Dry Socket (Alveolar Osteitis)

Comments from Expert Advisory Group

  • Dry socket is an inflammatory complication of tooth extraction.
  • Antibiotics should not be used for the prevention of dry socket prior to dental extraction.
  • Antibiotics are not indicated in the management of dry socket unless there are signs of a spreading infection or systemic involvement.
  • If osteomyelitis is suspected, seek specialist oral surgery/ oral and maxillofacial surgery advice.
  • Management involves local measures, including:
    • Irrigation with saline and packing of the socket. Antimicrobial mouthwash such as chlorhexidine can be used. Caution: very rare risk of anaphylaxis with chlorhexidine.
    • Prescribing or advising on analgesia.
    • Advising use of warm salty mouthwashes.
    • Follow up and review of the patient for resolution.

Weight Based Dosing Tables for Analgesia in Children

Review November 2023

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