20/20 Dental Practice Blog

How to stop bleeding after a tooth extraction?

Posted by Ronel Van Der Spuy on Feb 14, 2016 11:00:00 AM


Bleeding will only stop if pressure is applied for long Newbury Dentistenough.

How to care for tooth extraction? 

  • Bite firmly on the cotton roll that has been placed where the tooth was removed. Keep biting firmly on the cotton roll or gauze for at least 20 minutes to help stop the bleeding.


  • If you still notice bleeding, do not rinse your mouth, but place a new clean, damp gauze and bite down firmly for another 20 min.
  • Do not chew on the cotton roll.
  • Do not suck on the extraction site.
  • If bleeding won’t stop, moisten a tea bag with tap water bite down on it for 30 minutes. Tea contains Tannic Acid which can help to reduce the bleeding.
  • Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding.  
  • Use a towel on the pillow the first night.
  • Applying pressure is the only way to stop bleeding.
  • Avoid excessive exercise for several hours.

 There may be some slight bleeding for the first day or so. Don’t be concerned about the amount of bleeding. A small amount of blood mix with a larger amount of saliva, which looks more dramatic than it is.

What pain relief can I take after a tooth extraction?

To reduce pain and aid your recovery, it can be helpful to:

Take your first dose of painkillers before the numbness wears off. You can use paracetamol or ibuprofen (always read and follow the manufacturer's dosage instructions) Do not take aspirin for pain relief after wisdom tooth removal, as it may make your wound bleed. You can take painkillers on a regular basis over the next few days. Painkillers may be taken with any prescribed antibiotics.

How long does it take to heal after tooth extraction?

The Blood clot that forms in the empty socket is important for the healing process.

Try not to disrupt the formation of the blood clot by

  • Avoiding vigorous rinsing or spitting for 24 hours
  • Don’t drink hot liquids for 24 hours as it may dissolve the blood clot.
  • Avoid smoking for 48 hours because smoking will slow the healing down and increase your change of developing an infection.
  • Do not use a straw as these cause suction for 24 hours
  • Eat soft foods, such as soup or yogurt for 24 hours after the
  • Do not vigorously chew anything.

The initial healing period typically takes from one to two weeks, gum tissue takes about 3-4 weeks to heal and complete healing of the bone can take about 6-8 months depending on your care of this area. 

Hot salt-water mouth bath to prevent a dry socket.

After 24 hours dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cupful of warm water. Take a mouthful of the water and hold the liquid over the extraction site until it begins to cool. Spit this out and repeat the process until all the water is used up. It should take a few minutes to do this.

 It is not a quick rinse and spit. Your mouth should feel warm and glowing.

 Repeat this process every few hours for 5 to 7 days. Salt mouth baths will help to keep the area clean and make it less likely for the tooth socket to become infected.


For several days after the extraction, it is important to keep the area as clean as possible to prevent infection and promote healing. Do not directly brush the extraction site for the first 3-4 days after surgery to prevent dislodging of the blood clot from the socket.

I am starting to have pain where my tooth was extracted after 3 days?

When the blood clot doesn't form in the hole or the blood clot breaks off or breaks down too early the underlying bone is exposed to air and food. This can be very painful and needs to be treated by your dentist to stop the pain and encourage the area to heal.

Smokers and women who take birth control pills are more likely to have a dry socket. Smoking on the day of surgery further increases the risk.

A dry socket develops in about 3% to 4% of all extractions.


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