Bleeding after Oral Surgery


Bleeding is an inevitable side effect from having oral surgery.  Many patients worry about complications from bleeding after surgery- especially later at home.  The key to a quick and safe recovery is to be prepared to deal with any potential bleeding after your surgery.  Below are several tips to control and avoid bleeding complications.

Tip #1 Inform your surgeon of any health conditions that could cause you to have problems with blood clotting.  These conditions may include Hemophilia (A, B), Von Willebrand Factor Deficiency, Factor (V, VII, X, XI) deficiency, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, or other blood clotting disorder.

Tip #2Inform your surgeon of any blood thinners you may be taking for any medical conditions.  There are many types of blood thinners, and  some common drugs include Warfarin, Eliquis, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Plavix, and Aspirin.  Do not ever stop your blood thinner unless directed to by your doctor.  If it is safe to stop your blood thinner, your surgeon may instruct you to do so for a day or two prior to your surgery.


Tip #3Apply pressure! The best possible method to stop bleeding is to apply pressure.  In the mouth, this usually means biting down on gauze for 20-30 minutes applying firm, even pressure to the wound.   The normal human clotting time is 7-9 minutes, so 20-30 minutes of pressure should be enough time to slow the bleeding down.  If gauze by itself does not do the trick, place a dry tea bag onto the bleeding area and then bite down on some more gauze.  Repeat as necessary.


Tip #4Be gentle.  Avoid spitting, rigorous swishing, strenuous exercise, or heavy lifting.  Eat soft foods that do not require excessive chewing.  Abstain from using a straw.  The idea is to make sure the blood clot that forms is not disturbed through these activities.

Tip #5Recognize a true bleeding emergency.  Sometimes there are real bleeding emergencies that need to be addressed right away. Look out for are bright, red, continuous stream of blood coming from the surgical site that does not stop after multiple rounds of pressure.  The gauze may be soaked rather quickly within seconds after placement.  If you are concerned about bleeding that is brisk and persistent, call your surgeon right away.  In the event that you are not able to reach your surgeon, present to the nearest emergency room as quickly as possible


To your health and prosperity,

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