CDA Cares – Pomona
California Dental Association Foundation
Here is a topic that is relevant for extractions, especially upper (maxillary) wisdom teeth.
Bleeding is normal after a tooth extraction. However it should stop later that day. A non-wisdom tooth will typically ooze blood for under an hour, then form a clot. An upper wisdom tooth may ooze blood for several hours, even into the evening. However, it is important to understand that gauze will frequently have blood on it even though the bleeding has stopped. This is because the gauze picks up blood from the blood clot.
There are several key steps to facilitating clot formation:
1. Apply firm (slightly uncomfortable) pressure with gauze. The gauze must be directly over/under the extraction site. Pressure should be applied for 15 minutes continuously. The gauze must be the proper size to apply pressure (not too small), while enabling the mouth to be closed most of the way so the jaw doesn’t get fatigued (not too big).
2. “Bleeding has stopped” doesn’t mean there is no more blood in the mouth or saliva. It is normal to have some blood in saliva for a few days after an extraction. The key is blood is not welling up or dripping and making it difficult to talk, eat, breathe. Often the gauze will be somewhat pink but not deeply red and saturated. If it is somewhat pink this indicates bleeding is well controlled.
3. Maintain the blood clot. Once a clot has formed it is important to not disrupt it. This is accomplished by avoiding vigorous rinsing, sucking through a straw, or spitting. If bleeding resumes you can apply pressure again and the clot will re-form.
4. Black tea bag. Dipping a black tea bag in cold water, rolling it in a gauze or paper towel, and applying over an extraction socket can facilitate clot formation due to the tannin in tea.
5. If you run out of gauze you may use a paper towel cut to appropriate size.
If after trying these things you are still concerned about post extraction bleeding you should contact your doctor. If your doctor isn’t available or if you develop symptoms of lightheadedness, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, or other concerning symptoms, you should go to the Emergency Department.
This blog topic is meant to be a source for educational material on bleeding after a dental extraction. It is not intended to be clinical advice. Real clinical scenarios require doctor-patient discussion, exam, and assessment.
– The Doctors of A.O.S.
Hello. I thought I’d start off this blog by writing a little about things that occasionally happen after an extraction.
Infections are marked by fever, pain, swelling, and redness. They generally occur a few days after a procedure, requiring time to evolve. However, there are also late infections that occur 3-4 weeks after an extraction.
In the healthy patient who had an extraction, infection is rare. With wisdom teeth, sometimes a bit of food debris gets stuck under the gums and develops into a small abscess. The patient experiences tenderness over the area, a bad taste, persistent swelling, and malaise. A small abscess like this is generally treated by numbing the area, opening up the surgical site, and irrigating it thoroughly with sterile saline. Typically this clears the source of the infection and the abscess resolves. Antibiotics are administered.
Receiving post operative antibiotics does not mean you will not get an infection. In fact the rate of infection after wisdom tooth extraction is similar between patients who receive antibiotics and those who do not.
A dry socket (Alveolar Osteitis) is a condition where the blood clot disappears before it can turn into early stages of bone formation. The bony walls of the socket are exposed to air and cold, which are exquisitely sensitive. As with an infection, dry socket often evolves around 3 days after an extraction, and most commonly occurs in lower wisdom tooth extractions. Smoking, birth control pills, and hygiene are risk factors for dry socket.
You may have a dry socket if you experience more pain, of a different quality, a few days after the extraction. Come back in to the office. Do not wait for your post op appointment. The treatment of a dry socket is simple, consisting of packing the socket with a menthol/eucalyptus oil gauze that eliminates the pain immediately. This packing may need to be changed every other day until the gum tissue grows down and lines the socket.
Well, that’s all for tonight.
– Dr. Solomon Poyourow
Our office staff is dedicated to making your first visit a pleasant experience, and minimize the anxiety of undergoing surgery. To make the process as efficient as possible, please download and print the “Patient Registration Form” and “Health History Questionaire,” and fill these out before your first visit.
Please bring your dental and medical insurance cards to your first visit. Our staff will request your insurance information over the phone when scheduling your appointment, and we make every effort to verify insurance benefits prior to your initial visit.
If you are referred by your dentist, dental specialist, or physician please bring your Alamitos Oral Surgery referral card with you to help us understand the concerns of your referring doctor.
Our surgeons strongly recommend a consultation prior to scheduling surgery. However, if it is a true emergency and you require general anesthesia for your procedure, it is important to follow our “Pre-Operative Instructions.”
Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions, or changes to your schedule that require a new appointment.