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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2014, Article ID 796102, 7 pages
Research Article

Dry Socket: Incidence, Clinical Features, and Predisposing Factors

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State PMB 500004, Nigeria

Received 24 March 2014; Accepted 12 May 2014; Published 2 June 2014

Academic Editor: Timo Sorsa

Copyright © 2014 Babatunde O. Akinbami and Thikan Godspower. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Dry socket is a global phenomenon. The purpose of the study was to investigate the incidence of dry socket in recent times in a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital. Methods. Patients who were referred for dental extractions were included in the study. The case files of patients were obtained and information retrieved included biodata, indication for extraction, number and type of teeth extracted, oral hygiene status, compliance to oral hygiene instructions, and development of dry socket. Results. One thousand, one hundred and eighty two patients with total of 1362 teeth extracted during the 4-year period of the study were analyzed, out of which 1.4% teeth developed dry socket. The mean age (SD) was 35.2 (16.0) years. Most of the patients who presented with dry socket were in the fourth decade of life. Mandibular teeth were affected more than maxillary teeth. Molars were more affected. Retained roots and third molars were conspicuous in the cases with dry socket. Conclusion. The incidence of dry socket in our centre was lower than previous reports. Oral hygiene status, lower teeth, and female gender were significantly associated with development of dry socket. Treatment with normal saline irrigation and ZnO eugenol dressings allowed relief of the symptoms.