If you are still bleeding after day 4 of wisdom teeth removal, it may or may not be an issue. For up to 4 days, a little blood in the saliva is normal, but if there is a lot of blood then you may have dislodged or dissolved the clot in some way. Biting down on some gauze can help. Change it every 30 minutes and take it out before going to bed and the clot should be able to reform quickly.
Care after wisdom teeth extraction
Bleeding after wisdom teeth removal is quite normal, for 1, 2, 3, even 4 days. It should not be excessive, as we've mentioned, but expect streaks of it in the saliva for a time. There are, happily, a few things that you can do to minimize the bleeding, swelling, and the general discomfort that comes after a wisdom teeth extraction. We've compiled a list to of tips to help the time pass more comfortably as you heal.
Tips for post-extraction care
- Cold compress - Get yourself an icepack and wrap it up in some cloth. You will want to use this for up to 48 hours following your wisdom teeth extraction. Any longer than this and it loses a bit of it's efficacy, however, so just use it for 48 hours and it should significantly reduce the swelling.
- Salt water rinse - A half a teaspoon of salt in a small cup of water makes for an excellent rinse. It will keep the wound clean and help you to heal faster. Rinse at least 4 to 5 times a day with this and you'll be well on your way to recovery in no time.
- Tea bags - Green tea and chamomile are quite good for this. Steep the bag for about 5 minutes
and then take it out of the water and let it cool down. After that, simply bite down on the teabag, with it positioned over the extraction site. The tea bags have antibacterial qualities that will help to stave off the possibility of infection, so be sure to have them ready at home!.
- Warm rinse and gauze - If the spot where your wisdom teeth used to reside is bleeding heavily, a rinse of warm water can help. Rinse a few times and then place some gauze over the affected area and bite down, changing out the gauze every 30 minutes. This should help the clot to reform and help to get you back on track.
- Avoid straws and cigarettes - Sucking produces pressure that can dislodge the newly formed clot in your mouth. If you absolutely need the nicotine, consider using nicotine patches and avoiding straws for the first 7 days just to play it safe.
- No crunchy foods - For the first few days you will want to eat only soft foods. Bananas, pudding, jello... these are some good examples. Crunchy foods are risky while you are healing and can definitely dislodge the clot, so avoid them for at least a week.
Following these tips will help to hasten your healing. During that time, know that you are in good company. An estimated 85% of all Americans have had their wisdom teeth removed. The reason for this is thought by some to be a product of evolution. At some point these teeth were necessary but nowadays, that's not the case. Wisdom teeth often grow in at angles that can cause misalignment of the teeth and severe pain. Thus, removal is the best option. On the bright side, if the obsolescence of wisdom teeth is evolutionary then perhaps one day we will simply stop growing them. Who knows?
Other concerns after wisdom teeth removal
We've talked about wisdom teeth extraction issues such as bleeding and swelling but there are some other things that you might experience as well that we thought we would bring up. These are all things that you may or may not experience but we wanted to list them here to be thorough. That said, you may experience the following:
- Numb sensation in the lips or in the tongue - Depending largely on the arrangement of impacted teeth, certain nerves that affect the lips, tongue, and even the chin might be affected. This can result in numbness. If you begin to feel a tingling, then this means that the nerves are beginning to resume their normal function. It should be noted that in some cases this can take months to heal(or in the worst case scenario, become permanent.) Thankfully, this is quite rare so you will likely not experience this, but if you do be sure to see your dentist for a consultation to see what may be done. .
“In some cases this can take months to heal.”
- Bruising - Bruising is quite common following a surgery of this nature. Deep purple or yellowish bruises will typically fade within 7 to 10 days so don't be alarmed. This is completely normal.
- Infection - Infections following a wisdom teeth extraction are rare. If you notice a sudden increase in swelling, coupled with a fever, be sure to see your dentist immediately to rule out an infection. For the first 3 days you can expect a slight elevation in your body's temperature but beyond this be sure to see your dentist right away for treatment.
- Sleeping properly - You will want to be sure to sleep on your back for the first 3-4 days, as sleeping on your side can put pressure on the extraction site and cause problems with the clotting that you need to properly heal. Use two pillows to make sure that your head is elevated as well ,as this will increase the blood flow for a swifter healing.
Now that you are armed with a little knowledge, be sure to take advantage of these tips and you will find yourself all healed up in no time flat. We promise you that!