Oral Surgery

Post-Operative Instructions

A. Wound Care

1. Bite firmly on gauze pack for 45 minutes. Place fresh gauze every 45 minutes until bleeding stops.

2. Do not smoke for 2 to 3 days following surgery. Smoking promotes bleeding and interferes with healing.

B. Medications

1. Take medications as directed by the dentist.

2. Do not discontinue medication before consulting the dentist.

3. Do not drink alcohol with your medication. Alcohol affects the absorptions of antibiotics and combination with pain pills, can cause respiratory depression.

4. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking pain medication.

C. Bleeding

1. Some blood will ooze from the area of surgery and is normal.

2. Do not spit or suck through a straw, since this promotes bleeding.

3. If bleeding begins again, place a small damp gauze pack directly over the tooth socket and bit firmly for 30-45 minutes.

4. Keep your head elevated with several pillows or sit in a lounge chair.

D. Discomfort

1. Some discomfort is normal after surgery. It can be controlled, but not eliminated by taking the pain pills your dentist has prescribed.

2. Take your pain pills with a whole glass of water and a small amount of food if the pills cause nausea.

E. Diet

1. It is important to drink large volumes of fluids. Do not drink through a straw, because this may promote bleeding.

2. Do no drink alcohol, hot beverages or carbonated beverages. These promote bleeding and delay healing.

3. A liquid or sort diet, such as ice cream or yogurt may be the most comfortable for the first day. After 24 hours, you can return to a normal diet.

F. Oral Hygiene

1. Do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth for the first 24 hours.

2. After that, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. warm water) every 4 hours.

3. Brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery.

G. Swelling

1. Swelling after surgery is normal body reaction. It reaches it maximum about 48 hours after surgery and usually lasts 4 to days.

2. Applying ice packs over the area of surgery for the first day helps control swelling and may help the area to be more comfortable.

H. Rest

1. Avoid strenuous activity for 2 to 3 days after surgery

2. No heavy lifting of objects over 10 Ibs. For 2 to 3 days after surgery.

I. Bruising – You may experience some mild bruising in the area of your surgery. This is a normal response in some persons and should not be a cause for alarm. It will disappear in 7 to 14 days.

J. Stiffness – After surgery you may experience jaw muscle stiffness and limited opening of your mouth. This is normal and will improve in 5 to 10 days.

K. Sutures (stitches) – If stitches were placed, you will need to have them removed in about a week.

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