Oral Surgery Post-Operative Care

We are committed to providing you with the upmost quality of care. Please follow the general postoperative guidelines below, and by all means, call at any hour of any day to report any continuing problem.

Please read carefully- A tooth extraction is a surgical procedure. Therefore, it is natural that temporary changes will occur in the mouth afterward. You will be functioning normally within a few days. in the meantime, you should follow a few simple guidelines to help promote healing prevent complications, and make yourself more comfortable.

Oozing/Bleeding: We have placed a gauze pack on the extraction site(s) to limit bleeding while clotting takes place. Bite down firm on the gauze, making sure they remain over the surgical sites for 30 minutes. After removing the gauze, we discourage you from replacing new gauze as this may cause re-bleeding as the blood clot may stick to the gauze. Only replace gauze if you have heavy bleeding which fills mouth. Otherwise it is better to tolerate the taste of blood, to allow a blood clot to stabilize. Do not sleep; eat or drink with gauze in the mouth. If you need to replace gauze, crumple clean gauze into a wad thick enough to place over the surgical site and apply pressure to the site by closing your teeth together. A moistened tea bag may be substituted for gauze pad if bleeding persists. Sleep with your back propped up with several pillows. Swallow by forming a seal with your tongue against your palate only, rather than sucking in your cheeks. This prevents suction on the extraction areas. Intermittent bleeding or oozing overnight is normal; however, if bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.

Swelling: Often there is some swelling associated with oral surgery. You can expect swelling to increase up to 3-5 days after surgery. You can help minimize this by applying cold compresses, an ice bag or a bag of frozen peas to your face or cheek adjacent to the surgical areas. This should be applied twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off for the first 24 hours after your surgery. Healing: After an extraction, a blood clot forms in the tooth socket. This is an important part of the normal healing process. Avoid activities that might disturb the surgical area. Do not probe the area with any objects or your fingers. Do not smoke or drink through a straw for 1 week following your surgery. These activities create suction in the mouth, which could dislodge the clot and delay healing. If an upper back tooth was removed, do not blow your nose and do not stifle your sneezes, as these activities may dislodge the clot and form a persistent hole that may connect your sinuses to your mouth. Avoid air flight for at least 2 weeks. When stable on your feet, walk around and take big breaths. Avoid strenuous activity for the first 5 days after your procedure. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot form. if you do not care for the taste in your mouth, drink some fluids or use a wet washcloth and wipe your tongue, but please stay away from the surgical areas.

Diet: After your surgery, you will want to eat nourishing food that can be eaten comfortably. Drink adequate amounts of fluid. Avoid extremely hot foods and liquids. If you are too sore, we recommend soft foods such as mash potatoes, pasta, yogurt, and pudding. Also, avoid foods such as nuts, popcorn, rice, sesame seeds, etc. This type of small food may get lodged in the socket area. Over the next several days you can progress to your regular diet as soon as you can. If you are diabetic, maintain our normal eating as much as possible and follow the instructions from our office or your physician regarding your insulin schedule.

Medications: Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You may be prescribed medication to control discomfort you should take your first pill before the anesthetic has worn off. This will manage any discomfort. Pain typically peaks on the second day after surgery. Although medicine for discomfort has been prescribed, it may not always be needed. You may substitute over-the-counter Advil, Motrin, or whatever you use for headaches. The length of time you experience numbness varies, depending on the type of anesthetic you have received. The numbness should subside within a few hours. While your mouth is numb be careful not to bite on your cheek, lip or tongue. Do not drive or participate in activities requiring higher mental function while taking narcotic pain medications like Vicodin, Norco, Darvocet or Percocet.

Nausea: Nausea may occur after surgery, and is sometimes caused by stronger medications for discomfort. Nausea may be reduced by preceding each pill with a small amount of soft food, then taking the pill with a small amount of water. Drink clear fluids and minimize dosing of pain medications, but call us if you do not feel better. Nausea caused by swallowing blood will be relieved when the blood is vomited.

Instructions for the second, third and fifth days:

Mouth Rinse: Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Do not rinse or brush the day of surgery. The day following your surgery, you may brush your teeth, letting your pain dictate how far back and where to use your toothbrush. Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (half a tsp. of salt in a 7oz glass of warm water). 3rd day after surgery you may start to rinse after each meal, please use the syringe that will be provided to you on your post-op visit to flush your lower incisions (if open, sutures may be placed, if so just swish). Avoid using over-the-counter mouthwash during this early healing period.

Dry Socket: If a dry socket occurs (loss of blood clot from socket), there is a noticeable, distinct, persistent throbbing pain in the jaw, often radiating toward the ear and forward along the jaw may cause other teeth to ache. If you do not see steady improvement after the fourth day, please call our office and report symptoms so you can be seen as soon as possible.

Sharp Edges: If you feel something hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling the bony walls which once supported the extracted teeth. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the office.

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Erika Jimenez
Front Desk Admin
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Elsa De La Cruz
Surgical Assistant
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Lizzette Trejo
MedSpa Admin
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Liz Munoz
Medical Esthetician,
Surgical Assistant
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