Keeping the Bleeding Down When You Get a Tooth Extracted

After having a tooth pulled, it is essential to follow these necessary aftercare instructions to maximize your healing. If your gums don’t stop bleeding, you should contact us immediately to determine the best course of action. In the meantime, here are some helpful hints to practice after a tooth extraction to reduce excessive bleeding.

Stop the Bleeding

Take a piece of clean gauze, fold it into a square, and rest it on top of your wound. Bite firmly down for about an hour. Ensure the dressing is well-positioned to get enough pressure at the site of the extraction.

Another hint is to bite down on a tea bag using the same instructions as above. The tannic acid found in tea aids in the formation of blood clots, making tea bags particularly effective to stop the bleeding.

Ensure Blood Clot Formation Stays Within the Tooth Socket

Critical steps to take in protecting the development of blood clotting within the first 24 hours after a tooth is pulled:

  • Avoid vigorous spitting and rinsing.
  • Avoid drinking hot liquids.
  • Minimize differences in air pressure. Avoiding the creation of tension within your sinuses or mouth will prevent the risk of dislodging the blood clot from the empty socket. Smoking or sucking liquid through a straw can cause this type of pressure through suction. Also, blowing your nose and playing wind instruments can create stress as well.

Keep Heart Rate Down

Physical labor or strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least two days. Bending down or lifting heavy objects can increase your heart rate and may cause bleeding.

While relaxing or sleeping, you should keep your head above your heart (or nipple). This lowers your blood pressure and helps control excess bleeding.

Prepare for Swelling

After a tooth is pulled, gum tissue undergoes trauma and will become sensitive and swell. The degree of swelling is different from patient to patient.  Applying cold compresses to the area from outside the mouth can help control inflammation and swelling. Some of our patients moisten sponges and freeze them in plastic bags – these are perfect cold packs to minimize swelling during the first day or two after your extraction.

Don’t Smoke

You should refrain from smoking for at least 48 hours after tooth extraction. Not only does the pressure encourage bleeding, but smokers experience more complications after any type of surgery.

Proper Eating

Try to keep your diet to soft food or liquids for 24 hours after having your tooth pulled. Don’t chew anything vigorously, and avoid crunchy, hard foods that may negatively affect the extraction site and cause bleeding. Avoid hot liquids that can dissolve a blood clot.

How long should it take for a tooth extraction to stop bleeding?

It is typical for bleeding to continue for up to 24 hours after having a tooth extracted. However, the bleeding should remain minimal and tolerable. If excessive bleeding continues past 24 hours and is causing discomfort, that’s cause for concern. However, minor bleeding in the area where the extraction occurred is nothing to worry too much about, as long as it’s within the first day.

If bleeding persists or continues to worsen, schedule a dental visit to ensure there are no concerns that need immediate attention.

Can I sleep if my tooth extraction is still bleeding?

It’s not safe to fall asleep with gauze or padding in your mouth, since you might choke on it in your sleep. If your mouth is still bleeding at bedtime, rest on your back with your head elevated. This position will prevent choking, reduce swelling, and encourage clotting. You may also want to cover your pillow and clothes with towels to prevent stains in case blood drains from your mouth overnight.

What is the fastest way to stop bleeding after tooth extraction?

The fastest way to stop bleeding after a tooth extraction is to wet a small piece of gauze and fold it into a small square that easily fits over the empty socket. Apply pressure by biting down on it for 45 minutes to an hour. Most dentists and physicians recommend this method, which can stop bleeding within an hour.

It’s also beneficial to keep your head elevated when you lie down. When your head is higher than your heart, bleeding slows as your blood pressure reduces. You can easily do this by propping your head up with an extra pillow during rest or sleep.

You can also try putting a wet tea bag in your mouth. Black tea has a natural coagulant called tannic acid that will aid in the clotting process.

Can you leave gauze in too long after tooth extraction?

We recommend changing your gauze dressing every 30 minutes, depending on how much you are bleeding. It’s not necessary to keep using gauze if the empty socket has stopped bleeding and formed a clot. Aside from being unpleasant, if you leave gauze in your mouth for too long, it won’t sufficiently encourage the clotting process and can lead to infection.

For More Information on Stopping Bleeding after Tooth Extraction

If you are experiencing excessive pain or bleeding after your tooth extraction or if you need more information about a tooth that is giving you problems, please contact us or call us today for more details and your consultation.

Want to learn more? At Hill Country Oral Surgery, our goal is to provide you with the highest level of care in our welcoming, state-of-the-art facility. Dr. Cavaretta, Dr. Rasmussen, and our staff are committed to giving you the benefit of the latest, proven techniques and technological advances and tailoring our care to fit your needs.