Occasionally after an extraction, you can develop dry socket. The socket is the hole in the bone where the tooth has been removed from. After a tooth is pulled, a blood clot forms in the socket to protect the bone and nerves underneath. Sometimes that clot can become dislodged or dissolve a couple of days after the extraction. That leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, fluid, and anything else that enters the mouth. This can lead to infection and severe pain that can last for 5 or 6 days. If you suspect dry socket, call your doctor immediately. Your dentist will repack the area to alleviate the pain and if necessary, prescribe an antibiotic for infection.
by Paul Gagnon