What is Dry Socket?

You’ve heard of tooth decay, you know about fillings, you’ve heard of tooth extraction, but have you ever heard of dry socket? Most tooth extractions heal within a couple of days, but a common complication is called dry socket. Take your Lake Forest Dentist, Dr. Fondriest’s true or false quiz below to find out how much you know about dry socket.  

True or False?

  1. T or F: Dry socket means you are suffering from xerostomia (dry mouth).
  2. T or F: The socket is where the tooth was removed from.
  3. T or F: The blood clot that forms is really of no importance.
  4. T or F: There is no treatment for dry socket.


  1. False: Dry socket is a condition that develops after a tooth extraction. Normally, when a tooth is extracted a blood clot naturally forms in the socket to protect the nerves and underlying bone from bacteria and other irritants. If the clot fails to form, is dislodged, or dissolves too soon it is called dry socket.
  2. True: The socket is the hole in your jaw bone from where the tooth erupts and from where it is extracted. The tooth is held in the socket by periodontal ligaments and gingival tissue.
  3. False: The blood clot is essential to the healing process. Not only does it serve as protection against foreign bodies and bacteria that can cause infection, but it provides a foundation for the growth of new bone and tissue.
  4. False: A socket exposed to air, fluid, or food can be very painful and should be treated immediately to prevent infection. Treatment includes flushing the socket of debris that may cause pain or infection; packing the socket with medicated dressings to keep it clean, safe from irritants, and help the healing process; and aspirin or ibuprofen for pain.

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.