Post Surgery Instructions
We are committed to providing the same quality of care after your procedure as we did in the initial consultation. A speedy return to normal activity depends on following these recommendations. Please feel free to call our office at any time with questions.
Do not smoke for at least 24 hours following surgery. Smoking may contribute to post-surgery infection, bleeding and dry socket.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected after surgery. If bleeding continues or is excessive, remove all blood clots from the mouth with a damp washcloth. Place a tight ball of gauze or a moist tea bag over the bleeding area and apply firm pressure by biting your teeth together for 45 minutes. Apply ice to the side of your face and rest with your head elevated on pillows. Repeat this as necessary until the blood clot forms and the bleeding stops.
There is discomfort associated with any surgical procedure. For mild discomfort, take Tylenol or Ibuprofen every 6 hours (follow directions on bottle). For severe pain, use the prescription given to you. It is best to take pain medicine prior to disappearance of local anesthesia (numbness).
There is swelling associated with any surgical procedure. Some people swell more than others and some surgical procedures cause more swelling than others. Swelling usually peaks after 72 hours and will last 5 to 7 days. Applying ice packs to the face over the area of surgery for 24 to 48 hours immediately following surgery may prevent swelling. Apply the ice 30 minutes “on” and 30 minutes “off”. Crushed ice in a zip-lock baggie wrapped in a towel works well.
There is often bruising or discoloration of the skin associated with surgical procedures. Some people discolor more than others and some surgical procedures cause more discoloration than others. Discoloration usually lasts 7-14 days.
You may experience muscle stiffness and limited opening of your jaws for several days. This will resolve with exercise of the jaw muscles. Exercise the jaw muscles by chewing sugar-free bubble gum beginning 5 days after your surgery.
Do not over-exert yourself for 48 hours after your surgery. Avoid strenuous activity for 3 days.
You may brush your teeth and rinse orally beginning 24 hours after surgery. If you have been given a prescription for Periogard Oral Rinse, rinse as directed for 1 week after surgery. You may also rinse with warm salt water (1/4 tsp. of table salt in 8 oz. of warm water) several times a day for 7-10 days.
A nutritionally balanced diet is essential for gaining strength and rapid healing. Your diet should consist of soft foods that do not require chewing for 24-36 hours following surgery. You should advance your diet to normal food as tolerated. Drink plenty of fluids. Do not use a straw. Try to eat smaller meals more frequently. You will feel better, have more strength, experience less discomfort and heal faster.
Occasionally nausea will occur after surgery. In the event of nausea, do not take anything by mouth for at least one hour, including prescribed medicine. You should sip Coke, Ginger Ale, or tea. You should sip slowly over a 15-minute period. When your nausea subsides, you can begin taking solid foods and prescribed medicine again. If nausea continues, call our office immediately.
There usually is a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours after oral surgery. If a fever persists above 101.5 degrees F (under your tongue), call our office immediately.
If you have been given a prescription for an antibiotic, have it filled immediately and take as directed until all gone unless otherwise directed. Discontinue antibiotic use in the event of a rash or other unfavorable reaction.