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Home Care Instructions Following Oral Surgery

Special consideration must be given to wounds of the mouth following the removal of teeth or surgery of the mouth and jaw.  Proper home treatment is exceedingly important and our interest in your case does not cease with the completion of the operation.  If any difficulties arise after your dismissal, do not hesitate to telephone or to return to our office for observation.

NOTE: If you leave the office with a guaze in your mouth, discard after 20 minutes unless otherwise instructed.

DISCOMFORT: Some discomfort may persist for up to a week to ten days following the simplest extraction.  Pain may be experienced in the ear, under the jaw, and the temple region.  Two Tylenol, Advil or Motrin tablets taken every three hours often relieve most of the discomfort.  If this is not sufficient, a prescription drug may be prescribed. 

SWELLING: Swelling may occur following any surgical procedure, but usually disappears within 2 to 4 days.  It can be minimized by alternately applying ice packs for 15 minutes and removing for 15 minutes for four hours immediately following treatment.  The face in the area of surgery may become black and blue.  This will gradually disappear and require no treatment.

BLEEDING: Some oozing of blood is to be expected for about the first 24 hours.  Do not rinse your mount for at least 18 hours following surgery.  After this time you should rinse your mouth every 4 hours with a weak solution of warm salt water, (1/4 tsp. of salt in a glass of lukewarm water), continueing for at least 3 days.  If bleeding is prolonged, take a peice of guaze, apply it to the bleeding area and exert firm pressure by biting down on it.  Maintain pressure for at least three minutes.  If bleeding persists, the process should be repeated or a moistened tea bag wrapped in a single fold of guaze should be placed over the wound with pressure.  Maintain a quiet upright position, apply constant firm pressure over the wound and a cold compress to the side of the face will control most bleeding.

DIET: Three hours after surgery you may resume eating.  Eat anything you can manage of a semi-solid to liquid consistency.  Avoid citrus fruits and fruit juices, highly spiced foods, salad dressings with vinegar, and alcoholic beverages.  THEY WILL CAUSE PAIN. You may progress to a diet of normal consistency over the next few days, provided that solid foods are chewed on the side opposite the treated area so that the clot is not dislodged.  On the day of surgery, avoid alcoholic beverages and smoking; alcohol and tobacco smoke prolong bleeding and delay healing.

CARE OF MOUTH: On the day of surgery continue normal care of the mouth for all untreated areas.

The office should be contacted if any of the following complications arise:

  • Profuse, uncontrollable bleeding
  • Severe, uncontrollable pain
  • Swelling which begins after the 48 hours follwing surgery
  • A markedly elevated temperature
  • Any generalized skin eruption
  • Any situation which is not covered by these instructions and which you feel should be brought to our attention.
  • If sutures were placed, you will be scheduled to return to the office 7 - 10 days so that we might remove sutures and examin the surgical site to evaluate healing status and give subsequent instructions.

Best wishes for a speedy and uneventful recovery.  Thank you for allowing my team and I treat your dental needs today and in the future.  Your business is appreciated.

-Dr. Scott Redwantz