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Dentistry/In the fear of a dry socket


I had my upper left wisdom tooth and the one next to it pulled 4 days ago. After one or two days of the extraction the blood clots had formed nicely. I am a smoker and had my first half a cigarette. I placed a dampened gauze in the hole(s) as a precaution and pulling it out I noticed a small amount of brown goo (maybe some of the blood clot). I am starting work in less than two days and am horrified by this dry socket. Can a dry socket form when the clot is partially removed? I immediately noticed the foul tasting puss that I thought I had otten rid off and small aching. From somewhere I read that dry socket is very rare on the upper jaw, is that true?

Riku -  Sorry for the delay, I never received this question until today.

As per the dry socket, just because a clot comes from the socket, it does not mean you have a dry socket.  The most common symptom of a dry socket is pain, foul odor in your mouth and a bad breath.  

So if you don't have the above you don't have a dry socket.  You lost the clot and it is important that you keep the area clean with warm salt water rinses in the area of the clot.  

Dry sockets are not common on the upper jaw, but they do occur, but you would have significant pain within 5 days if you truly have a dry socket.

So keep the area clean and I think the area should heal well.


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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and I am available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicine for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor and State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA -University of Connecticut DMD - University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine

Awards and Honors
National Honor Society (OKU), Philadelphia County Dental Society, Mosby Book Award, Oral Surgery Honors, Summa Cum Laude

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