Do not disturb the surgical area today. Do not rinse vigorously, gargle or spit, use a straw or probe the area with any objects, or take any pain medication on an empty stomach. (Always eat food before you take pain medication.)
Please do not smoke for at least 2 weeks.
Intermittent bleeding or oozing for up to 48 hours is normal. Bleeding should never be severe. Place fresh gauze over the surgical area and bite down firmly for 30–45 minutes to control bleeding, if needed. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, you may substitute a tea bag (soaked in warm water then squeezed damp-dry) for 20–30 minutes. Removal all gauze during eating, drinking, and sleeping. Brush your teeth gently. (Stay away from the surgical area.)
Swelling is often associated with oral surgery. Swelling can be minimized by using a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the face adjacent to the surgical area. Apply ice packs to the outside of the face rotating 20 minutes on then 20 minutes off for the first 48 hours. If you have been prescribed medicine to control swelling, take it as prescribed. Keep head elevated when resting or sleeping. Beginning the third day, apply warm compresses (hot water bottle, moist towels, or heating pad) to swollen areas for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off to help soothe tender areas. This will also help decrease swelling and stiffness.
Please continue taking your regular medications at the prescribed dose and normal times.
Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You may have been given a prescription for pain medication, which you should fill immediately. You may also take over-the-counter pain medications such has Advil® or Aleve®. Take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off. Take your pain medications with a full glass of water. If you do not achieve adequate relief at first, you may supplement each pain pill with an over-the-counter analgesic, such as ibuprofen. Some patients may even require 2 of the pain pills at one time. Call our office during normal business hours if you feel that you will need a refill on pain medication.
You may eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. You are your own best judge. It is important to begin eating and drinking as soon as possible. Soft foods are advisable for the first day, such as popsicles, Jell-O®, soups, scrambled eggs, yogurt, pasta, etc. Drink plenty of fluids. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor.
Do not eat or drink any extremely hot foods or drinks while you are still numb. Do not eat foods like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc.
Nausea is not uncommon after surgery. Allow your stomach to gradually settle down. Sips of flat Classic Coca-Cola® or ginger ale can be helpful. Lay still in a quiet, dark, cool room. Call our office if nausea and/or vomiting persist longer than 24 hours.
Second and Third Days
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. If you were prescribed an antibacterial mouth rinse, begin using the rinse the day after surgery, as directed. If you were not prescribed an antibacterial mouth rinse, gently rinse your mouth with a ¼ teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Repeat as often as you like, but at least 2 or 3 times daily. If you were given a syringe, begin using your syringe 5 days after surgery. Fill the syringe with warm water. Place the tip of the syringe into the extraction site and flush the surgical area after meals and before bedtime. (Lower teeth only)
Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery.
Each person responds a little differently to surgery and medication. You may experience some of the following normal reactions:
The first three days after surgery are generally the most uncomfortable. There is usually some swelling. Often, the third post-op day will be the peak of swelling. On the fourth day, you should begin to see improvement and be more comfortable. Skin discoloration of the face and neck may be expected; it may take a week to completely disappear. The arm or hand near the site where the IV needle was placed may remain inflamed and tender; application of heat on the area will usually correct these symptoms. The remainder of the post-operative course should be gradual, steady improvement.
Call Us If
You don’t see steady improvement during the first 4 or 5 days after surgery. There is a noticeable, distinct, persistent pain in the jaw area, often radiating toward the ear and forward along the jaw, which may cause other teeth to ache. Severe pain persists. You experience numbness or loss of sensation of the lip and chin that persists more than a few days. You feel something hard or sharp in the surgical areas.
PLEASE NOTE: Telephone calls for narcotic (painkiller) prescription renewals are accepted only during office hours.