WHAT TO DO IF TOOTH EXTRACTION CLOT STICKS TO GAUZE
“If you think the gauze has stuck to the blood clot, take a sip of water to moisten the pad before you attempt to remove it.”— Dr Lara Coseo, DDS FAGD
Can gauze pull out a tooth extraction blood clot?
If your mouth is very dry or the gauze is dry, It’s possible for the pad to stick to the tissue inside your mouth and even dislodge the newly formed blood clot out of position.
If you think the gauze has stuck to the blood clot, take a sip of water to moisten the pad before you attempt to remove it.
The initial time period when the blood clot forms is crucial for a quick recovery. If the blood clot is dislodged, the natural tooth extraction healing process can be delayed and lead to painful complications like dry sockets.
Taking a little sip of water before removing the gauze is an easy way to prevent the blood clot from getting stuck.
How to prevent tooth extraction gauze from sticking to the blood clot
There are a few things you can do to prevent the gauze from sticking to the blood clot.
General post-operative advice
Do’s and don’ts –
- Do bite on a gauze bite pack for a minimum of 15 minutes. This puts pressure on the damaged blood vessels and helps control bleeding from the extraction site.
- Don’t consume hot foods or drinks until the anesthetic has fully worn off. It is easy to burn yourself or even bite your tongue or cheek when your mouth is still numb.
- Don’t do anything to encourage the wound to start bleeding again. Relax for the rest of the day after your tooth extraction. Avoid all sports and strenuous exercises that might elevate your heart rate.
- Don’t smoke. The heat and pressure generated by sucking on a cigarette can dislodge the blood clot. Smoking after a tooth extraction can also increase the chance of developing an infection in the wound.
- Don’t drink alcohol. The natural healing process involves a number of overlapping stages and these phases can be disrupted by consuming alcohol too soon after your tooth extraction.
- Do use warm salt water mouthwashes. You can use salt water mouthwashes the day after your tooth extraction but be careful not to rinse too vigorously. Swishing too forcefully can also dislodge the blood clot.
- Do maintain good oral hygiene. Maintaining good oral hygiene following dental extractions is as crucial, if not more so. You must, however, use caution when near the extraction site.
- Do take painkillers if necessary. Pain management is always not required. But if you are in some discomfort, taking an over-the-counter drug like Ibuprofen after your tooth extraction will help to relieve any pain. If your dentist suspects you may experience more than the normal level of pain, they may prescribe stronger painkillers for you. Be careful to always follow the directions and use the painkillers for as short a duration as possible.
Dr. Lara Coseo
Having practiced general dentistry for 13 years, I currently serve as a Professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.