I got my bottom right wisdom tooth taken out finally after weeks of pain due to the swelling in my gums. I thought I was in pain BEFORE I got it taken out, but the dry socket kicked in 3 days after I got the tooth removed and it is just a white hot pain to the point where I want to pass out. After 5 days, I finally called my surgeon and he took me in right away and gave me these dissolvable strips to put on the area. I was completely confused as to how these tiny dissolveabe strips of 'medicine' would cure the pain without numbing the area, so I was amazed. He put a strip in for me around 4pm and the pain did not return until I started getting ready for work the next morning around 7 am. He had given me a few strips to take home (to get me through the Thanksgiving holiday pain free since the office would be closed). Unfortunately, he put the strips in a paper envelope and the 'medicine' soaked into the paper of the envelope and once it reached the dry socket, it only lasted about an hour. Sadly, I used up the strips before Thanksgiving, and had to endure the pain through the holiday. The 'medicine' ended up being pure clove oil, which would have been great to know over the phone instead of wasting a trip, but I respect the professionalism and the fact that they advised I come in immediately so they could help.
Anyway, I have had the dry socket now for going on 8 days and I thought that I was going crazy or that something was really wrong. Like many, I was seriously convinced that this pain was never going to go away and my face was going to throb in agony forever. Today, before joining my family for dinner, my boyfriend took me to the nearest open grocery store with intentions to stock up on extra strength Orajel, and I ended up getting the Kank-A instead. (I am KICKING myself though, because they HAD the Red Cross Kit and I didn't get it! I didn't see this website until later today!!!!! I will definitely be grabbing it tomorrow!) I also have been hugging a bottle of Ibuprofin for the past week as well. The surgeons office gave me a prescription for Hydrocodone (Generic Vicodin), but I honestly hated it. The Hydrocodone makes me feel like a complete weirdo when it starts wearing off, and I did not like it at all. I have 200 mg Ibuprofin, so I take 3 of those at a time 2 or 3 times a day and this pretty much puts a block on the nerve for a few hours. (One of these times is usually around 3am, for some reason, that is the 'witching hour' where the pain REALLY flares up, probably because my mouth is hanging open while I'm sleeping and the air is hitting the nerve.) It hurts so bad that it wakes me up and I've just paced around the house in a panic trying to 'walk off' the pain because I don't know what else to do. This is where the Orajel and salt rinses really come in handy.
My opinion is that Kank-A is virtually the same as Extra Strength Orajel, but less of a suffocating numbing (since naturally it is going to slip down your throat considering the location of the tooth), and this can be uncomfortable. Unfortunately, Kank-A only lasts about a half hour (I really painted my jaw with that stuff), and I found myself brushing away on the hour, but it does help temporarily.
The Clove Oil helped beautifully, and as I mentioned, kept the pain away for 12+ hours. It burns if it hits other tissue in the mouth, and smells/tastes terrible, but when you are in that much pain, the taste is almost welcoming.
Salt rinses are always going to be recommended by your dentist every 4 hours or so, but you can do it whenever you want. I use warm water. Cold water probably wouldn't feel good because the area is sensitive.
Black tea bags can be used by just getting them wet and putting them in the area, it neutralizes the pain and also sucks toxins out of the socket. I tried this today, and it's not one of my favorite suggestions because the tea bag pretty much takes up your whole mouth and is uncomfortable and makes you feel like drooling. It also does not really help with getting rid of the pain -- brings it down to about a 4ish I would say, but still uncomfortable.
I'm really happy I found this website because reading all the other entries I can see that others have felt my pain and even been worse off than me! Thank you for all the tips and suggestions!