lower down pain.

10. Use gauze

You can also place wet gauze directly on the dry socket. This will protect it from irritation from food, fluids, air or saliva and the wetness will bring down the pain. Remember to change the gauze every 1-2 hours.

11. Homemade pastes for dry socket

You can also prepare homemade paste for dry socket. Firstly you can make a homemade paste using turmeric. For this you need to take ½ a teaspoon of turmeric and add it to a bit of warm milk or warm water. Mix to form a paste. Use cotton to apply over the dry socket. Rinse after 20 minutes with lukewarm water. Apply this paste 2-3 times daily.

Secondly, you can make a garlic paste. For this, you need 2 fresh garlic cloves and a little salt. Make a paste of the garlic cloves and add salt to it. Apply this paste over the dry socket and rinse after 30 minutes with lukewarm water. Garlic is also used as an ayurvedic remedy to reduce the sensitivity of the tooth.

Thirdly you can use Neem. Neem has antifungal and antibacterial properties which reduce swelling and inflammation. Simply pluck some neem leaves and crush them to make a paste. Put this paste on the affected area and rinse with water after 20 minutes.

You can also use Herbal Neem Clove Tooth Powder to get relief from discomfort.

How To Prevent Dry Socket?

There are certain steps you can take to avoid the development of dry socket after a tooth extraction. These are:

  • Do not smoke or chew tobacco
  • Avoid aggressive spitting and rinsing
  • Avoid the use of a straw for drinking
  • Be well hydrated
  • Do not touch the dry socket with fingers or with your tongue.

The problem of the dry socket should be treated immediately as the pain can be really discomforting and you will also not be able to enjoy your food. Also, it can be a little embarrassing if accompanied by a foul smell from your mouth. Since

Since dry socket is a result of a tooth extraction surgery it is better to contact your dentist for post extraction aid and treatments. Home remedies are also an option but you should not totally rely on them if the pain continues or aggravates any further.


Dr.Suresh is an Ayurvedic specialist on Neurological disorders who is travelling all over Europe with a sole purpose i.e to spread the priceless teachings of Ayurveda. He has received Atreya international & charaka international award for excellence in Ayurveda.