Oral Surgery Post Op Instructions
- Bleeding – Firm pressure held on the surgical area will aid in clotting. If you need to use the gauze provided in your post-op bag, slightly wet it before applying it over the wound. Keep firm pressure on the gauze for 20-30 minutes at each application. If the gauze is a light pink color after removing it, you don’t need to use anymore. If the gauze has a deep red color after removing, place new gauze and keep firm pressure for another 20-30 minutes. Don’t rinse your mouth vigorously for the first 24 hours as disruptions of the clot may occur. In rare cases, a slightly moist tea bag (tannic acid) held with pressure over the wound can help with clotting if excessive bleeding is occurring. If continuous or excessive bleeding occurs for several hours after the operation, please call the office.
- Pain Management and Medication – You may have moderate discomfort after the anesthesia wears off. Most discomfort can be controlled with over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. The combination of Advil (ibuprofen) 600mg and Extra Strength Tylenol (acetaminophen) 1,000mg can be taken every 6 hours as needed for pain management. A prescription for a stronger narcotic may be written for you if necessary and should be used as directed only as long as your discomfort requires you to take it.
DO NOT COMBINE A PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATION WITH ADDITIONAL TYLENOL (ACETAMINOPHEN).
DO NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL OR DRIVE WHILE TAKING PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATION.
- Antibiotics – If we have prescribed an antibiotic for you, please take the entire antibiotic per the directions. Antibiotics have to be in your system for a specified amount of time to be successful. If you stop taking them before the prescription advises, resistant bacteria may potentially develop. Please supplement with a quality probiotic while taking systemic antibiotic prescriptions.
- Swelling – As soon as possible, place an ice pack on the cheek of the area where the surgery was performed and keep in place for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. Continue ice usage 2-3 times a day for the first 24 hours to keep swelling and bruising at a minimum. Swelling and discomfort tend to peak 48-72 hours after surgery. Some patients tend to bruise on the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. If swelling or bruising persist and are concerning, please let us know.
- Oral Hygiene – Meticulous oral hygiene should be continued in all areas of your mouth, though the use of dental products (brushes, Sonicare, Waterpik, etc) in the area/s where the surgery occurred should be avoided. DO NOT PULL ON SUTURES, YOUR CHEEKS, OR LIPS AROUND THE SURGICAL AREA. If a soft bristled tooth brush was provided in your post op material, use this to brush the teeth around the surgery site and avoid disturbing the surgical area itself until your post op appointment. Be gentle with the soft brush as the healing area will still be tender. Beginning the day after surgery, gently rinse twice a day for one week with warm salt water (1/2 tsp salt to 4 oz water). If we provided you a rinse product in your post op material, you may use it in place of or in addition to warm salt water rinses. Rinsing helps flush out the debris which can collect around the surgical area and lowers the risk of complications after the procedure. If a bone graft was placed today, you may occasionally notice small, hard, white particles in your mouth for the next several days. This is normal and not concerning.
- Activity and Nutrition – Relax and take it easy. You just had surgery, be kind to yourself. Vigorous exercise and heavy lifting are discouraged for the first 3 days after surgery. Maintaining a nutritious diet after surgery is very important for the healing process. Avoid extremely hot, spicy foods and crunchy or sticky foods. DO NOT SMOKE – DO NOT DRINK THROUGH A STRAW for at least 3 days following surgery. The suction created by smoking or drinking through a straw within the first 3 days after surgery can dislodge the clot that is trying to form and your risk of dry socket is increased. Foods that supply nourishment with little required chewing can be: broths, soups, ground meats, eggs, mashed potatoes, smoothies, ice cream/milkshakes, etc.
Do not hesitate to call our office during business hours for any questions regarding your surgery.
Make sure to keep your scheduled post-op appointment if one was reserved for you.