Your primary concern after oral surgery is your recovery. Strictly adhering to the post-surgery instructions from your dentist or surgeon greatly reduces the risk of trauma or infection. The following guidelines will ensure optimum healing and a quick recovery.
- Bleeding following extraction of a tooth
It’s normal to experience slight bleeding 24 hours after a tooth extraction. Firmly bite down on the gauze the dentist gave you for about an hour and then remove it gently. If it feels like the gauze is stuck to gum tissue, moisten it by taking a sip of water.
Using the gauze prevent further bleeding. However, contact the dentist or surgeon if the bleeding persists. If you don’t have a gauze, bite firmly on a moist black tea bag. Tea bags contain tannic acid which helps with clotting and reduces bleeding.
Swelling commonly occurs after most surgical procedures. Use pillows to keep your head elevated. For 24 hours following the surgery, you can place an ice pack on your face. The swelling usually goes away within seven to ten days following oral surgery.
It’s also normal to experience muscle stiffness on your face up to ten days post-surgery. Slight bruising usually occurs after surgery to remove wisdom teeth. Call your dentist if swelling persists beyond ten days post-surgery.
- Using medications for pain
The extent of the procedure determines the post-surgery pain. Your surgeon or dentist will prescribe any pain medication you may need. Follow medication instructions strictly and consult your surgeon before using over-the-counter drugs along with your prescription. Take all antibiotics as prescribed to avoid infections.
- Rest and recovery
A two-day post-surgery rest period is standard. For two or three days after the procedure, avoid strenuous physical activity. Most people can resume normal daily tasks after 48 hours.
- Oral hygiene
Avoid vigorously rinsing your mouth and spitting for 24 hours. Instead, gently brush your teeth and floss if you can open your mouth wide enough. Rinse your mouth lightly without mouthwash. Instead of spitting, let the water fall off your mouth. You can use a salt or saline water solution 24 hours after the procedure to clean the surgical site and help with the healing process.
To prepare saline water, add one tablespoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Be careful not to swallow the saline solution. Repeat the process as often as necessary. After tooth extraction, do not try to remove food particles from the hole (tooth socket). Instead, dislodge the food particles by rinsing lightly with water.
- Tobacco use
Avoid smoking 24 hours following oral surgery as it delays healing and may result in the extremely painful ‘dry socket’ infection. In case you get this infection, visit your dentist for treatment. Smoking after tooth extraction may lead to tobacco pieces finding their way into the extraction site, causing discomfort and pain.
Following the post-surgery instruction from your dentist as well as the guidelines in this article will ensure that you heal normally and avoid infections or injuries to the site of the oral surgery. For more information related to oral surgery, visit the Healthy Smiles Stuart website here.