General Post-Operative Instructions

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It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office. Please try to call during office hours; however a 24-hour answering service is available for after hours contact with a doctor.

Brief Overview of General Care of your Mouth Following Extractions and other Oral Surgery

  1. Do not rinse or spit for 24 hours after surgery.
  2. Keep fingers and tongue away from socket or surgical area.
  3. Use ice packs on surgical area (side of face) for first 48 hours, apply ice 20 minutes on — 10 minutes off. Bags of frozen peas and corn work well.
  4. For mild discomfort take Tylenol or Ibuprofen every three to four hours unless you cannot take either medication.
  5. For severe pain, use the medication prescribed to you.
  6. Drink plenty of fluids and do not use a straw as extraction site healing can be disturbed.
  7. If the muscles of the jaw become stiff, chewing gum at intervals will help relax the muscles, as well as the use of warm, moist heat to the outside of your face over these muscles.
  8. After the first post-operative day, use a warm salt-water rinse following meals for the first week to flush out particles of food and debris which may lodge in the surgical area. (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Mouthwash can be added for better taste.)
  9. Diet may consist of soft foods which can be easily chewed and swallowed. No seeds, nuts, rice, popcorn, etc.
  10. A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure to the surgical area using small rolled gauze for 90 minutes. After that time remove the gauze and then you may eat or drink. If bleeding persists, a moist tea bag should be placed in the area of bleeding and bite firmly for one hour straight. This will aid in clotting blood. Repeat if necessary. If bleeding still persists call our office.

We suggest that if you must smoke, you do not smoke for at least 5 days after surgery. Nicotine may break down the blood clot and cause a “dry-socket”.