How to Stop Bleeding After a Tooth Extraction

Following a tooth extraction procedure, patients will experience some bleeding. While this is normal after your surgery, it should not have a prolonged duration. If it continues, we have some advice on how to stop bleeding after a tooth extraction.

How Much Bleeding Is Normal?

The mouth is one of the fastest healing parts of the body, so most patients will only see about 2 hours of bleeding following their extraction. The blood vessels in the gums rapidly form clots, stopping the bleeding. This clot is a central part of the healing process, and patients must take care not to dislodge it.

If bleeding occurs after this 2-hour mark, then patients may need to take steps to stop the bleeding after their tooth removal surgery. This typically occurs in patients who either:

  1. Were unable to form a clot (e.g., due to a clotting  deficiency)
  2. Dislodged the clot or reopened the surgical site

Promoting Clot Formation

Whether a clot has yet to form or one has been dislodged, the patient's first priority should be to take steps to form a clot. We cover some key ways to do this below.

Applying Pressure

The application of pressure works across all manner of bleeding. You likely have seen it countless times in media: someone is wounded, and they need to apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Unexpectedly, Hollywood is right about this. One of black tea’s ingredients is Tannic Acid and it facilitates the blood to clot formation.

However, placing too much pressure on the site (or any wound) can cause additional damage. Because of this, we suggest patients use medical gauze to apply light and constant pressure to the surgical sites.

How to Apply Pressure With Gauze

Your oral surgeon should provide you with enough gauze after your procedure to change it out several times. Only use gauze that is fresh and clean. Fold the gauze, but keep it large enough to fully cover the surgical site, then place it over the socket. Biting on a slightly moistened black tea bag also helps to stop the bleeding. Black tea has Gently bite down to increase the pressure on the gauze, and hold it in that position for around 630 minutes. Lessen the pressure if you feel an increase in pain. A little of oozing is normal; however, If you still have an active bleeding, like when you have a vein cut, we recommend contacting your local dental office.

Protect the Clot

Once a clot has formed, keeping it there will be the next big goal. The key to this is to disturb the area as little as possible. Try sticking to these few core steps:

  • Do not spit with any force.
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth vigorously for the first 48 hours.
  • Only drink room temperature or cooler liquids (avoid hot ones entirely).
  • Avoid anything that causes pressure changes (blowing your nose, sneezing without opening your mouth, smoking, drinking with a straw).
  • Engage in only mild physical activities for at least 2 days. Continued to avoid strenuous activity until fully healed.
  • Eat only soft foods and avoid chewing. Be careful while swallowing not to produce too much pressure.
  • Keep your head elevated while sleeping to prevent blood from rushing to the area.

Avoiding Dry Socket

Preventing a dry socket is part of what makes clot formation so important. This condition occurs when a dislodged clot exposes the bone where the tooth was removed. This puts the site at risk for bacteria, which can lead to infection and painful symptoms.

Signs that you have a dry socket include pain that radiates or throbs, traveling from your socket toward your ear. The most common time for it to occur is within a couple of days of your procedure. If you think you have developed dry socket, we recommend calling us right away.

When to Visit a Dentist for Bleeding After a Tooth Extraction?

If you have active bleeding in your mouth that does not control by applying pressure for 30 minutes, we recommend giving us a call. Depending on the specifics of your situation, we may recommend coming in for a visit.

Likewise, as soon as you notice any dry socket symptoms, you should call your dentist for an emergency visit. Putting off treatment for dry socket can be a risky move, as the condition can quickly lead to severe infection and additional problems.

If you cannot get a hold of your dentist and are experiencing certain symptoms listed below, we recommend contacting emergency services.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Unbearable pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fever

Safe Procedures, Safe Patients

At Smile Dental Boutique, we take immense care with every tooth extraction procedure. While knowing how to stop bleeding after a tooth extraction is important, the most important first step is to work with a skilled dentist or oral surgeon. We provide consistently positive results for our patients, promoting overall positive outcomes for their oral health and well-being. Book your visit today to put yourself in good hands for tooth extraction in Mission Viejo.

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