Prophylactic metronidazole was found to be an effective means of preventing 'dry socket' after routine dental extractions. The oral anaerobic bacteria may be implicated therefore in the development of the disorder. It has been confirmed in this study that 'dry socket' occurs following three per cent of routine dental extractions and almost exclusively in the mandible. The causes of the condition are probably numerous and may even vary from patient to patient, but the control of infection by anaerobic organisms may be important in its prevention or early resolution. The prophylactic administration of metronidazole (Flagyl) has been shown to be a simple and effective method of prevention which would suggest the implication of anaerobic organisms in 'dry socket'. The drug appears to be free from side effects when a dosage of 200 mgs eight hourly for three days is given. © 1979.
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