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Luckily, there are many things to do to reduce bleeding once you are sent home after the extraction. These post-extraction instructions are likely given to you when you leave the dental office, but it never hurts to read more about them so to be prepared. It’s stunning the amount of people who are given instructions who go home and then start spitting the blood in the sink or start using a straw to drink. These are big no-nos that may lead to increased bleeding and slower healing times! One important consideration: when you experience bleeding after a tooth extraction, it may look like a whole lot of blood is being lost. Doctor of Dental Surgery Ramsey A. Amin claims “It doesn’t take but a few drops of blood to mix in with your saliva to make it look like the area is bleeding a lot.”

 

Bite that gauze! Your dentist will often provide you with loads of gauze to get you through the evening and next day. Bite firmly with steady pressure, at least for 30 to 60 minutes. Don’t feel tempted to remove it every few minutes to take a look! That may cause the bleeding that may have slowed down to re-occur! Do the 30 to 60 minutes biting for at least the first 3 to 5 hours, until the bleeding stops. Be consistent and patient. Watch a movie to let this time go by:

  • Get some tea. If you are still bleeding after the gauze trick, you may find relief by using a regular black tea bag. Wet it up and then bite on it for at least 30 minutes. The tannin in the bag should help slow down the bleeding.

  • Avoid spitting! This one of the biggest mistakes people make when they are bleeding. They will often spit the blood out. What this may do is dislodge the blood clot that has formed that ultimately is what causes healing. Dislodging the blood clot will cause bleeding again, until the next clot forms. Worse of all, dislodging the blood clot may cause a dry socket.

  • Don’t use straws. I often see people on forums suggesting to use a straw to eat liquid foods. This may sound logic to prevent warm liquids from going to the extraction area, but sucking through a straw, just like spitting, may dislodge the blood clot.

  • Refrain from activity. Try to avoid bending down or lifting and other activity that may interfere with the blood clotting process. Calm activities during the first 24-48 hours will help keep the blood pressure low which reduces bleeding. Watching a movie, reading a book or listening to music are calm options.

  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Smoking promotes bleeding, slows down healing and can predispose to a dry socket. Drinking alcohol may also interfere with healing, not to mention that alcohol should not be taken with pain medication. The video below also recommends not drinking carbonated drinks as the fuzz interferes with the healing process.

  • Don’t bother the area. It’s tempting to want to touch the area with your tongue, but don’t. After the extraction, blood must flush to the area to expedite healing, try your best to not interfere with the process by repeatedly touching the area with your tongue or fingers. Only gauze should be allowed in that area. This also means not brushing over the area or rinsing the mouth with mouthwash.

  • Use several pillows for sleeping. The elevated position of your head will reduce bleeding. It’s wise to keep a towel on the pillow to capture any blood that may seep through your mouth during the night.

  • Avoid hot drinks. You need to be careful not to drink hot beverages or hot soups. The heat may dislodge the delicate blood clot.

  • Don’t blow balloons or play musical instruments for obvious reasons.