One of the most annoying complications that can arise after any tooth extraction is the phenomenon of a dry socket, which happens when the bone underneath the tooth becomes exposed, along with the nerve endings that bring so much pain along with them. The best mode of action after experiencing this painful malady is always to call your dentist and schedule an appointment, but in the days before this visit, you should still be taking care of the extraction site, both to minimize pain and decrease your recovery time in the end. Here are some tips for caring for a painful dry socket in the days before your dentist visit to get the issue taken care of. 

Medicate Accordingly

If you only need to hold over for a day or two before your dentist can take a look at the issue, then staying mildly medicated should be enough to manage the pain in the short term. Over the counter analgesics are recommended for this type of pain, as that's eventually how your dentist will most likely treat the issue, only in a more effective way with a medicated dressing. If the pain is severe enough and you simply can't see your dentist soon enough, going to your doctor for a more aggressive pain medication like a narcotic will help relieve the pain in the meantime. 

Keep the Area Clean

There is a very high possibility of an infection with a dry socket, which can complicate the matter much further than a simple bit of exposed bone. Therefore, taking measures to disinfect the area as best you can is a paramount priority to getting you back on track quickly. Salt water rinses are generally recommended after an extraction, and while this measure might sting a bit (though not much if you're good with your analgesics!) it will keep harmful germs out of the extraction site for the time being. 

Be Gentle with the Area

The reason that a dry socket forms in the first place is because the blood clot covering the bone is removed, exposing the nerves and bone underneath. This rupture can be the result of any number of forces, but the big takeaway is that excessive pressure on the site is bad. Therefore, heavy-duty brushing can make the problem worse. While you should still be brushing other parts of your mouth, using a gentler cleaning technique like rinsing with salt water or flushing the area with a squirt bottle will do a better job and be less painful on the dry socket itself.  Contact a dentist, like A Q Denture Services, for help.