Tooth extraction exposes raw nerve endings in the empty socket. Normally, a blood clot forms in the socket, protecting those nerves -- and patients are cautioned not to smoke, vigorously spit, or suck on a straw -- for a certain amount of time, to keep the blood clot. Dry socket is the result of the blood clot being lost prematurely, and it is extremely painful. It requires immediate dental treatment and should be addressed at home with the use of Eugenol, or oil of clove as a palliative measure only.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Oil of clove
- Tissue or paper towel
Use the tweezers to tear a cotton ball apart into small pieces.
Roll a piece of the cotton ball into a separate ball. The size depends on the tooth that has a dry socket. For example, cotton for a molar, or back tooth would be about the size of the eraser on a pencil. The cotton should be rolled only large enough to fit into the socket.
Open the bottle of Eugenol or oil of clove. Eugenol is available at natural and health food stores.
Dip the cotton ball into the Eugenol. Blot it with another cotton ball, tissue or paper towel, until the cotton ball is no longer wet, just damp.
Use the tweezers to push the cotton into the socket of the extracted tooth, all the way to the bottom.
Cut a 4-inch square of gauze. Fold it in half -- and then again in half -- to form a pillow.
Place the gauze over the opening of the socket and bite down to keep it there. This will bring relief usually in a short time, approximately an hour, and often as soon as a few minutes. It can be repeated when the effect wears off. Use the tweezers to remove the old cotton ball. This should not replace dental care, as dry socket can result in an infection.
Tips and warnings
- Do not over-saturate the cotton ball with Eugenol. While it is calming to the nerves of the socket, bringing pain relief, it is caustic to the soft tissues and can burn the gums and tongue.
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