Written Oral Surgery Instructions help the patient to heal.
Emergency Dental Care has been administered and the after effects of oral surgery vary per individual, so not all of these
instructions may apply. Please feel free to call our office any time should you have questions, or experience any unusual symptoms following your treatment.
DAY OF SURGERY
Oral Hygiene and Care: DO NOT drink with a straw and DO NOT RINSE or brush or probe the surgical site with your tongue, any objects, or your fingers. DO NOT SMOKE for at least 48 hours, since it is detrimental to the healing process.
You may start normal tooth brushing the day after the surgery or after bleeding is controlled. Start rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water rinse(1/2 tsp. salt with 1 cup water) every 2 – 3 hours. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, omit the salt and rinse with plain warm water. Continue this for several days, then rinse 3 – 4 times a day for the
next 2 weeks. It is very important to keep your mouth clean, since an accumulation of food or debris may promote infection.
Bleeding: Do not disturb the surgical area today. Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze pack that we have initially placed over the surgical site, making sure that the gauze packing stays in place. The gauze may be changed when necessary and/or repositioned for comfort. This is important to allow blood clot formation in the surgical site. Some bleeding is normal and blood – tinged saliva may be present for 24 hours. Do not eat or go to sleep with gauze in your mouth.
Steady Bleeding: Bleeding should not be severe. If bleeding persists, this may be due to the gauze packing being clenched between the teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical site. Try re – positioning the gauze. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, substitute a moist tea bag (first moisten in water, squeeze it dry and place over the area for 20 – 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, call us.
Swelling or Bruising: Swelling is to be expected, and usually reaches its maximum in 48 hours. To minimize swelling, a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a towel should be applied to the face adjacent the to the surgical site. This should be applied 20 minutes on the face then removed for 20 minutes during the first 12 – 24 hours after surgery. After 24 hours, it is usually best to switch from using the cold pack to applying moist heat to the area until swelling has receded. Bruising may also
occur, but should disappear soon. Tightness of the jaw muscles may cause difficulty in opening the mouth. Chewing gum will help to exercise and relax jaw muscles. This should disappear within 7 days. Keep lips moist with lip balms such as Chap Stick or Burt’s Bee’s formula to prevent cracking or chapping.
Diet: Eat nourishing food high in protein such as your favorite soup, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Ensure, Meritene, etc. Avoid gritty foods such as nuts, seeds, or popcorn, which may get lodged in the surgical site. Over the next several days, you may progress to more solid foods. Proper nourishment aids in the healing process. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal diet as much as possible and follow your physician’s instructions regarding your insulin schedule.
Pain and Medications: Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. Take the pain medication prescribed as directed. The local anesthetic administered during your surgery may last 1 – 4 or more hours
depending on the area where it is given. If you do not achieve adequate pain relief with the prescribed medication, you
may supplement each pill with an analgesic such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Taking the pain medication with soft food and a large volume of water will lessen any side effects of nausea or stomach upset.
Day After Surgery
Start normal tooth brushing and continue to rinse your mouth with warm salt water for the next two 2 weeks. It is especially
important to do so after meals and snacks. If swelling still exists, switch from using a cold pack to applying moist heat until swelling has receded. Remember, proper nutrition aids in the healing process, so continue to eat foods that can be taken with comfort.
Should you have any questions or concerns, call us.
Help your patients to heal faster with good oral surgery instructions.