What to expect after oral surgery…
Healing, following oral surgery, is usually fast and uncomplicated if you follow these instructions:
- Keep tongue and fingers away from surgical area
- Do not rinse the mouth the same day as treatment. The following day, salt water rinse may be used several times daily and after eating (1/2 teaspoon per 8 oz. glass of water). Gentle brushing of teeth may be resumed the day after surgery. Do not rinse if bleeding occurs.
- Bleeding: Avoid spitting and rinsing if bleeding occurs. It is normal for saliva to be blood streaked for a day or so. It is not normal for the mouth to fill with bright red blood at any time. Rarely, bleeding may start up many days after surgery. To stop bleeding – First, wipe away excess clot on gums before applying pressure. Continuous pressure is then applied by biting down on the gauze for at least 2 hours. An ordinary tea bag, wet or dry may be used as a pack. Continuous hard pressure is needed to control the bleeding. Repeat if necessary. SMOKERS: refrain from smoking for 24 – 36 hours following oral surgery.
- Pain: Normally, pain becomes less severe with each passing post-operative day, and some discomfort is to be expected. The prescription for pain pills is provided for this. If severe pain persists or increases, CALL THE OFFICE.
- Swelling: This is a perfectly normal occurrence which can last up to 10 days. An ice pack may be used. Maximum swelling occurs 72 hours after surgery. On occasion, delayed swelling may occur from lower wisdom teeth sockets several weeks or months following surgery. The cause may be food debris accumulation. Antibiotics and cleaning of the socket may be indicated. CALL THE OFFICE.
- Trismus – or the inability to open mouth, is very common and can last from one to three weeks
- Bad taste or odor in mouth – May be due to stitches and can be relieved by using a mouth wash.
- Stitches – Will dissolve anywhere from 3-10 days. You may be instructed to return in 1 week to have sutures removed if silk sutures are used.
- Sharp edges and pieces of socket bone occur frequently. These usually disappear within 8-10 weeks. On occasion, it may be necessary to return to the office to have them removed. CALL THE OFFICE for advice.
- Bruising: This can occur with relatively minor surgery and may last 1-2 weeks. This is more likely in older patients particularly if sutures are placed.
- Numbness, burning and tingling of lip, tongue, chin, teeth and gums – May occur in difficulty lower extractions or removal of lower wisdom teeth. May last 6 months to one year. Very rarely permanent.
- Sores or abrasions – May occasionally appear on the lips and corner of the mouth following surgery. This is due to stretching during surgery. They may on occasion require a suture. Use Vaseline freely to keep moist.
- Canker sores: occasionally appear following surgery. Symptoms disappear in one week. Over the counter topical treatments are available.
- Drive or operate vehicles: Patients are reminded not to operate vehicles or to drink alcohol when pain medication is taken.
- ***If you have had immediate delivery of a denture: Leave in place until you are seen in the office for follow up appointment the day following surgery.
As always if you have any questions please feel free to call.