Care of the mouth after oral surgery: Your proper care and attention to these instructions will speed your recovery and prevent complications following oral surgery procedures.
Do not rinse your mouth today. Starting tomorrow, rinse your mouth gently every 3 to 4 hours using 1⁄2 a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Continue these rinses for several days.
Bleeding. Following extractions, some bleeding or oozing is to be expected over the next few days. If persistent bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad over the extraction site and bite down firmly for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. You may also use a moist teabag instead of the gauze pad.
Swelling. In order to minimize swelling, use an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the outside of your face over the extraction area. Use this for one half hour on, then one half hour off throughout the rest of the day.
Pain. The amount and duration of pain one should expect is very unpredictable. Most pain after surgery can be managed with ibuprofen 600 mg. (Advil, Motrin IB) taken 3 times a day continuously during the first week after surgery. If you received a prescription for pain medicine, use it as directed. You may take the prescription pain medicine in combination with the ibuprofen if necessary for pain control. Narcotic prescriptions may cause drowsiness,lack of awareness and coordination which can be increased by the use of alcohol or other drugs. We advise you to not operate any vehicle or hazardous devices or work while taking such medications. Do not take more medicine than directed on your prescription.
Diet. Be sure to maintain proper nutrition following extractions. A soft diet is recommended following your extraction. Drink plenty of fluids but refrain from using a straw as the sucking motion may dislodge the healing blood clot that forms over the extraction site and may cause a dry socket.
Smoking. While smoking is never good for you, you should be sure to refrain from smoking for several days after an extraction. Smoking may dislodge the healing blood clot that forms over an extraction and cause a dry socket.
Boney edges. Often times, bony pieces or fragments may work their way through your gums during healing. These are not tooth roots. If they do work their way out or become an annoyance, return to the office for their simple removal.
Sutures. You may have stitches placed in an extraction site. In most cases, dissolving stitches are used and they will fall out in a few days.
Additional care information regarding home care following implant surgery:
Swelling. Some swelling is to be expected following surgery. To help this, apply an ice bag to the operated side of the face for 20 minutes; remove for 20 minutes. Repeat this alternating procedure during the first day. To be most effective, the application of ice packs should begin as soon as possible. It is usual after implant surgery to have a decrease in mouth opening and this resolves over 1-2 weeks. Should your swelling increase after 1-2 weeks, contact your oral surgeon.
Rinses. Do not rinse your mouth the day of surgery. Beginning the next day, rinse your mouth gently using a full glass of warm water, in which a half teaspoon of salt has been dissolved. This is important both for healing and hygienic purposes. These rinses should be repeated after meals and at bedtime. Resume regular oral hygiene (tooth brushing and flossing) as soon as possible.
Pain. The amount and duration of pain one should expect are very unpredictable. Ibuprofen 600mg three times a day for three days will help with the pain. If you are having more pain that can be controlled with ibuprofen (or similar medications) or with the prescription you may have received, it would be best to call the office during regular office hours if possible. There can be muscle discomfort after surgery which limits your mouth opening for 1-2 weeks. Hot packs applied to the affected muscle stiffness for 30 minute intervals can also help.
Bleeding. After your implants were placed, a gauze compress was placed on the wound and you were asked to keep your jaws closed tightly for 30 minutes. This was to help stop bleeding and keep saliva away from the wound. This compress may be discarded after 30 minutes. Some oozing will continue and is to be expected. This is normal and is no cause for alarm.
If excessive bleeding occurs, take a piece of gauze, fold to make a firm compress, place directly on the area which is bleeding, and apply firm, steady biting pressure for 40 minutes. Sit upright, keep quiet, and avoid spitting or talking while biting on the pack. This may have to be repeated. Also, a pack soaked in a strong solution of tea may be effective. If these measures do not succeed, call our office. After office hours, an answering service will take your call and reach the doctor on call.
Diet. You will feel better, have more strength, less pain and heal faster, if you continue to eat, but it is best to have liquids or non-chewy foods for a few days. Because of surgery, it may be necessary to eat soft foods such as soup, bread, milk, jello, cooked cereal, or milk shakes for several days. Some of the liquid diet preparations are helpful. It is important to drink plenty of fluids. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Activities. Patients are instructed to return home immediately on discharge from our office with their driver or adult escort. It is always important to get plenty of rest with any surgery or illness. A low grade fever is usual after even a simple procedure. It could also be caused by inadequate fluid intake. If excessive or at all questionable, do not hesitate to phone the office.
Stitches.You will have some stitches placed in the gums. Usually dissolving stitches are used. An appointment for suture removal should be made if the stitches have not dissolved after 7 days.
Dentures. Usually dentures should not be worn over the surgical site for two weeks. Thereafter they will be relined at your dentist’s office and can be worn.
Emergency Calls: If you have an after hours call of an emergency nature, please call 763-520-1234.The answering service will contact the oral surgeon on call.
Routine Information: Please call the office during regular office hours for additional information. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.