Is this Dry Socket?

I got all four of my wisdom teeth removed 5 days ago and the pain has been the same ever since anesthesia wore off. It's never really lessened. I am concerned I got a dry socket because I work as a nurse and the pain seemed to be getting better at the beginning of my shift two days ago, but by the end it was as bad as it was when my teeth were first pulled. I have woken up with a sore, swollen neck the past two days and when I looked in my mouth, I couldn't see the blood clot that is supposed to be there on either of my lower extraction sites. I have been taking hydrocodone-acetaminophen 7.5-325mg every six hours and alternating with ibuprofen 600mg, but it doesn't help the pain at all. The pain is a 3 or 4 out of 10 constantly and nothing helps. Initially, the ice helped, but warm moist heat, pain meds, and rest do not help anymore. It's just a constant dull, throbbing pain. I still am eating only pudding, yogurt, and ice cream because everything else hurts. I have been doing salt water rinses after I eat and they don't hurt. My dentist's office doesn't open until tomorrow and I'm not sure if this is part of normal healing or if I need to see them or get to an emergency dentist immediately. Thank you in advance for your help!

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Answer: Dry socket

By Sarah h
Dental Professional

From what you are describing it sounds like you may have a dry socket.  Your dentist can irrigate the socket and place a medicated dressing to cover the bone and soothe the pain. This may need to be repeated several times or until the tooth has begun to heal again.  If you are able to tolerate the discomfort until your dentist re-opens, it will save you an emergency fee.  However, if it is keeping you up at night, it may be worth it to spend the additional money.  Dry sockets can happen even when you are following all post op instructions.  Continue to stick with a soft diet and be sure you are getting enough protein.  Warm salt water rinses will continue to keep that area clean as well.  

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