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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 5989
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA
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I had a tooth pulled today how long do i keep the gauze in.

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Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  replied 8 years ago.

The gauze that is placed between the teeth at the conclusion of the extraction is only kept there long enough to allow the clot to form and harden, which takes about twenty to thirty minutes at most for a patient with normal clotting. After that, the gauze should be discarded.

The postoperative precautions are as follows:

- on the day of the extraction you may eat a soft diet and drink fluids, but confine chewing to the opposite side of the mouth, and resist the urge to rinse vigorously, The intent is to avoid dislodging the clot, provoking additional bleeding

-you can expect your saliva to be lightly tinged with blood-- that's OK. However, if you see a real flow of blood from the socket, you will need to resume clenching on a firm wad of gauze for an additional 30 minutes. Better yet, bite firmly on a moistened tea bag (regular black tea)-- avoid chewing or doing anything that would break the bag and fill your mouth with tea leaves. The tannins in tea encourage blood coagulation.

-avoid consuming hot items, avoid smoking, avoid sucking fluids through a straw, especially during the first two days postoperatively.

-if there is any postoperative complication (bleeding, pain, swelling), contact your dentist for assistance.

Good luck!
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