Taking good care of your mouth, after surgery, has an important effect on rapid healing. Swelling, discomfort, slight oozing of blood and restricted jaw movement may be expected, depending on the extent and location of surgery. These problems need not cause alarm and may be minimized if the following post-operative instructions are followed carefully.
IT IS NOT UNUSUAL TO HAVE SLIGHT OOZING FOR 24 HOURS AND PERIODIC BREAKTHROUGH BLEEDING FOR 10 DAYS AFTER A SURGICAL PROCEDURE. SOME OVER THE COUNTER MEDICINES CAN CAUSE PROLONGED OOZING.
A folded gauze sponge has been placed in the area of surgery prior to your leaving the office. Bite on it with constant firm pressure; DO NOT chew on it. After 30 minutes, remove the gauze. If there is continued bleeding, place new gauze and repeat every 30 minutes until bleeding has stopped. Make your folded gauze feel and look like the one we placed. DO NOT place a large bulky gauze pack for it will only put pressure on the nearby teeth and not in the area of the bleeding. DO NOT replace if there is only slight oozing. Lastly, avoid excessive talking.
REMEMBER, a drop or two of blood mixed with saliva may seem like a mouth full of blood. Place a towel on your pillow to prevent staining of your linen with blood, which will be in your saliva for several hours. FIRM BITING, PRESSURE and a CORRECTLY PLACED gauze pack on the surgical area is the most effective means for stopping bleeding.
Swelling can be at it’s greatest 3 to 4 days after surgery. The swelling will slowly disappear. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack to the operated side of the face as soon as you arrive home. Apply cold for 20 minutes, then off for 10 minutes. USE ICE ONLY FOR THE FIRST DAY.
Discomfort (or severe pain after any difficult or prolonged surgery) should be expected. Medication will be prescribed to make you comfortable. Severe pain lasting for more than 5 days is not normal. Call if this happens. Remember, after a pain medication is swallowed, it may take an hour to take effect. Therefore, it is important to try to keep ahead of the anticipated pain. DO NOT take prescription medicines on an empty stomach, as they won’t work as well.
Mild pain requiring minor pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Advil, may persist for over 1 week with normal healing.
DO NOT SMOKE FOR 24 HOURS AFTER SURGERY
CARE OF THE MOUTH – Your purpose is to preserve the blood clot
To that end, do not forcibly rinse, spit or brush your teeth the day of your surgery. You may begin to brush your teeth again the day after. Brushing too early after surgery may dislodge the blood clot and interrupt the normal course of healing. The morning after the surgery, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. of salt in a 10oz glass of warm water). Rinse more than once and repeat every few hours, especially after meals for the next 3 to 4 days. On the 4th day, use a syringe in lower jaw sockets with plain warm water. Do this after meals until the sockets close (1 to 2 wks).
Eat whatever you wish. You may prefer soft or liquid foods for your own comfort. Avoid foods that require hard chewing. It is important to maintain a good dietary intake even if it is only liquids. Avoid straws for one week.
Nausea may accompany the discomfort during the initial post – operative period. Small sips of tea, 7-Up or ginger ale help.
Do not remove dentures for 24 hours.
NOTE: In case of problems, or if you have any questions, contact this office. Please try to anticipate prescription refills or care problems during regular office hours.