Now That your oral surgery is completed, please follow these procedures to make yourself more comfortable, promote healing, and help prevent possible complications.
Right Now: Make sure the gauze packing remains in place by biting down firmly for 1 hour, allowing time for a clot to form at the extraction or surgical site. Then remove carefully and replace with fresh gauze – change hourly as long as is necessary. It is normal to have a slight seepage of blood for the initial 24 hour period.
As soon as you get home, go to bed. Avoid walking for 4 hours: Eat at least 1 cup of soft food i.e. pudding, milkshake, yogurt, instant breakfast or mashed potatoes. DO NOT USE DRINKING STRAWS. Continue to drink fluids during the afternoon. Within the hour of leaving the office, before the numbness wears off, take the prescribed pain medication as directed on the bottle. This will prevent pain which can occur as the anesthetic wears off. DO NOT take pain medication on an empty stomach – ever!
You should not be left unattended today.
Prepare an Ice bag, or double plastic food bag with crushed ice, and tie closed. Apply the ice bag to your cheek or jaw, keeping it on 10 minutes, then off 10 minutes, alternating if both sides have been operated on, until bed time. Keep head elevated, and continue cold packs in the morning if oozing continues.
Tonight and Tomorrow: Have a light supper at the usual time, and eat foods that are soft. Examples: Soup (lukewarm) dunk your crackers, meat pies (not too hot), Jello, applesauce, juices, soft vegetables. And for breakfast: scrambled eggs and dunk your toast, cream of wheat, fruit juices, etc. Don’t skip Meals.
Beginning tomorrow rinse your mouth with warm salt water three or four times a day using 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. of salt dissolved in an 8 ounce glass of warm tap water. This serves to removed food and debris from the surgical area and helps prevent infection. Continue rinsing for one week.
Gentle tooth brushing: (avoiding the surgical site) may also be started tomorrow and continued twice daily with your regular tooth paste and toothbrush. Cleanliness of the mouth is very important to promote healing and prevent infection.
Swelling: You will have some swelling to a greater or lesser degree. This is normal and expected. The swelling should peak about 48 hours after surgery. After 48 hours following surgery to help reduce swelling and soreness, apply heat to the outside of your face using a warm moist towel or heating pad.
Stiff Jaw: Chew gum at intervals, especially while applying wet heat on jaw. This helps to limber the chewing and the stiffness will gradually subside.
- Have prescriptions filled on the way home. If directed to do so begin the first dose of pain medication before the numbness wears off. (Take within 1-1/2 hours after surgery.) Do not take on an empty stomach.
- Only take the medication given to relieve pain when necessary, and not on a regular basis.
- Take antibiotics (if prescribed) on a regular prescribed basis until gone.
- Be alert for any allergic reactions to medications, i.e. rash, hives, itching.
- If you should develop nausea, stay lying down, stop forcing fluids or food, and allow your stomach to calm down. Then start out with water, Gatorade, clear broth, 7-Up, and soft foods before resuming your regular diet. Be careful not to dehydrate.
- If you have continued oozing it can be controlled by gauze pack, biting pressure, cold packs and time.
- Remove gauze when eating and when you go to bed.
- If you have persistent bleeding, do not remove all of the gauze packing each time you change. Leave the original and add to it. It’s best not to swallow or expectorate blood, (has pumping effect) but allow it to be absorbed in the 3 x 3 gauze (provided) or you may try biting on a moistened tea bag for 20 minutes (has coagulating effect), pressure, cold pack, rest and try to relax.
- Do not go from lying position to standing quickly. Always sit uprightly for 2-3 minutes before standing. Sudden changes can cause fainting. If you feel dizzy immediately lie on the floor with your feet elevated.
- Do not suck through a straw, spit, smoke, or drink alcohol for at least four days
Remember: If for any reason you are worried about the condition of your mouth, or if any unexpected developments should cause concern, please call this office if possible before 5:00 p.m. (office hours) and in an emergency (after hours) the answering service will get in touch with us, for further instructions or treatment.
We appreciate your coming to us for your oral surgery.