Postoperative Instructions and Information

After the extraction of teeth or other surgical procedures on the mouth, certain steps must be followed to minimize postoperative discomfort.  Please read and follow the instructions carefully.

Pain

Pain from surgical procedures in the highly sensitive oral cavity can be controlled by taking the medications as directed unless otherwise instructed, begin the first dose immediately so that the pain medication can be in full effect before the local anesthesia wears off. If a throbbing pain occurs in the jaws, ears or temporal areas three to five days following surgery, this is caused by decomposition of the blood clot which exposes the bony walls of the socket to foot and bacteria. This is often called “Dry Socket”  If this occurs, please notify the office for instructions and treatment.

Bleeding

Slight oozing from the sockets may last one to two days. The blood clots will also tinge the saliva causing it to be reddish in color, especially the first 24 hours.  If excessive bleeding occurs, place a gauze pad directly on the bleeding area and close mouth firmly so that pressure in applied. Replace the gauze approximately every 30 minutes until bleeding has been controlled.  A moistened tea bag may be used effectively if gauze in not available.  If profuse or continuous bleeding persists, call the office at 407­-644-­5454.  DO NOT USE ASPIRIN OR ASPIRIN PRODUCTS FOR 24-­48 HOURS (as this may induce bleeding.)

Ice Packs

Upon reaching home, apply ice bags to the outside of the face and continue for the next 24­-48 hours.  The height of swelling can be expected on the 2nd and 3rd day after surgery.

Drink plenty of fluids

At first, drink, cold liquids ­ fruit juice, water, etc.  At least 8 glasses of liquid a day should be taken.  A nutritionally balanced diet is essential for wellbeing, gaining strength, feeling less pain and more rapid healing.  DO NOT USE A STRAW FOR THE FIRST 3 DAYS.

Diet

Follow your own inclinations as to diet, but for improved comfort, soft foods which can be chewed and swallowed easily may be indicated for the first 24 hours.  Nourishment should be taken regularly.  Try not to miss a single meal, beginning with soups and soft foods, gradually progressing to solid food.  A blender makes it possible to use fruits and vegetables and every kind of meat.  Most common table food may be liquified in a blender.  As soon as possible, change to solid food.  You will feel better, have more strength, less pain and heal faster if you continue to eat.

Oral hygiene

Since vigorous use of a mouthwash may stimulate bleeding refrain from them out for the first 24 hours. After that time, use rinses of warm salt water 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 4 ounces glass of warm water several times a day.  Remove all white film from the gums with a cotton swab or clean gauze and brush your teeth and tongue being careful to avoid the operative site. It is highly recommended that patients refrain from smoking of tobacco use for 1 week following oral surgery as this slows down the healing process.

Possible Complications

Other teeth in the area of the extraction may be sore for the first week. This is sympathetic pain is normal.  If the discomfort does not subside after the first week please notify the office.

Temperature

There may be an elevation of temperature for the first 48 hours. This should not exceed 101 degrees. If the temperature is higher or continues, notify the office.

Bruising and discoloration

There may be bleeding under the tissue and a purplish black discoloration of the tissue may result. The greenish or yellowish tint may appear under the jaw or on the neck as the discoloration improves. This is not an uncommon occurrence, and you should not be worried if it happens in your particular case.

Numbness

This may occur at the corner of the mouth, a lower lip, or the edges of the tongue on the side with the lower tooth has been removed. This is usually a temporary condition but it can last as long as 6 months to 2 years. It is rarely permanent.

Trismus, Earache, Sore Throat, Cracked Lips

Stiffness (trismus) of the jaw may occur after surgery and usually relaxes about the fifth day. There may be a slight earache and a sore throat may develop, this is normal and will subside. The corner of the mouth may dry out and temporary cracking may appear as a result of stretching during surgery.

Sharp Bony Projections

During the healing process, small sharp fragments may be felt in the gums.  these are not part of the tooth, but are small pieces of bone and often work themselves out.  Return to the office for their simple removal it they are particularly bothersome.

Sutures

Sutures are placed to help hold the tissue in place during the healing process.  If they need to be removed a separate appointment will be scheduled for that procedure.