ZocdocAnswersAt what day is the blood clot expected to slowly come off after a tooth extraction?

Question

At what day is the blood clot expected to slowly come off after a tooth extraction?

I recently had a tooth extraction on #31. I developed a blood clot that is currently whitish in color. I am concerned about dry socket so I keep track of the clot. I have only been eating very soft foods but it seems each time I eat, I lose some of the clot. My dentist said this is normal, once the bleeding stops & healing begins, the clot has served its purpose. Do you agree with this? At what day is the blood clot expected to slowly come off? Is it considered normal to lose a part of the clot upon eating, 3rd to 4th day after extraction?

Answer

It sounds as if you have been doing a good job of communicating with your dentist after your recent dental procedure, and I encourage you to continue to do so. As you know, the clot serves a valuable purpose in protecting the bone and underlying tissues after a tooth is extracted. In its absence, a low grade infection known as dry socket can ensue. For that reason it is common for your dentist to advise practices that will protect the clot and the healing process, such as not drinking with a straw for some time period after the tooth is removed. With regards to how long the clot needs to remain in place, it is usually anywhere from a few days to a week or so. It is important to follow the advice of your dentist to make sure that you heal appropriately. Failure to do so can result in the pain and discomfort of a dry socket and may persist for some time. Fortunately, this is preventable in most cases by following your dentist's advice, and can be treated quickly if it occurs. The first sign of this is increased pain, so please continue to work closely with your dentist, and discuss this question with him or her.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.