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Question
QUESTION: Last week I had my bottom right wisdom tooth removed and a cyst removed from inside my cheek.  The swelling has gone down some but I still have some blood loss.  I'm eating soft foods, mainly yogurt.  I'm careful when I brush not to brush too hard to hit the wound but yet still I have some blood loss.  I can taste it in my mouth and if I spit in the sink there will be some blood.  How long will this last.  It's only been a week but I wanted to know if it's normal to still have blood loss a week after surgery.  Thank you.

ANSWER: Rick, after a week of bleeding, the area should have resolved.  If not and bleeding still continues it could be from stitches that have loosened or it could be from inflammation.  You should contact the surgeon and have him the bleeding area soon.  Whatever the cause, the surgeon needs to determine if there is a situation that needs an evaluation.

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QUESTION: How should I rinse my mouth out with salt water and how much.  I've been taking a small cup and putting in about 25-30 dashes of salt in the cup with warm water, putting the water in my mouth and letting it absorb itself on the wound.  Is that the right way to do it.  I don't want to swish it around because I don't want to do any damage to the area. Can you please tell me the right way to rinse with salt water.

Answer
Rick a simple and correct way to rinse and prepare the warm salt water, is to use about 8 ounces of warm water and add one teaspoon of salt.  Take a spoon and gently mix it to dissolve the salt then rinses by swishing the salt water a few times in your mouth, especially in the problem area.  In your situation, I would suggest rinsing gently for about 30 seconds 3-4 times a day.  That should help to reduce any inflammation in the area and promote normal healing.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired

Expertise

I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.

Experience

Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Education/Credentials
BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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