PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. Sometimes after-effects of oral surgery are minimal, so not all of these instructions may apply. Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt, follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE DAY OF SURGERY
Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze that has been placed over the surgical site, making sure they remain in place. Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not being controlled. If active bleeding persists after 1 hour, place enough gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 30–60 minutes. The gauze may be changed as necessary and may be dampened and/or fluffed for more comfortable positioning. Gauze should only be used the day of surgery. Remove the gauze while sleeping.
Do not disturb the surgical area today. DO NOT rinse today or probe the area with any objects. DO NOT drink through a straw nor spit. You may wish to brush your teeth gently the day after surgery. DO NOT SMOKE for at least 7 days, since it is detrimental to healing. The use of mouthwash (Listerine®) or peroxide is not recommended.
BLEEDING OR OOZING
Intermittent bleeding or oozing is normal. Placing fresh gauze on the site may control it. If bleeding persists or becomes heavy, you may substitute a tea bag (moistened tea bag) for 20 or 30 minutes. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.
Often there is some swelling associated with oral surgery. You can minimize this by using a cold pack and apply to face or cheek adjacent to the surgical site. This should be applied 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 12–24 hours after surgery. Take any doctor-prescribed medicine for the control of swelling as directed. After 24 hours, it is usually best to switch from ice to moist heat to the site (you may wet a towel and place it in the microwave until warm not to burn yourself). Remember swelling is always worst between the third and fourth day. Swelling will start going down gradually.
Nausea is common after surgery. Nausea may be caused by pain medication. To reduce nausea, take medication with food or with a substantial amount of fluids. If vomiting persists, please contact us.
Eat nourishing foods that can be taken with comfort. It is advisable to confine the first day’s intake to soft foods/liquids (oatmeal, puddings, shakes, pasta, scrambled eggs). Avoid foods like nuts, chips, toast, pizza, or anything that may get lodged in the socket. Do not take fluids through a straw for the first 7 days. Avoid spicy or acidic foods such as orange juice and tomatoes; they will irritate the area.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SECOND AND THIRD DAY AFTER SURGERY
Use 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse. Do this 3 times a day for at least 1 week. This should be done the third day after surgery. Do not use mouthwash (Listerine®) or peroxide; this will delay healing.
Continue oral hygiene the day after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing.
Apply warm compresses to the area consisting of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. This should be done after 24 hours to help decrease swelling and stiffness.
A dry socket usually occurs during the third to fifth day (this is the loss of the blood clot from the socket). There is a noticeable, distinct, persistent, throbbing pain in the jaw, often radiating towards the ear and forward along the jaw. If you do not see steady improvement during the first few days after surgery, don’t suffer needlessly. Call the office and report any symptoms so you can be seen as soon as possible.
It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have any questions, please call the office.