I'm bleeding!
September 8, 2009 10:59 AM   Subscribe

how much bleeding is normal after a wisdom tooth extraction?

I just had a wisdom tooth removed this morning. There isn't much pain, for which I'm grateful, but I appear to be bleeding like a stuck pig. The tooth was taken out 6 hours ago. How long is this supposed to go on? I keep putting gauze pads against the hole left by the tooth and they keep coming out completely soaked in blood. Is this normal? Anything I can do to keep my blood inside of me?
posted by crazylegs to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
A fair amount of blood is normal. The best thing to do is put gauze pads in there and LEAVE them there so that your blood can clot up. Taking out the pads can sometimes pull out forming clots and actually make the bleeding last longer. If you've had it with the pads, might I suggest a wet peppermint tea bag? You can dampen one up and bite down on it a little bit. This has a few benefits of helping your mouth not taste like blood and it doesn't have the fiddly string bits that can get caught in clots. If you are concerned, you really should call your dentist just to make sure, but generally my experience with myself and others has been that the answer to "how much does this bleed?" is often "more than you think it should"
posted by jessamyn at 11:02 AM on September 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

I bled a LOT for the first day, and then continued to have sporadic bleeding for a day or so after that. It was kind of alarming, but I didn't have any complications. Especially so soon after surgery, this is totally normal. It should ease up some within the next 6 hours.

One trick that helped a little: like jessamyn suggests, I started using dampened black teabags instead of gauze. Something about the tea leaf chemistry helps staunch the bleeding a little, and the taste of tea covers up the taste of blood.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:08 AM on September 8, 2009

Also, the fact that it's mixing with your saliva makes it appear as more blood than it probably is (think about if you bleed a little while underwater -- it looks terrible). This isn't helpful on the "when does it stop" front, but remember it if you're trying not to freak out.
posted by brainmouse at 11:11 AM on September 8, 2009

I bled A LOT during my extractions cause I had some gum issues going on at the same time. I just kept the gauze in there for as long as possible.
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 AM on September 8, 2009

I had a lot of bleeding, and when I went to have the sutures removed, it tuned out they had sewn them through an arteriole, so I started bleeding profusely and it didn't stop, and I had to go back in 12 hours later to be sewn up again, and the anasthetic wore off while they were doing it, and it was just a bad experience all around. If you're still bleeding as much as you are now tomorrow, call your doctor.
posted by dortmunder at 11:34 AM on September 8, 2009

I didn't bleed that much except for the spot where I had a partially-erupted wisdom tooth and the surgeon was unable to sew up the hole. That wound produced a constant trickle of blood that went for a *couple days* before it stopped. Ditto on what everybody has said about the tea bags and not taking out the gauze pads too frequently.
posted by strangecargo at 11:38 AM on September 8, 2009

I got mine taken out recently. They bled plenty for the first day (i went through 3 sets of gauze), the second day just a bit, didn't not spit pink till day 3. Since you have not slept yet, here is a warning: use an old pillow to sleep on. When I woke up the day after, my pillow looked like a crime scene! The pillow case was totally unsalvageable, as was the pillow itself. GROSS!
posted by Mach5 at 12:10 PM on September 8, 2009

I didn't bleed very much. My sister bled a tonne, primarily because she didn't follow the advice to not talk for 6 hours after the surgery.

So, in case you're talking -- shut up! (and don't worry, the bleeding will stop soon enough)
posted by modernnomad at 1:03 PM on September 8, 2009

Mine bled for the first 2-3 days pretty seriously. I had to keep changing the gauze, and did untold destruction (WARNING - THIS IS GROSS) to a quilt at my dad's house when I somehow dislodged the gauze the first night and drooled what looked like at least an ounce of blood/saliva all over the bed. Not the most pleasant way to wake up.
posted by SassHat at 2:42 PM on September 8, 2009

From Ms. Vegetable:

Lots of blood is normal. Do NOT, however, try to "keep the blood inside" - let it out. If you forget and swallow it, you will vomit. And lose stitches.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:03 PM on September 8, 2009

I just had mine out about four months ago. the blood is normal, and can take several days to over a week to be done. I had some complications with parts of the teeth not being removed which resulted in more bleeding later. Just listen very carefully to your oral surgeon's instructions, and don't hesitate to call them to ask questions. You and your insurance has paid for their yachts! I hope everything works out okay. I ended up with TMJ, and now have to see an orthodontist. Its painful and nasty.
posted by Draccy at 6:55 PM on September 8, 2009

I had all four taken out last year. I bled quite a bit the first day, and somewhat less the second - I went through all the gauze I was sent home with! It is normal.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:38 PM on September 8, 2009

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