Mmm, blood jelly...
June 10, 2007 9:47 AM   Subscribe

Dentistry Filter: You are not a dentist; if you are, you are not my dentist. It being Sunday, though, and my surgeon being out of the office, I've got a question about my recent extractions. Rather unpleasant descriptions inside.

On Thursday afternoon, nearly 72 hours ago, I had four wisdom teeth extracted. The procedure went well. I've had virtually no pain since the extraction, no swelling, and I bled only a little for about 6 hours afterward. I ate nothing but very soft foods until yesterday afternoon (T+48hrs), and have been taking my penicillin and keeping the wounds clean as instructed.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night tasting blood in my mouth, figured I was just oozing a bit, and went back to sleep. Maybe an hour later I woke up and felt what seemed to be a rather large chunk of Jell-O on my cheek. Retreating to the bathroom to have a look, my mouth was bloody and there was a large piece (maybe 3" x 1/2in x 1/4in) of dark red jelly on the inside of my cheek, extending from top socket to bottom with my mouth fully-opened. Of course, I freaked out a bit and, spitting (gently) to clear out my mouth, this thing came sliding out and slithered right down the drain before I could properly inspect it. From what I could see, though, it was mostly dark red with a translucent center, and a bit squidgy.

Packed with gauze, the bleeding stopped, and I went back to sleep. I woke up this morning with no pain, no swelling, and absolutely no bleeding. This ooze having come (I think) from the top socket, I can't get a good look at it, but as far as I can tell, everything seems normal. Being entirely asymptomatic, I'll wait til tomorrow to call the surgeon, but what was this? Was it the clot in this socket? It was tremendous, much larger than I could imagine a blood clot to be. More like ... a bloody slug.

Has anyone experienced this after an extraction? 2-1/2 days after? Googling "bloody slug" and similar is of limited usefulness, of course. Thanks for easing and/or worrying my mind, AskMe. And yes, I will call my doctor in the morning.
posted by uncleozzy to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
According to alexperts, this is normal and sometimes happens. They suggest saline rinses and calling the dentist if something bad happens [pain, extreme pain, high fever, bleeding that doesn't stop]. If you google looking for information on "blood clots" and "wisdom teeth", you can find more but I think you are fine.
posted by jessamyn at 9:51 AM on June 10, 2007

Sounds like a big blood clot. (You'll see something similar if you blow your nose while you're having a bloody nose.) I would imagine one of your wisdom tooth clots came undone, and you'll have a dry socket there, but sounds like the bleeding has stopped.
posted by gramcracker at 10:04 AM on June 10, 2007

google "dry socket tooth extraction"

as mentioned, sounds like the clot dislodged. You'll want to contact your dentist in the morning about this, or today if you have an emergency number for him.

and, IANAD, but I have had teeth extracted...(ouch)
posted by HuronBob at 10:14 AM on June 10, 2007

Wow, who knew the socket was so big? Seriously, this thing was just a big, honkin' chunk, or at least appeared to be at 4am. At least I got to watch a couple episodes of Ren & Stimpy while I waited for the bleeding to stop. Guess we'll see in the morning if they want me to come in and pack it up.

Thanks, all.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:21 AM on June 10, 2007

Just anecdotal, because I'm sure you've googled "dry socket" and read terrible things (I did too): I also had a random bleed a couple of days after the extraction (I figure I was doing something stupid in my sleep, like sucking on the empty hole) and my tooth evidently re-clotted, and I had no dry sockets to speak of. Although, my teeth waited several days to start hurting, and a glass of wine on day 7 post extraction sent me reeling due to an excess of liver-damaging pain killers.
posted by nursegracer at 10:57 AM on June 10, 2007

I had all four wisdom teeth out at the same time, and they gave me codeine for the pain. I didn't have to take it until the next day, since they'd given me different meds for the surgery, and I slept most of the first day. I'd never taken it before, and discovered that I'm violently allergic to it. That meant that I threw up all the stuff I ate (yogurt, a few Hershey's kisses, etc...) after I came home from surgery, and kept dry heaving until all the meds were out of my system. Needless to say, some of the socket blood clots were dislodged by this, and more than once. They were various sizes, a couple of the first ones as large as the one you had.

Anyway, all ended well. I phoned the dentist, and he directed me to re-pack and swish gently with salt water occasionally. They all healed fine. Like everyone said, just let your dentist know, he may want to re-check the extraction sites later.
posted by Liosliath at 11:14 AM on June 10, 2007

I had exactly the same thing happen after the same operation, although it was closer to the actual extraction time than yours - I got the chunk about 7 hours after extraction. Nothing further happened and I was all healed up in 4 days, as long as you don't count the excessive grossology factor of having to hawk that thing up. You might want to talk to your surgeon tomorrow and see if dry socket is a problem, but I didn't see anything like that.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:42 AM on June 10, 2007

I had "bloody jello" in my mouth after my wisdom teeth were extracted, after my first nap. I didn't get dry sockets.
posted by adamwolf at 12:28 PM on June 10, 2007

Thanks again; I'll listen to any anecdote that doesn't end in dry socket. Think I'll spend the rest of the day eating ice cream and thinking good, clot-forming thoughts.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:29 PM on June 10, 2007

There should be a phone number for your surgeon's office. Best case scenario, they have an answering service and you can leave a message with them. They may page the surgeon right away, or give the messages at a set time.

The other option is that there is an "emergency" number on the answering machine. If this feels like an emergency to you, call that number. If it doesn't feel like an emergency, leave a voicemail and see if you can go get checked out in the morning.
posted by bilabial at 5:53 PM on June 10, 2007

My surgeon's office is staffed 24 hours a day. Check the post surgical care brochure they gave you, and see if there's an emergency number on the back.
posted by BeaverTerror at 7:38 AM on June 11, 2007

In any case, folks, to follow up, I called this morning and they didn't seem particularly concerned, but offered to take a look at it today or tomorrow. And yes, had I felt it was an emergency, I certainly wouldn't have been asking MeFi. That's lunacy.
Dear AskMe, I have caught my right arm (I am left-handed) in a bandsaw (I was trying to make a birdhouse for my grandmother) and am bleeding profusely from (what I can only assume is) a major artery (the blood appears to be oxygenated, although with my vision blurring as it is, I can't be certain). It appears to be mostly-detached, but I am unable to remove the half below the cut (this is good, right?) Since it's Sunday, I think I'll wait to see my GP til tomorrow (since my insurance won't cover ER visits). What can I do in the meantime to staunch the bleeding and reattach tendons, nerves, etc.? Thanks!
posted by uncleozzy at 8:39 AM on June 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

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