Bleeding After Surgery: What To Do

After oral surgery (whether for tooth extraction or dental implant placement), most patients bleed for the first couple of hours. Don’t be alarmed; this is normal. But if you are still bleeding profusely four hours after surgery, call your dentist. For faster wound healing, here’s what to do:

Immediately After Leaving the Clinic

Your dentist placed a gauze pad over the wound to control bleeding; leave it there for the next hour while the blood clots. Expect the pad to get soggy with blood and saliva, but don’t suck on the pad or chew—apply a firm and constant pressure using your teeth to keep the pad in place. It would be better to have someone drive you home instead of driving the car yourself. Avoid running and taking the stairs.

When You Get Home

The best thing to do is rest. Relaxing slows down blood flow, stopping the bleeding and allowing blood to clot faster. If you are going to lie down, prop your head up using a pillow so your blood won’t pool in your head. An hour after surgery, check your wound. If you are still bleeding, place a new gauze pad over the wound and continue applying pressure for one more hour. Rinse your mouth 24 hours after the operation. Add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and swish the water around your mouth gently. This should be done four or five times a day for the next four days.

Post-Surgery Care

Brush and floss your teeth normally, but be careful and avoid brushing the wound area. It’s best to use a bit of warm water for brushing. Never suck on the wound, or poke it with your tongue. For the first two days after surgery, take it easy and avoid doing strenuous activities like working out or carrying groceries. Prevent bleeding by avoiding hot foods and drinks as much as possible. Let your soup cool a bit before eating, and stay away from alcohol and tobacco.

If you’ve just had oral surgery, just follow the dentist’s orders and you’ll be fine. There’s really nothing to worry about; you’re in good hands at Dental West Associates.

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