What Does a Blood Clot Look Like After Tooth Extraction?

When Can You Drink Alcohol After a Tooth Extraction?

What Does a Blood Clot Look Like After Tooth Extraction?

If you’ve had a tooth extracted before, you’ll know that your dentist will tell you to try not to disturb the blood clot forming on the wound site where your tooth was removed, to help the hole in the gum heal over. But if you don’t know what a blood clot should look like, it’s hard to know whether you have a blood clot forming over the tooth extraction site or not.

Plus, if your tooth extraction site isn’t healing well or becomes infected, you need to know what to look for so you don’t miss the signs of an infection or poor healing. So let’s look at what to expect during and after your tooth extraction procedure, including what a blood clot looks like, so you know what to expect after a tooth extraction.

During a Tooth Extraction

During a Tooth Extraction

When you have a tooth taken out, you won’t have a general anaesthetic as this can be risky when having dental procedures, but in some cases, if you’re very anxious about the procedure, you may be able to have your teeth removed under sedation at a hospital or dental practice with the appropriate licence to perform sedation.

Most of the time, however, a local anaesthetic will be injected into your gum around the area where the tooth will be removed. This is not a painful part of the procedure but it may be an unpleasant feeling. If you’re scared of needles, close your eyes while it’s being done and it’ll be over before you know it.

Once the anaesthetic has started working (your dentist will test to see if you can feel anything and administer more anaesthetic if necessary), the dentist will start removing your tooth. If the tooth has already grown out, they’ll wiggle the tooth back and forth until it becomes loose. You’ll feel some pressure on your other teeth, but the extraction process is painless.

If your tooth hasn’t come out, for example, you have an impacted wisdom tooth, the dentist will cut the gum with a scalpel and they may have to break the tooth to remove it in parts. This procedure is also painless, but it’s normal to feel a bit anxious around any dental procedure.

Tooth Extraction Aftercare

Tooth Extraction Aftercare

Once the tooth has been removed, you may have stitches if the gum had to be cut, or you’ll simply be given a wad of clean gauze to bite down on to put pressure on the new hole in the gum, known as the tooth socket. After a couple of minutes, you’ll be given aftercare advice and allowed to go home.

When the anaesthetic wears off you will experience some pain, and it’s normal for some swelling to appear for a few days. You’ll be advised to take a painkiller like ibuprofen to help reduce the swelling and stop the pain, as well as putting an ice pack on and off the area to help with the swelling.

For the first 24 hours after your procedure, you should avoid rinsing your mouth or spitting, and try to eat soft foods on the other side of your mouth to avoid food getting stuck in the tooth socket. The blood clot will start to form straight away but can be disturbed by spitting and tough foods, so you’ll have to avoid these to keep the blood clot on the site to help the socket heal.

How to Know Your Socket is Healing

Different people’s gums heal at different paces, depending on their immune system, aftercare practices and how the tooth extraction was performed, so don’t worry if you think yours is taking longer to heal than it should. The main thing to be concerned with is that the bleeding stops within 24 hours of the procedure. You shouldn’t have any heavy bleeding afterwards so call your dentist or bite down on a clean handkerchief for a few minutes to stop the bleeding if you do, but it’s normal to have some blood in your drool for the first day, but no longer. 

If you want to check that the site is healing well, or you think something is not right, you can look at the wound with a torch and a mirror to look out for the blood clot. It may be hard to open your mouth on the first day after your procedure due to having kept it wide open while the tooth is extracted, but this is nothing to worry about and it will get easier as time passes.

What Does a Blood Clot Look Like After Tooth Extraction?

What Does a Blood Clot Look Like After Tooth Extraction?

A blood clot is the body’s way of preventing further bleeding and ensuring bacteria can’t get into the wound site. They’re made up of blood cells, platelets and plasma. On the outside of the body, they’re scabs, and on the inside, in places like the mouth, they can appear similar to scabs, but softer in texture.

A blood clot after a tooth extraction should be a small dark blob, getting smaller each day as the socket heals. After several days, the wound will heal and the blood clot will dissolve and disappear.

Keeping your mouth free from bacteria is difficult as you need to keep eating, and cleaning your mouth following an extraction is difficult, however, a healthy blood clot can help prevent any bacteria from entering the gap and stop any infections.

You may notice a creamy white substance around the clot, but this isn’t usually pus from an infection as you may think, but a collection of white blood cells that form to cover and protect the wound alongside the blood clot.

If you don’t see a blood clot in the area, you may have a dry socket which will take longer to heal. Contact your dentist for advice on how to help your gum and nerves regrow.

How to Get a Tooth Extraction

How to Get a Tooth Extraction

Not every kind of toothache will require a tooth extraction. Dentists recommend taking painkillers and cleaning the affected tooth well, but if the pain is unbearable or last more than a few days, you should see a dentist as soon as possible

Some causes of toothache include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Dental abscess
  • Broken or cracked teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Impacted wisdom teeth
  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching

If you have broken or damaged your tooth, you will probably need to have it removed. You can book an appointment with an NHS or private dentist to have your tooth removed; although it will take a lot longer to get an NHS appointment, it will usually be cheaper than seeing a private dentist. Seeing a private dentist does have numerous benefits, however, with regards to timely appointments and more time spent caring for you.

You don’t always have to book an appointment for your tooth extraction, you can also get your tooth removed in an emergency appointment if necessary.

How to Get an Emergency Tooth Extraction

If you have unbearable toothache, or have sustained damage to your mouth that you think requires emergency care, you should call your dentist to see them as an emergency. If it’s outside of your dentist’s normal opening hours, their answerphone will tell you where your nearest emergency dentist is and how to get in touch with them. If you are not registered with a dentist, you can call 111 to find out how to find an emergency dentist.

How to Know When Your Toothache is an Emergency

For all dental issues, you need to see a dentist; neither a GP nor a hospital can help you for toothache or tooth infections.

However, in absolute emergencies, you should go to the emergency department for your dental issue. Only go to a hospital for a dental problem if:

  • You have difficulty breathing
  • You have difficulty swallowing
  • You are experiencing heavy bleeding from your mouth
  • You have swelling of your tongue, lips, throat, neck or eyes

Otherwise, call your dentist for an emergency appointment and they will assess the situation to see what procedure needs to be done.

Get Your Dental Appointment Now at Didsbury Dental Practice

For routine and emergency dental care in the Manchester area, look no further than Didsbury Dental Practice!

Share this post