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.
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.
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.
For More Information
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.