Post-Operative Instructions
following Oral Surgery

Immediately following your procedure:

1. A certain amount of bleeding, pain and swelling is normal. Reduce your activity as much as possible for several hours after your procedure. Avoid eating, drinking and unnecessary talking.
2. To control bleeding, keep a steady pressure on the bleeding area by biting firmly on the gauze placed there by your doctor. Pressure helps reduce bleeding and permits formation of a clot in the tooth socket. Gently remove the compress after the local anesthesia has worn off and normal feeling has returned.
3. Begin taking medication as directed by your doctor to minimize discomfort when the anesthesia wears off and feeling is back to normal. For mild discomfort, take Tylenol or Ibuprofen every three to four hours. For severe pain, use the prescription given to you.
4. Apply an ice bag over the affected area. Use 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 24 hours to help prevent development of excessive swelling and discomfort. If an ice bag is unavailable, simply fill a heavy plastic bag with crushed ice. Tie end securely and cover with a soft cloth to avoid skin irritation.
5. Do not rinse, spit or brush your teeth for 24 hours after surgery. Keep fingers and tongue away from socket or surgical area.
6. Do not be alarmed if your vision is blurred for a time following anesthesia or if a bruise appears at the site of an injection. Your arm also may be bruised, swollen and tender to the touch due to the IV.

After 24 Hours:

1. If some bleeding persists, a moist teabag should be placed in the area of bleeding. Bite firmly for one hour straight. This will aid in clotting blood. After bleeding has stopped, cautiously resume oral hygiene.
2. Continue to take your medication if pain persists and use an ice bag if needed. You should expect swelling for 10 days to two weeks and a fever of 99 degrees F to 100 degrees F.
3. Drink plenty of fluids, but do not use a straw.
4. Rinse mouth gently with a solution of one-half teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of water. Repeat after every meal or snack for seven days. Rinsing is important because it removes food particles and debris from the socket area and thus helps prevent infection and promote healing. Brush tongue with a dry toothbrush to keep bacteria growth down, but be careful not to touch the extraction site.
5. Have your meals at the usual time. Eat soft, nutritious foods and drink plenty of liquids, with meals and in between. Have what you wish, but be careful not to disturb the blood clot. Add solid foods to your diet as soon as they are comfortable to chew.
6. Do not smoke for at least five days after surgery. Nicotine may break down the blood clot and cause a “dry socket.”
7. If your jaw muscles become stiff, chewing gum at intervals will help relax the muscles, as will the use of warm, moist heat to the outside of your face over these muscles.

Food Suggestions

While you are still numb, you may have:
• Slushies
• Applesauce
• Jell-O
• Juices
• Gatorade
• Pudding
• Cottage cheese
• Milkshakes
• Yogurt
• Note: dairy products may cause nausea on the day of surgery

After Numbness wears off, you can begin eating:

• Macaroni and cheese
• Mashed potatoes
• Baked potatoes
• Meat loaf
• Pancakes
• Scrambled eggs
• Pasta
• Other soft foods

Special Considerations Following Extraction of Impacted Teeth

• Removal of impacted teeth is a surgical procedure. Postoperative problems are not unusual and extra care must be taken to avoid complications.
• Severity of postoperative pain will depend on the procedure and your physical condition. Take medication for pain precisely as directed.
• Healing of the surgical site is variable.
• Swelling can be expected. Be certain to apply ice bags as directed above.
• Difficulty in opening your mouth widely and discomfort upon swallowing should be anticipated.
• Numbness of lips and/or tongue on the affected side may be experienced for a variable period of time.

In case of problems:

You should experience no trouble if you follow the instructions and suggestions as outlined. But if you should have any problems such as excessive bleeding, pain, or difficulty in opening your mouth, call your doctor immediately for further instructions or additional treatment.

Remember your follow up visit!

It is advisable to return for a postoperative visit to make certain healing is progressing satisfactorily. We will schedule this for you.