Oral Surgery Post Operative Instructions

What to Expect after an extraction:

  • Swelling: It is normal following a surgical procedure. It should reach its maximum in 24 to 48 hours and diminish by the fourth day after surgery.
  • Discomfort: The most discomfort is experienced immediately after the anesthetic wears off and sensation returns to the mouth.
  • Hemorrhage: Bleeding or “oozing” is expected for the first 12-24 hours

Please DON’T:

  • DO NOT APPLY HEAT TO THE FACE! This will increase swelling.
  • AVOID SPITTING, SMOKING, OR DRINKING FROM STRAWS! This kind of activity disturbs the blood clot and may lead to bleeding, infections and pain.
  • AVOID STRENUOUS EXERCISE FOR THE FIRST 24 HOURS! Physical activity causes blood pressure to rise and can result in discomfort and may increase bleeding.

Please DO:

  • Anesthetic: An anesthetic will be used during the surgery. Your cheeks, lips and tongue might feel numb for few hours after your appointment. Please avoid hot drinks and don’t chew any food until the numbness has subsided so as not to accidentally burn or bite your cheeks or tongue.
  • Bleeding: Bite on the gauze placed in your mouth for at least an hour after the procedure: If slight bleeding continues, place dampened gauze over the bleeding area and hold it firmly for twenty minutes until it stops. Repeat this procedure as necessary and/or call the clinic if bleeding continues.
  • Swelling: Swelling is usually in proportion to the surgery involved. It may be minimized by the use of ice/cold packs. To prevent swelling, apply an ice pack or a cold towel to the outside of your face in the general area of the extraction during the first 12 hours. Apply alternately, 10 minutes on the area and then 10 minutes off, continue doing this for an hour or longer if necessary.
  • Diet: You can consume liquids and soft foods an hour after surgery. A liquid/soft diet may be necessary for the next 48 hours to decrease discomfort. This diet includes soups, cereals, mashed potatoes, and an intake of at least two quarts of fluids/liquids per day.
  • Medications: Take all medications as directed. They are prescribed mainly to control pain to prevent infection.
  • Mouth Rinse: DO NOT rinse on the day of surgery. After a waiting period of 24 hours you should rinse the mouth with warm salt water (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit) after meals to speed healing and keep the wound clean.