The sight of gum bleeding certainly gives is a sense of uneasiness. These are an important part of our jaw and reflect our oral hygiene although it seems like we tend to focus on the teeth themselves. People rarely remember that unhealthy gums can also lead to teeth deterioration and their eventual removal.
Tooth extraction has always been a troublesome process causing many inconveniences to the patient after the procedure. Not only does it require days of patience for the affected person, but it also requires highly honed surgical skills from the dentist.
During the surgery, the dentist will give you local or general anesthetic depending on the how complicated the procedure will be. Then the wound will be stitched together or you’ll get a gauze to bite on to stop bleeding. Just bear in mind that before the surgery you tell your doctor if you have an implant (fake hip or a valve on the heart), have heart problems or are allergic to any sort of anaesthetic Gum bleeding is one of the usual occurrences during the healing process and here are some tips on how to stop it.
How to stop gum bleeding after tooth extraction
Gum bleeding is normal after the tooth extraction procedure and these are the following ways to prevent it or at least control it:
- Controlling bleeding with gauze: take a gauze or some clean pieces of cloth and put it directly on the wound after moistening it. Bite the gauze firmly and keep it that way for 45 minutes or so without changing the gauze or chewing on it. Remember that if your teeth come fully together when you close it is possible that the gauze is not receiving much pressure (which is essential for clots to be formed)!
- Controlling bleeding with tea-bags: tannic acid is one of the tea’s ingredients and also takes part in clot formation which makes this an efficient way to solve the gum-bleeding problem. Fold it in half and make it damp before putting it on the injury!
- Clotting aids: In case that a doctor predicts post-operational bleeding won’t stop easily, he/she’ll put some clotting aids on the extraction socket: an absorbable collagen or gelatin dressing, oxidized cellulose, microfibrillar collagen, or similar-purposed product. However, under no circumstances should you avoid the ordinary post-op protocol!
- Taking painkillers: Don’t wait for the pain to go away by itself and take painkillers such as ibuprofen or ketoprofen that contain codeine that lessens the aches. Be aware that aspirins are not to be taken because they cause blood to thin and lead to mouth bleeding as a consequence. Also, asthma sufferers should consult their dentists before taking painkillers since some of their ingredients are harmful to them.
- Relaxing: Patients should take it easy a few days after the surgery, which means refraining from exercising for at least 12-24 hours after the operation and avoiding bending for 2-3 days. It is also important to keep your head up with pillows while sleeping!
- Eating soft foods: it is recommended that patients eat foods such as soup and yogurt for 3-4 days in order to keep the clot safe. Additional advice concerning food in post-op period is to avoid soda, hot and spicy foods since they can cause irritation.
- Teeth brushing: Be careful not to dislodge the clot when you clean your teeth. You can use a clean a piece of cloth or gauze to attentively wipe the wounded area
- Rinse: After 24 hours, patients can use salt water (a teaspoon of salt and a glass of salt water) to rinse their mouths after every meal or snack but they shouldn’t force it.
What is ‘Dry Socket’?
This is a rare condition that only 2-5 per cent of people gets after tooth extraction. Namely, it is a hole in the bone where the tooth removal occurred which is formed when the clot is dislodged or dissolved. It is exposed to air, water, and foods and therefore is considerably painful if it comes in touch with any of the three. The pain lasts up to six days. Persons who smoke, have poor oral hygiene, take birth control, have a wisdom tooth pulled out or have a long history of teeth removal are prone to get a dry socket, but it is also caused by a lot of spitting after tooth removal. It is treatable either by anti-inflammatory drugs or is anesthetized by the dentist.
What shouldn’t we do if we want to stop the bleeding?
The clot is susceptible to damage and there’s a list of things patients are prohibited from in the course of post-op procedure:
- Smoking: creates negative pressure which can create negative pressure and dislodge the clot which leads to dry socket.
- Sucking and spitting are out of the question: this also creates negative pressure and causes blood to ooze from the wounded spot. This also means that drinking cold water and is banned as well as using straws to drink.
When to call your dentist?
Pain and swelling are normal after surgical tooth extractions. However, if the pain remains persistent after four hours you should call your doctor. It is also highly recommended to consult your doctor in case of nausea, vomiting, infections, swelling, redness, excessive discharge from the affected area, coughing, shortness of breath and chest pain Additional reason to call the doctor is if you still feel numb 6 hours after the operation. In such situations, doctors usually infuse some steroids which should diminish the swollenness and hasten recovery.