Treatment usually involves symptomatic support while the socket heals. Initially, the dentist will gently irrigate to clear the socket of food debris. Next, an analgesic medicated dressing or packing is placed within the socket to cover the exposed bone. This usually provides immediate relief. This dressing may need to be replaced every few days during the healing process. The dressing is often coated with "dry socket paste," which is made up of ingredients with pain-relieving properties, including eugenol (clove oil).
Additionally, medications can be prescribed to manage the pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Advil or Aleve) or narcotics (such as hydrocodone/acetaminophen [Vicodin]) are often used to relieve.