Is It Safe to Remove Gauze After Tooth Extraction?

After you have undergone a tooth extraction, your oral surgeon will provide you with post-operative instructions to ensure a safe and fast recovery. So, if you are wondering when to stop using gauze after tooth extraction, they will cover that too. Usually, dentists recommend keeping the gauze until the extraction site stops bleeding. This way, your body has sufficient time to form the blood clot and properly heal. In this blog, you will learn about wearing gauze after tooth extraction, including how long to wear it.

Instructions to Use a Gauze

Your oral surgeon will provide you with enough gauze to use. Moreover, they will tell you how to use it. The instructions might look like the following:

  • Put together 2 to 3 pieces of 2×2 gauze
  • Fold it in half
  • Fold the piece in half once more
  • Place the folded piece of gauze on the extraction site
  • Bite down for around 20 to 30 minutes
  • Remove the gauze
  • Follow these steps until the site stops bleeding

Why Biting into a Gauze Helps

Your tooth extortion site will bleed since it is a fresh wound. Hence, placing the gauze on the site and biting it down helps obstruct the bleeding. Furthermore, it kickstarts blood clot formation.

When you bite down on a gauze, it puts physical pressure that stops the bleeding. In simple terms, biting on a gauze helps occlude bleeding from the extraction site. In addition, a healthy blood clot after tooth extraction helps boost your recovery. But for the blood clot to develop, you need to stop the bleeding. This is where the gauze comes in. Managing the bleeding gives an opportunity for a healthy clot to form and stay in place. In short, the blood clot factors work better as they’re not being squirted out.

When Is It Time to Stop Using Gauze After Tooth Extraction

You can stop using the gauze after the bleeding has stopped. Your dentist will most probably instruct you to change the gauze every 15 minutes, and slowly you will notice the blood flow decrease each time. Gradually, only a few drops of blood will be visible on the white surface. This is one of the best techniques to determine if the blood clot has started forming. In general, it takes 2 to 3 hours for the blood clot to form, and that is how long you should wait to remove the gauze after extraction.

Once a healthy blood clot starts forming, you would need to follow the aftercare instructions to ensure safe and quick healing after tooth extraction. Avoid spitting for at least 24 hours after the blood clot has formed and you remove the gauze. Instead of spitting, gently rinse your mouth and allow it to slowly dribble out of your mouth. Other than this, vigorous rinsing will also disturb the blood clot, and you should avoid it in the first 24 hours. Your oral surgeon will recommend saltwater rinses and when to do them. Lastly, using a straw for drinking can create suction and dislodge the blood clot after tooth extraction.

What’s Next?

You should remove the blood clot one to two hours after tooth extraction, which is the time your body requires to start forming a healthy blood clot. Our team at Mission Bend Family Dentistry offers effective and painless dental services. Visit us now at 7039 FM 1464, Suite 130, Richmond, TX, 77407, or schedule an appointment with us by dialing (832) 895-5110.

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