Alveolar osteitis is inflammation of the alveolar bone that usually occurs where the blood clot fails to form or is lost from the socket. This leaves an empty socket where bone is exposed to the oral cavity, causing a localized alveolar osteitis limited to the lamina dura. This specific type of alveolar osteitis is also known as dry socket or, less commonly, fibrinolytic alveolitis, and is associated with increased pain and delayed healing time.
The general symptoms of Dry Socket begin with pain in the mouth around the area where the tooth was pulled. This can also be accompanied by bad breath, thanks to the bacteria concerned. If you look in the mouth you may also see the bone, rather than the usual blood clot covering the area. The first symptoms is the toothache like pain that begin around two days after the removal of the tooth. As the condition worsens the pain can spread to the ears.
It was found that there is some evidence to show that rinsing both before and after tooth extraction with chlorhexidine gluconate rinse reduced the risk of having a dry socket. Placing chlorhexidine gel in the socket of an extracted tooth also reduced the risk of having dry socket. The most effective treatment is one where the patient's dentist inserts a medicated dressing directly in the wound.