Postoperative Instructions Extractions

Instructions For The Care Of The Mouth And Home Treatment Following


Oral Surgery Postoperative Instructions

The care of your mouth after surgery has an important effect on your healing.

SWELLING, DISCOMFORT, AND RESTRICTED JAW FUNCTIONS ARE EXPECTED, so they should not cause alarm. These may be minimized by the following instructions. Please read them carefully. It is strongly urged that they be followed.

BLEEDING-Remove the gauze pack 45 minutes after surgery. Slight bleeding is expected. In the case of excessive or prolonged bleeding, wipe away any loose blood clots with gauze. Then place a roll of sterile gauze, or a moistened tea bag over the surgical area and bite firmly for 30-45 minutes with constant pressure. Assume a semi-upright position, using two pillows. Avoid spitting and drinking through a straw because it causes bleeding by drawing at the origin. If bleeding is still not controlled, telephone our office. Avoid excessive physical activity for 2 days.

PAIN– If you have been given a prescription, have it filled and take within 45-60 minutes after leaving the office, then take as directed on the package. If you should develop a rash, itching or swelling discontinue all medication IMMEDIATELY and contact this office. If difficulty breathing develops discontinue all medication and go to the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital, then contact our office. Children should receive the manufactures suggested dosage. Avoid aspirin in children as this may cause Reye’s syndrome. WARNING: DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT AFTER TAKING PAIN MEDICATION.

SWELLING CONTROL– Apply an ice pack, frozen peas or corn in their bag, or crushed ice in a bag, to the jaw immediately upon your return home, 20 minutes on, 10 minutes off. Wrap a thin towel between the ice pack and face to prevent frost bite. Do this for 6-8 hours. Swelling will continue to increase for up to 48 hours before it will stabilize, and it may be important to continue ice pack placement for pain control as well. DO NOT APPLY HEAT in any form to the outside of the face unless specifically instructed to do so.

DIET– A soft diet is recommended the day of surgery. Usually foods such as yogurt, apple sauce, popsicles, jello, pudding, etc.. Foods high in vitamins and protein are recommended for another two days. Increase your fluid intake.

NAUSEA– Small amounts of a carbonated drink such as Coca-Cola, Ginger-ale or 7-Up every hour for 5-6 hours will usually terminate nausea. Follow this with mild tea or clear soup, etc.. Avoid dairy products as long as nausea is present. If nausea continues, contact office.

ORAL HYGIENE– Do not rinse your mouth the day of surgery. Vigorous rinsing at this time may dislodge the blood clot and retard the normal course of healing. After 24 hours, the mouth may be rinsed gently with warm salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large glass of warm water), after each meal and at bedtime. The teeth should be brushed with a soft bristle brush. This is important to help prevent possible infection for occurring.

SMOKING-Smokers are advised not to smoke for 6 hours after surgery as this may cause a dry socket to occur and retard the healing.

AVOID OVERFATIGUE-Go to bed early at night and get adequate rest during the day.

ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES– Following some surgeries antibiotics are prescribed to help fight infection. Women should be aware that antibiotics in some cases have been shown to reduce the efficacy of oral contraceptives.

Information Concerning Oral Surgery Procedures

The removal of impacted wisdom teeth and other surgical procedures may be quite involved and difficult. The following conditions may occur, all of which are considered normal.

  • The area operated on will usually swell
  • The swollen area may become quite large
  • Stiffness of the muscles may cause difficulty in opening the mouth
  • You may have a slight earache
  • Numbness about the corners of the mouth on the side from which the tooth was removed may develop. This is called “paresthesia” and is most often a temporary condition which will usually correct itself. It may remain anywhere from a few days to a few months.
  • If the corners of the mouth are stretched, they may dry and crack. Your lips should be kept moist with a cream or ointment such as Vaseline or cold cream.
  • There will be a depression where the tooth was removed. This area should be rinsed following meals with warm salt water or mouth wash. This space will gradually fill in with new tissue.
  • Black and blue discoloration may occur on the outside of the face near the area of surgery. This occurrence is not unusual and will resolve within several days.
  • There may be slight elevation of temperature for 24 to 48 hours. If temperature continues, notify the office.
  • Sutures (stitches) may be used to close the wound. They will be removed on a subsequent office visit.
  • There can be residual effect of the general anesthetic lasting for 12 to 24 hours, some times longer. During this time, your reflexes and judgement may be altered. Therefore, you are advised not to drive an automobile or operate machinery for this period of time.

    If you have reason to believe that you are not recovering or healing satisfactory from any operation, or are in doubt about anything at any time, notify us by telephone or by coming directly to our office.

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