POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR ORAL SURGERY PATIENTS
With proper attention to postoperative care, most surgical procedure involving the oral cavity will heal quickly and without complication.
- BLEEDING/PROTECTION OF THE BLOOD CLOT: Maintain gentle pressure by biting on the gauze sponge placed over the surgical area. Do this for at least 45 minutes to an hour. If bleeding continues, replace sponge with another as provided and maintain pressure for another 30 minutes. Some oozing of blood is normal following oral surgery and it may persist until the next day. Do not replace gauze if there is no active bleeding.
- DO NOT RINSE: Do not rinse or use mouthwash for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon table salt in 8oz. of warm water) every 2-3 hours during awake hours for the next 5 days. Do not rinse vigorously, this may initiate bleeding at the site of surgery. (The use of commercial mouthwashes during the healing period is not encouraged.)
- PAIN: Following oral surgery it is normal to experience some discomfort. Appropriate pain medications will be prescribed by the surgeon if necessary. If none has been prescribed, take two Advil taken every 6-8 hours should be helpful. (As long as you do not have allergies to Advil or Ibuprofen)
- SWELLING: Swelling of the jaw and facial tissues often follows oral surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag as soon as possible to the affected side of the face for a 15 minute interval. This ice bag should be used the first 24-48 hours after the day of surgery. However, swelling may persist and even increase for the next day or two before it begins to subside. At times, difficulty in fully opening the mouth will follow after the removal of impacted wisdom teeth. As the swelling resolves, a normal degree of opening will return.
- THE TOOTHBRUSH: The toothbrush may be carefully used in the area of the mouth not involved in the surgical procedure. A clean mouth heals faster.
- EATING: Adequate food and fluid intake following surgery and/or general extractions is the most important. If you find that eating your regular diet is too difficult you should supplement your diet with nourishing liquids and soft foods. Solid food may be added as soon as they can be chewed comfortably.
- AVOID: Avoid all excessive activity, don’t consume liquids through a straw, avoid alcoholic beverages until healing is well established.
- SUTURES: If non resorbable sutures were used, it is important to return on the appointment date so that they can be removed unless they are resorbable sutures. In this case you may not have to return if the surgeon has thus specified.
Prolonged or excessive discomfort, swelling, bleeding, or fever seldom arise; however, if there are questions you should contact the office so that further direct instructions for your care may be given.
DIET DO’S AND DON’T
- When you get home, remove all gauze.
- Have a big drink of water. Take your pain medication. Have another big drink of water.
- Have a milk shake and nothing else for two hours. DO NOT USE A STRAW FOR ONE WEEK.
- Rest! Apply cold packs for two days.
- You can have liquids, cream of tomato soup, puddings, Jell-O, plain yogurt, etc. (no seeds! Vanilla, chocolate, and lemon are okay!).
- STARTING DAY TWO FOR ONE WEEK Next day start with soft foods; eggs, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, bananas, pastas, etc.
- Start brushing today with a little toothpaste.
- Use warm saltwater. Put warm salt water in your mouth and hold for one minute. DO NOT spit, rinse, or swish. Let the water run out of your mouth. Do this for one week.
- If you DO NOT feel better within three days, Call us, do not wait!