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Dry sockets (alveolar osteitis) after an extraction has long been thought to be linked to cigarette smoking, but a new study has now confirmed the association. In a controlled study published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial surgery, a statistically significant association exists between smoking following dental extractions and the occurrence of alveolar osteitis. The bottom line is this: Patients who cannot give up smoking for several days following an extraction should be considered for post-operative treatment of antibiotic and use of a chlorhexidine mouthwash to reduce the probability of developing a dry socket. We have initiated this protocol in our office for our patients who smoke.