Oral Surgery Post-Op Instructions

Post Surgery Instructions

While you are recovering from surgery, we have some suggestions to make you more comfortable and speed the healing of the extraction site.

Expect to be a little sore for a day or so. Take any prescribed or suggested medications as directed. At any time you suspect the pain is abnormally intense call the office right away. If you were given antibiotics it is important that you take them as directed and finish the entire bottle so that any infection outside of the tooth is taken care of.

The day of surgery keep off your feet as much as possible, and avoid any strenuous activity for 48 hours. Ice packs should be used during the first 24 hours to minimize swelling. 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Moist heat may be used after 24 hours for comfort.

Continuous bleeding for up to 24 hours is normal. A gauze pad pressed gently over the area will minimize the bleeding. You were provided with extra gauze to use as necessary. Change out the gauze every 30 minutes – place enough gauze so that there is pressure on the extraction site when you bite down and keep continuous pressure on the site until the bleeding stops. A blood clot will begin to form within an hour and you must take special care within the first 24 hours not to dislodge it.

For the first 24 hours:

  • Avoid hot, carbonated and alcoholic beverages
  • Do not smoke, use any tobacco products, or use a straw
  • Avoid spitting
  • That evening brush your teeth gently but avoid the extraction site, limit spitting and do not swish or rinse.
  • Eat soft foods and drink plenty of fluids

After 24 hours:

  • You may begin to swish with warm salty water – dissolve ½ tsp of salt in a full glass of warm water and swish gently 3x a day.
  • If a little bleeding is still noticeable or if it starts back up, you can place a fresh tea bag moistened under warm water, place the bag over the site and bite down on it for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
  • If sutures were placed they will dissolve within 7 days in most cases. If not we will remove them at your follow up appointment.

Symptoms that may occur after a surgical procedure

  • If numbness of the lip, chin, or tongue persists after the first postoperative day, please let us know. On the rare occasions when this does occur, it is usually temporary in nature.
  • Slight elevation of temperature immediately following surgery is not uncommon. If the temperature persists, or becomes higher than 101.5 degrees, notify the office. Tylenol or Ibuprofen should be taken to reduce the fever.
  • You should be careful when going from the lying down position to standing.  The pain medications can sometimes make you dizzy.  It may be possible that you could get light headed or faint when you stand up suddenly. Before standing up, you should sit upright for one minute before attempting to get up.
  • If the corners of your mouth are stretched, they may dry out and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.
  • Stiffness (Trismus) of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening your mouth for a few days following surgery. This is a normal post-operative event which will resolve in time.

Always call our office if you have a question or concern following any procedure.