What You Need to Know About Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Preparation for a wisdom tooth extraction is important, but it’s not enough. Along with knowing what to expect before and during the surgery, you also need to understand what happens afterwards—including bleeding. Take a look at the top questions answered about bleeding and wisdom tooth removal.
Is Bleeding Normal Following Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
In general, the answer to this question is yes. If your teeth are impacted or haven’t broken through the gumline surface, the procedure requires the dentist or oral surgeon to make an incision in the gum before extracting the tooth. Like other surgical incisions, this causes bleeding in the area.
Dental patients who already have their wisdom teeth (above the gumline) will also have some normal bleeding following the removal. When the old teeth are extracted, the surrounding tissue will experience trauma — also resulting in temporary bleeding.
How Long Will the Area Bleed for After the Surgery?
Everyone will have a difference experience regarding bleeding. Several factors affect post-surgical bleeding, including:
- Bleeding disorders. Patients with clotting or similar disorders are likely to bleed longer or more than those without. If you have a bleeding/clotting disorder, tell the surgeon before the procedure.
- Some medications. Anticoagulant drugs, aspirin, and some NSAIDS can interfere with clotting, making you bleed longer or stronger. Again, tell the surgeon about any medications you’re taking prior to the extraction.
- Some supplements. Over the counter and prescription medications aren’t the only causes of excessive bleeding. Some herbs, vitamins, and supplements can also make you bleed for a longer time. Tell the dentist about all natural supplements you take regularly.
- Your body’s healing time. Everyone heals slightly differently. You may take longer or shorter than a friend or family member to stop bleeding after surgery.
- Your adherence to the instructions. Follow the oral surgeon’s instructions as exactly as you can to reduce bleeding time and help you to heal faster.
If you take a medication, herb, or supplement that increases bleeding, time your surgeon, dentist, or doctor may recommend a change in your dosage. Never stop taking a doctor-prescribed drug before surgery without a doctor’s orders.
What Can Reduce Bleeding?
While you can’t change a bleeding or clotting disorder, you can minimize excessive bleeding with the following tips:
- Take it easy. In most cases complete bed rest isn’t necessary following an extraction. But the surgeon may recommend reduced overall activity level and discourage gym attendance for a few days. Heavy activity can aggravate the area and cause bleeding.
- Use gauze. The dentist may recommend placing wet gauze on the area following the surgery. When you bite down on the gauze, you put pressure on the area, which can reduce bleeding. Follow the dentist’s directions for specific use, including how long and how much gauze to use.
- Eat carefully. Even though you may feel hungry, a big burger or even your normal lunch may aggravate bleeding in the area. Instead, try liquid or smooth foods such as milkshakes, yogurt, gelatin, or soup.
- Elevate your head. Hold your head upwards or tilt it up on a pillow to help to reduce bleeding time.
- Carefully care for your mouth. Most dental patients don’t need to skip healthy mouth care after wisdom tooth extraction. But you shouldn’t go full force either. Slow down and gently brush your teeth. You may need to avoid flossing or swishing with mouthwash near the area.
If you have concerns about the amount of time your extraction site bleeds, talk to the dentist or surgeon immediately. You may have a more serious issue, or a stitch may have failed.
Do you need to schedule a wisdom tooth extraction? Contact Accent Dental for more information.