post-operative instructions

1. Continue to bite on the gauze pack left in your mouth for 30 minutes, then remove and dispose of it. A slight amount of bleeding is to be expected during the first 24 hours, and is no cause for alarm. If bleeding continues it can be controlled by the following method — make a pad of clean gauze about the size of a walnut, and bite on it firmly, WITH PRESSURE over the wound for 30 minutes while remaining in a sitting position.

If the bleeding persists, dampen the gauze with vinegar or use a teabag in the same manner, with pressure. Do not rinse the mouth if there is active bleeding. If excessive bleeding continues after trying these methods, call the office for instructions.

2. Do not rinse the mouth until the following day, then use warm salt water as mouthwash (about 1/2 teaspoon table salt to 8 oz. of warm water). Repeat rinsing several times daily in addition to brushing the teeth. This helps remove food particles and debris, stimulates circulation, and promotes healing. If you prefer, you may use any commercial mouthwash, following the directions on the container for dilution.

3. SWELLING OF THE FACE TO SOME DEGREE IS TO BE EXPECTED FOLLOWING ORAL SURGERY. Swelling may be extreme and may result in bluish discoloration of the skin resembling a bruise, but is no cause for alarm. The jaw muscles will be affected by the sewelling causing a temporary tightening and limited opening of the mouth; this is a normal reaction and is no cause for concern. Swelling may also cause a temporary sore throat. During the first 48 hour period, it is necessary to apply an ice bag to the face to minimize swelling. After 48 hours, either moist or dry heat should be applied to reduce the swelling.

4. Some pain is to be expected following surgery depending upon the type of surgery performed. Use the prescription furnished, or for relief of mild pain, Tylenol, or similar medications may be sufficient.

5. A light diet of liquid and soft foods is advised during the first 24 hours. If chewing is impossible, take frequent feedings such as milk, soups, juices, egg-nog, ice cream, baby food, etc. Supplementary vitamin intake during this period is also desirable. If constipation occurs due to disturbance of diet, drugs, etc., use a mild laxative or an enema.

6. If you start having “throbbing” or “aching” type of pain two or three days after your surgery, particulartly in the case of Impacted Wisdom Teeth, please return to the office for additional treatment to relieve the pain.

7. In some cases, nausea and vomiting occurs during the first or second day after surgery. This is usually a side-effect of the pain relief medication. We suggest you discontinue this medication, and if the nausea continues, call the office.

8. Bony “bumps” may be noticed where teeth are extracted perhaps giving the feeling that these are roots or parts of teeth. These “bumps” will gradually disappear. Occasionally a small particle of bone will separate and work through the gum where it feels like a splinter. If this does not come out in a few days, return to the office for removal.

9. Remember that any surgery of the mouth requires careful attention to hygiene, particularly since the mouth is a highly contaminated area. The possibility of infection is greater than in other surgery because it is impossible to protect the wound with a bandage or dressing. Therefore do not place your fingers or other objects into the mouth, and keep the tongue away as much as possible to avoid disturbing the wound.

10. In case of unusual disturbance not covered above or if there is any question, be sure to call the office without delay.