Post-operative care is important after any surgery, and this is the same for dental procedures. Follow these post-operative care instructions immediately after and days following your dental procedure to ensure proper healing.
Some post-operative discomfort is expected following a dental procedure and is not a cause for alarm. This can include:
- Minor swelling or bruising on one or both sides of the jaw
- Numbness around the corner of the mouth or tongue
- Tightness of muscles that may cause difficulty in opening the mouth
- Slight earache or sore throat
Bleeding (slight oozing) can occur for 24 hours and continue periodically for 10 days after an oral procedure. A folded gauze sponge is usually placed in the area of surgery before you leave the office. Biting on it with constant and firm pressure is the most effective means of stopping the bleeding. Replace the gauze after an hour in case the bleeding has not stopped. You could also use a moistened tea bag over the area and bite down on it for an hour or so. Do not replace the gauze if there is only slight oozing. Avoid spitting or rinsing your mouth on the day of the surgery.
Swelling is likely to be at its highest point 2 days after surgery. Swelling can be controlled with a cold compress or bag of ice placed on the side of the mouth. Apply the cold compress for 20 minutes and then stop for 10 minutes. Continue this for the next 2 to 3 hours for maximum benefit.
Some patients may experience discomfort or even substantial pain after oral surgery. This is normal once the pain medication or anesthetic wears off. Your dentist will prescribe medication to help you manage your pain. Usually, the discomfort lasts no more than 2 to 3 days. If you experience pain for more than 3 days, please give us a call at (503) 845-2273.
It is best to avoid rinsing your mouth the day you have the procedure, as this can dislodge the blood clots and interrupt the normal course of healing. Wait until the next day to rinse your mouth with a warm saline solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water). It is good practice to repeat the rinse after every meal for the next few days. The saline solution acts as an antiseptic and prevents infections.
After surgery, limit your diet to soft foods and liquids.
If you are concerned that your recovery is not progressing as it should, please call us at (503) 845-2273.