Post Treatment Care – Oral Surgery

  • Some bleeding is normal and to be expected.  Immediately after surgery, keep gauze pads over area with biting pressure for 1 hour.  Change gauze pads once every hour or two until the bleeding stops.  During this period, lie quietly, keeping head elevated.  If necessary, pack 3 or 4 gauze pads firmly into the cheek pouch between the cheek and teeth to aid in control of the bleeding.

  • Some oozing of blood may occur on the first and second days following the procedure.  This type of bleeding may be controlled by first wiping off any old clots and then placing sterile pads over the area and biting firmly for 1 hour at a time.

  • For mild discomfort take usual dosage of Tylenol or aspirin every 3-4 hours.  If this is not sufficient, take prescribed medication.  Patients taking codeine should not drive a car or operate machinery.  Take codeine with milk to decrease stomach irritability or nausea.  Unless otherwise advised, continue all other medications which you normally take.

  • Nourishment is essential for healing.  Drink plenty of liquids (soups or juices) and take more solid foods as you are able, avoiding chewing in the area of surgery.  Avoid hot fluids if you are bleeding.  A light, soft diet is recommended (eggs, jello, yogurt, pudding, hamburger, etc.).

  • Do not smoke for the remainder of the day of surgery.

  • Do not rinse, spit, or take fluids through a straw the day of surgery.

  • The day after surgery, you may rinse mouth with 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a full glass of warm water or warm water and mouthwash.  Rinse after each meal and before retiring at night.  Do not rinse if there is bleeding from the surgical area.

  • ORAL HYGIENE: Remove all white film from the gums with a cotton swab or piece of gauze.  Brush your teeth carefully, avoiding the surgical site.
  • Swelling around the mouth and cheeks may follow some surgical procedures.  This is the body’s normal reaction.  Swelling increases for 48 hours following surgery and usually subsides in several days.  To reduce ordinary post-operative swelling, apply an ice pack (45 minutes on and 15 minutes off) for up to the first 24 hours following the procedure.

  • In some cases discoloration of the skin follows swelling.  The purplish color may spread from the skin around the mouth and cheeks to the skin of the neck.  The purplish color fades into greenish yellow, then yellow and back to normal.  This discoloration is the result of blood elements spreading beneath the tissue layers.  This is perfectly normal post-operative event, especially in individuals who bruise easily.
  • To minimize jaw stiffness and stimulate circulation, exercise your jaw periodically by opening and closing.  Restricted jaw opening can occur and usually requires 7 – 14 days to return to normal.

  • Numbness of the lip, chin or tongue occasionally follows extractions.  This is usually transient and no cause for alarm.

  • BONY EDGES:  After teeth are extracted, the patient may feel hard projections in the mouth and think they are roots.  This is usually the hard, bony partition which surrounds the roots of the teeth.  These generally work themselves out.  If not, return to this office for their simple removal.
  • Infrequently, jaw pain, earache, or a bad taste in mouth may develop anywhere from 3 to 7 days following extraction.  This is the result of the blood clot decomposing or being lost, leaving the raw bony walls of the socket exposed (dry socket).  Return to this office for simple treatment (insertion of a medicated dressing.

  • Sutures (stitches) may have been placed in the area of surgery in order to minimize post operative bleeding and to facilitate healing.  They will be removed at a subsequent visit when healing is satisfactory.  Removal of sutures requires no anesthesia, takes only a minute or two and has no discomfort associated with the procedure.
  • Please feel free to notify this office of any unusual occurrences or questions.

Please call the office if you have any further questions or concerns

There are no silly questions…be safe and not sorry!!!

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