Oral Surgery Instructions
You have been scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure. The extent of the discomfort and swelling which you may experience is in large part, controllable by you.
Things to Expect:
Swelling: This is normal following a surgical procedure in the mouth. It will typically be at its worst within 24-48 hours, and diminish by the 4th post-op day.
Discomfort: The most discomfort which you will experience will be during the period when sensation returns to your mouth.
Hemorrhage: Bleeding or “oozing” for the first 12-24 hours is to be expected and is normal.
Difficulty in Opening and/or Swallowing: This is due to injury suffered by various muscles of the mouth. It should last no longer than 1-3 days.
Things to Do:
- Bite on the sponges placed in your mouth at the end of the procedure for at least 1 hour. If hemorrhage continues at a significant rate, place another sponge into the mouth over the site and bite on it for another hour. No damage results from biting on compress for periods of time up to 24 hours.
- Apply ice to the side of your face where the surgery was done. Place ice into a plastic bag, wrap it in a towel and hold it to your face for 20 minutes out of the hour on the day of surgery. This may be continued on subsequent days if it provides relief from discomfort. The ice should reduce the amount of swelling.
- After waiting one 1 hour, one should be able to take fluids by mouth. A liquid or soft diet may be necessary for the first 2 days. This would include soups, soft cereals, mashed potatoes, etc. An adequate fluid intake is essential.
- Take all medications as directed. The medication is prescribed to control pain and prevent infection.
- Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water starting on the day after the surgery. 1 teaspoon to an 8-ounce glass of water is advisable. This will speed up the healing by maintaining a clean wound.
Things Not to Do:
- Do not apply heat to the face for the first 3 days. This will increase the swelling and is not advisable.
- Try to avoid spitting and using a straw. This creates a negative pressure in the mouth and tends to dissolve the blood clot which in turn, leads to more hemorrhaging.
- Try to avoid strenuous physical activity for 24 hours. This includes bowling, swimming and other sports in which one becomes winded. Physical activity causes increased blood pressure, which may cause renewal of hemorrhage.
- Try to avoid smoking for at least 48 hours. This causes irritation to the surgical site and may cause additional hemorrhage or dry socket.
After a tooth is pulled, a blood clot forms in the socket to protect the bone and nerves underneath. Sometimes that clot can become dislodged or dissolve a couple of days after the extraction. That leaves the bone and nerve exposed to air, food, fluid, and anything else that enters the mouth. This can lead to infection and severe pain that can last for 5 or 6 days. Please call our office if you have any of these symptoms.
For pain, we recommend you take:
600mg Ibuprofen (3 over the counter pills of Advil, Motrin or generic equivalent) every 6 hours for the next 2 days.
1000mg Acetaminophen (2 extra strength Tylenol or generic equivalent) every 6-8 hours for the next 2 days.