Tooth Extraction Aftercare – When to Stop Using Gauze?

July 30, 2023

The reason for your pain is out, tooth extraction is done and dusted, and your dentist has put a gauze to bite down on afterward. We understand that questions like “Why this gauze is so important, or when to stop using this gauze post-tooth extraction?” might be running through your mind. We are here with answers.

Why is a Gauze Used after Tooth Extraction?

After extraction, the site is essentially an open socket or more like a wound. Therefore, to prevent excessive bleeding, dentists use gauze. These soft and absorbent pads play a crucial role in managing bleeding, soaking excess, and keeping the wound in an optimal state.

When you bite down on the gauze pad, you apply pressure to the wound that pinches the blood vessels shut. This pressure forms a blood clot, eventually stopping the bleeding. Other than this, gauze protects the extraction site from potential infections that can be caused by bacteria residing in our mouths.

Furthermore, even if there is not much blood oozing out, your saliva can mix with it, making it difficult to control the actual amount. The gauze absorbs both blood and saliva, giving you a clearer idea of when to stop using it.

When to Stop Using Gauze after Tooth Extraction?

Usually, dentists recommend keeping the gauze in place for about 15-30 minutes post-tooth extraction. During this time, firmly bite down to aid in clotting. Once the bleeding ceases, ask your dentist to remove the gauze, and you’ll continue the healing process at home.

However, in some cases, you may need to keep the gauze in place for up to a day extra for caution.

It is important to keep an eye on the gauze pad and replace it after every 15-30 minutes, checking the amount of blood each time. If heavy bleeding persists, bite down on a fresh piece of gauze or a wet black tea bag for another 15-30 minutes.

The pressure will help slow or stop the bleeding entirely. The key sign to stop using gauze is when there is no red patch and the gauze you change remains clean and dry.

Post-Gauze Aftercare

Once you have gotten rid of the pad, do not think that the healing journey is over. In fact, aftercare’s crucial span begins at that very moment. Here are some essential aftercare tips:

  1. Gently rinse your mouth using a warm salt water solution multiple times a day, starting a day after your surgery. This fluid helps to clean the extraction site and promotes healing. But a word of caution, avoid spitting or rinsing too vigorously, as this can dislodge the blood clot and cause bleeding to resume.
  2. Say no to smoking and drinking through a straw. Smoking hinders healing, and sipping through a straw creates a suction action that dislodges the blood clot.
  3. Watch what you eat.

Closing Note

If you want to learn more about post-extraction care, get in touch with the dental experts from Smile Unique Dental and Orthodontics. Dial (832) 391-8660 to connect with us or drop by our clinic. We are located at 19355 Katy Freeway STE 600, Houston, TX 77094.


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