Care of Mouth After Oral Surgery
- Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after surgery.
- Keep fingers and tongue away from socket or surgical area.
- Use ice packs on surgical area (side of face) for first 48 hours, apply ice 20 minutes on — 10 minutes off. Bags of frozen peas and corn work well.
- For mild discomfort take Tylenol or Ibuprofen every three to four hours.
- For severe pain use the medication prescribed to you.
- Drink plenty of fluids. (Do not use a straw)
- If the muscles of the jaw become stiff, chewing gum at intervals will help relax the muscles, as well as the use of warm, moist heat to the outside of your face over these muscles.
- After the first post-operative day, use a warm salt-water rinse following meals for the first week to flush out particles of food and debris which may lodge in the surgical area. (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Mouthwash can be added for better taste.)
- Diet may consist of soft foods which can be easily chewed and swallowed. No seeds, nuts, rice, popcorn, etc.
- A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure to the surgical area using small rolled gauze for 90 minutes. After that time remove the gauze and then you may eat or drink. If bleeding persists, a moist tea bag should be placed in the area of bleeding and bite firmly for one hour straight. This will aid in clotting blood. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding still persists call our office.
We suggest that you do not smoke for at least 5 days after surgery. Nicotine may break down the blood clot and cause a “dry-socket”.
Feel free to contact us if any doubt arises as to your progress and recovery.
Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not get alarmed.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice cubes on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously as much as possible for the first 36 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.
You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-4 tablets may be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed.
Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can. Rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) six times a day. Continue this procedure until healing is complete. REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment that may weaken you.
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery.
Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.