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The worst (but bloody crucial) part after getting my tooth extracted

After my intense tooth extraction procedure, it was 2 o’clock on March 16. Jon and I walked back home to avoid taking the bus. San Francisco had declared a state of emergency and shelter-in-place would take place in a matter of ten hours.

Jon braved through the Walgreens-panic-buying-crowd to get me naproxen that was prescribed by the dentist. What I was more anxious about, at that instance, was the blood in my mouth.


I sat at the back of Walgreens with bitter blood welling up in my mouth. Rule No.1 – Do not spit. I discreetly slipped one side of my mask away (hoping that no one will notice), to let the blood flow onto my handkerchief. YUCK!

We rushed back home as quickly as we could. The Web told us that it is okay to swallow. Really? Feeling quite disgusted by the idea, Jon phoned the clinic to double-check.

“They say you could gently let the blood flow out.”

The next few hours were unbearable. I was supposed to keep the gauze in place unless it was completely soaked. I slowly started to swallow my bloody saliva because it is okay.


After removing the tooth, they will place gauze over the extraction site to help control bleeding and promote clotting.

Medical News Today – Medically reviewed by Christine Frank, DDS on August 23, 2019 — Written by Jon Johnson

Bleeding is essential for the “blood clot”, yet there was also much emphasis on excessive bleeding. About three hours after the surgery, I got rather anxious about the blood.


In the first few hours, I changed the gauze whenever I find the blood taste overpowering. Then, I remembered the “blood clot” that was supposed to happen and to achieve it, I can’t change the gauze too often!

Note to self: Don’t be paranoid, check the colour of the gauze and hang in there! When it’s pinkish (mostly saliva + blood), change to a new gauze and patiently wait for an hour or so.

I removed the gauze after six hours. Tooth #19 was not there anymore. The extraction site remained pretty bloody, but blood was no longer welling in my mouth.

Time to get some rest.

[To be continued…]

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