Oral Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions

  • AVOID strenuous physical activity and smoking for the first 48-72 hours following the procedure.
  • Start the prescribed medications immediately and AVOID all alcoholic beverages.
  • The prescribed pain medications may cause drowsiness and impair your ability to drive and perform delicate tasks. Avoid all activities requiring your full, alert attention while on pain medication.
  • Be sure to drink plenty of fluids during the healing process.
  • Apply cold compresses to the surgical side of your face intermittently during the first 48 hours. Following this period, apply moist warm compresses intermittently to reduce swelling as needed.
  • If necessary, you can lubricate the corners of your mouth with lip balm.
  • Aim for a complete, but soft, diet and avoid spicy and crunchy foods

Bleeding: Bite on the gauze over the extraction or surgical site for two hours. Try to maintain a steady pressure while doing this and, if you have to talk, try to talk with the teeth together to avoid moving the gauze. Do not rinse your mouth for the first day as continuous rinsing and spitting will aggravate bleeding. If the bleeding is excessive, like a nose bleed, for more than 5 minutes, more than 2 hours after your procedure, bite on gauze or a tea bag. AVOID exertion and lie down with your head elevated at least 30 degrees (2 pillows). If this does not resolve the bleeding, please call the office for further instructions.

Discomfort: Following all types of surgery, a certain amount of discomfort is anticipated. If pain is not adequately controlled with the recommended or prescribed medication(s) or persists for a prolonged period of time (5 days or more) without much improvement, please contact the office. Nausea can be minimized by taking milk with the pain pills. Carbonated water or Gravol every 3-4 hours will also help reduce nausea.

Swelling and stiffness: Some swelling can be expected, particularly after multiple extractions or after the removal of an impacted tooth. The swelling will usually be more noticeable after two days then it usually begins to recede. A certain amount of discoloration could also be noticed and this is caused by blood in the tissues, which rises to the surface of the skin. This will disappear and there is no cause for concern.

Diet: Take nourishment in any form you can tolerate. Drink plenty of fluids such as water, milk or soups. Refraining from eating may delay the healing process so do take nourishment.

Oral hygiene: The day following surgery, the mouth may be rinsed gently with warm salt water (1 tsp of salt to 8oz of warm water) every 2-3 hours during the waking hours and should be continued for about one week. Do not use commercial mouthwash. A soft toothbrush may be used to gently clean the remaining teeth.

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