Every year, millions of Americans undergo a wisdom teeth extraction. Luckily, most patients recover quickly, but it's normal to feel concerned about your teen's recovery. You can expect them to experience discomfort, swelling and temporary bleeding after their procedure. If their surgical sites are still bleeding when they return home from the dentist's or oral surgeon's office, you may want to turn to a tea bags wisdom teeth remedy. Did you know minor wisdom teeth bleeding may be relieved with this surprising pantry staple?
How to Use Tea Bags
To use this remedy, moisten a tea bag with hot water. Let the tea bag cool, and then have your child bite down on the bag. They should leave the tea bag in place for 30 minutes, before removing it. It can be tempting to keep removing the bag to see if the bleeding has stopped, but removing the bag too early can disrupt the developing blood clot.
After a wisdom tooth extraction, bleeding can occur intermittently for the first few days, explains U.S. News and World Report. If the bleeding resumes, prepare another tea bag.
To prevent persistent bleeding, instruct your young patient to be careful with the blood clots in the sockets. Blood clots can be dislodged by strenuous activities, drinking through straws or excessive spitting, and this can worsen bleeding. For the first day of their recovery, they shouldn't even use a toothbrush, since brushing can dislodge the clot. After 24 hours, they can gently brush their teeth with a toothbrush which removes bacteria from teeth, tongue, cheeks and gums.
How the Tea Bags Wisdom Teeth Remedy Works
Tea bags may help control bleeding in a few ways. First, biting down on a tea bag puts pressure on the wound, and pressure helps stop the bleeding. Gauze works in the same way, but since tea tastes better than gauze, your child may be more willing to leave the tea bag in place for the required 30 minutes.
Tea also has a unique property: tannins. Tannins contracts the damaged tissue and capillaries, helping to stop the bleeding, according to a study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (EBCAM). Tea, and other plants that contain tannins, have been used for cessation of bleeding since ancient times.
Choosing the Right Tea Bags
To reap the benefits of this method, it's important to choose the right type of tea. The study in EBCAM suggests that green tea is a good choice. In the study, volunteers applied either a regular piece of gauze or a piece of gauze soaked with green tea extract to their tooth extraction sites. The people in the green tea extract group experienced a significant decline in bleeding. They also experienced less oozing after their surgeries.
When to See a Dentist
Not everyone needs a follow-up appointment after their wisdom teeth extraction, so if your teen doesn't have any complaints or need any stitches removed, their dentist or oral surgeon may not need to see them. On the other hand, complications must be evaluated by a dental professional. Uncontrollable bleeding, pus in and around the sockets, a bad taste in the mouth, severe pain, worsening swelling, and/or a fever are side effects that require the immediate attention of a dentistor oral surgeon.
Wisdom teeth extraction is a rite of passage for many teenagers. With your support, the help of the dential professional, and perhaps a tea bag, your child should be feeling better in no time.