General Post-Operative Instructions

The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal after having oral surgery:

  • The surgical area will swell.
  • Swelling peaks on the 2nd or 3rd post -operative day.
  • Swelling peaks on the 2nd or 3rd post -operative day.
  • You may have a slight earache.
  • A sore throat may develop.
  • Your other teeth may ache temporarily. This is referred pain and is a temporary condition.
  • If the corners of the mouth are stretched out they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with cream or ointment.
  • There will be a space where the tooth was removed.
  • There may be a slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If temperature continues, notify us.
  • It is not unusual to develop discoloration in the area of an extraction.

Care of the Mouth After Oral Surgery

  1. Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after surgery.
  2. Keep fingers and tongue away from socket or surgical area.
  3. Use ice packs on surgical area (side of face) for first 24 hours, apply ice 20 minutes on – 20 minutes off. Bags of frozen peas work well.
  4. Keep your head elevated when you want to sleep for the next few days after surgery ( you may use additional pillows under your head.
  5. For mild discomfort, take ibuprofen every four to six hours as directed.
  6. For severe pain use the prescription given to you.
  7. Drink plenty of fluids. (Do not use a straw).
  8. Beginning the second day after surgery, if the muscles of the jaw become stiff, the use of warm, moist heat to the outside of your face over these muscles will help relieve this.
  9. After the first postoperative day, use a warm, saltwater rinse following meals for the first week to flush out particles of food and debris which may lodge in the surgical area and to promote earlier healing. (One teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water. Mouthwash can be added for better taste.
  10. Diet may consist of soft foods which can be easily chewed and swallowed. No seeds, nuts, rice, popcorn, etc.
  11. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure to the surgical area using small rolled gauze for 45 minutes. After that time remove the gauze and then you may eat or drink. If bleeding persists, a moist teabag should be placed in the area of bleeding and you should bite firmly for one hour. This will aid in stopping the oozing. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding still persists call our office.
  12. We suggest that you do not smoke for at least 5 days after surgery. Feel free to contact us if any doubt arises as to your progress and recovery.

What you should do following extractions and other oral surgery procedures:

A certain amount of bleeding, pain, and swelling is normal. Reduce your activity as much as possible for several hours. Avoid eating, drinking, and unnecessary talking. Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for 24 hours. These activities may hinder formation of a blood clot which is necessary for proper healing.

Do not be alarmed if your vision is blurred for a time following anesthesia or if discoloration should appear at the site of an injection. The arm also may be discolored, swollen and tender to touch due to the IV.

Follow the simple instructions below to minimize complications and help ensure prompt recovery.

To Control Bleeding

Immediately following the procedure. . .keep a steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze placed there by your doctor. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and permits formation of a clot in the tooth socket. Gently remove the compress after the local anesthesia has worn off and normal feeling has returned.

After 24 hours… some oozing of blood may persist. If necessary, resume use of moist tea bags. After bleeding has stopped, cautiously resume oral hygiene.

To Relieve Pain

Begin taking medication as directed by your doctor within three to four hours following the procedure to minimize discomfort when the anesthesia wears off and feeling at the surgical site returns back to normal. Application of an ice bag for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to that side of the face may help.

After 24 hours, continue to take your medication if pain persists, and use an ice bag if needed.

To Minimize Swelling

Immediately following procedure apply an ice bag over the affected area. Use 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 24 hours to help prevent development of excessive swelling and discomfort. If an ice bag is unavailable, simply fill a heavy plastic bag with crushed ice. Tie end securely and cover with a soft cloth to avoid skin irritation.

After 24 hours it should not be necessary to continue with cold applications. You may expect swelling for 7 to 10 days and a fever of 99 degrees F to 100 degrees F.

Oral Hygiene Is Important

24 hours after surgery, rinse mouth gently with a solution of one teaspoonful of salt dissolved in a glass of water. Repeat after every meal or snack for seven days. Rinsing is important because it removes food particles and debris from the socket area and thus helps prevent infection and promote healing. Brush tongue with a dry toothbrush to keep bacteria growth down, but be careful not to touch the extraction site.
Resume your regular tooth brushing, but avoid disturbing the surgical site so as not to loosen or remove the blood clot.

Maintain a Proper Diet

Have your meals at the usual time. Eat soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of liquids – with meals and in between. Have what you wish, but be careful not to disturb the blood clot. Add solid foods to your diet as soon as they are comfortable to chew.

In Case of Problems

You should experience no trouble if you follow the instructions and suggestions as outlined. But if you should have any problems such as excessive bleeding, pain, or difficulty in opening your mouth, call our office immediately for further instructions or additional treatment.

Remember Your Follow-Up Visit

It is advisable to return for a postoperative visit to make certain healing is progressing satisfactorily. A follow-up visit will be scheduled. In the meantime, maintain a healthful diet, observe rules for proper oral hygiene, and visit your dentist for regular checkups.