What Should I Do if I Experience Bleeding After Tooth Extraction?
It’s hard to deny that tooth extractions are one of the most common dental procedures that dentists perform. In fact, experts estimate that over 20 million teeth are extracted each year in the United States. Actually, according to the same statistics, there is a high chance that you also had at least one tooth extracted by now. If that’s not the case, but you need one, you can always schedule a tooth removal at Flex Dental, one of the most reliable clinics in Bloomingdale.
Nevertheless, chances are that you might already be familiar with the procedure and what it entails. However, what happens if you experience bleeding after tooth extraction? Should you panic or simply wait for the bleeding to stop? Today, we are here to unravel the mysteries behind tooth extraction bleeding and see how we can stop it.
The Basics of Tooth Extractions
As previously mentioned, tooth extractions are extremely common and involve the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. And while the procedure might sound painful and complex, it is actually quick and painless thanks to the use of an anesthetic.
Why Would I Need a Tooth Extraction?
There are a variety of dental problems that could warrant tooth removal, some being more common than others. But generally speaking, a dentist will often remove teeth that become impacted. How does a tooth become impacted? To put it simply, teeth that aren’t allowed to grow in their natural position due to gum tissues, other teeth, or bone are impacted. And since their adjustment is pretty costly and usually ineffective, tooth removal becomes the most viable solution.
Not only that, but broken or decayed teeth are also prime candidates for extractions, mostly to avoid infections. Additionally, a dentist will also remove teeth to make room for an orthodontic prosthetic such as braces.
Is It Normal to Experience Bleeding After the Extraction?
Although some bleeding after a dental extraction is pretty normal, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, if there is no clot formation in the socket and you are still bleeding for eight or more hours after the procedure, you might experience a condition called post-extraction bleeding.
The Causes of Post-Extraction Bleeding
Usually, post-extraction bleeding is triggered when the blood clot dislodges or is unable to form properly. Therefore, you should do your best to protect the area and avoid anything that can harm the clot. For example, eating hard foods or drinking through a straw can tear a blood clot easily.
What Should I Do if I Experience Post-Extraction Bleeding?
If you still experience intense bleeding after more than eight hours, you should contact your dentist. However, if that’s not possible, you could use the following tips to reduce the bleeding until you can see a professional:
- Elevate Your Head: Keeping your head elevated will restrict your blood pressure, ultimately slowing down bleeding. You can do that by using pillows and laying down in your bed for at least one hour.
- Apply Wet Gauze: You can place wet gauze over your empty tooth socket in order to slow or even stop the bleeding. All you need is a piece of wet gauze that you can fold into a square big enough to cover the entire area. If you don’t have gauze, you can use a damp paper towel to achieve the same effect. Keep in mind that it may take up to 60 minutes to see a reduction in bleeding.
- Bite a Teabag: While it may sound weird, biting on a black tea bag can reduce the bleeding. Usually, you will have to bite on it for 30 minutes, relax your mouth and bite again if you still experience bleeding. However, make sure that the bag is wet enough, and the tea contains tea leaves with tannic acid.
Dental Extraction Aftercare Tips
After undergoing a tooth extraction procedure, it’s extremely important to do your best to protect the area. In fact, failing to do so can result in bleeding, or it may even cause an infection. As a result, we have prepared the following tips that should help you protect the blood clot and increase the healing rate:
- Relax: After tooth extraction, you need to avoid any physical effort, such as working out. Otherwise, you will increase your blood pressure which can cause local bleedings and swellings.
- Avoid Touching the Area: One of the most important things to remember is that even your tongue can break the blood clot. Because of that, you should avoid touching the extraction site when brushing your teeth.
- Don’t Smoke: Smoking can increase the chance of infections and may even dislodge the blood clot. Therefore, you should avoid smoking for at least a few days after the procedure.
- Rinse: After 12 hours, you can gently rinse your mouth using a teaspoon of salt in warm water. You should do that four times a day to keep the extraction site free of bacteria or food particles.
- Don’t Eat Hard Foods: Hard foods have the potential to break the blood clot or even end up in the empty socket. If that happens, you run the risk of bleeding and developing infections. Instead, you should eat soft foods such as mashed potatoes and blended soups.
- Don’t Eat Dairy: Dairy products contain bacteria that may cause an infection, especially if they touch the empty socket. Avoid eating dairy products for at least one week after the extraction.
- Avoid Straws: While drinking through a straw can seem easier after tooth removal, it is very dangerous. As a matter of fact, one of the most common ways to dislodge a blood clot is by using a straw due to the negative pressure it creates.
- Use Cold Compresses: Applying cold compresses to the area from the outside of your mouth can reduce swelling and inflammation. Just be careful not to put too much pressure on the extraction site, as it could end up bleeding.
Overall, more often than not, bleeding after a tooth extraction is pretty common and shouldn’t be something to worry about. However, any bleeding that lasts for more than eight hours is definitely a problem. And while bleeding is usually not life-threatening, it can cause discomfort and slow down the recovery process. Therefore, you should get in touch with your dentist as soon as you notice intense or long-lasting bleeding.
Keep in mind that if you follow the aftercare tips, you should be able to reduce the chance of bleeding. Not only that, but you will increase the recovery speed, meaning that you will be able to enjoy your favorite food sooner than you think.