After Oral Surgery
After Oral Surgery
Patient Self-Care Following Periodontal Surgery
GUAZE PACKING: Gauze packing in your mouth may be removed about 40 minutes after surgery. If bleeding persists, replace the gauze packs by folding a piece of gauze into a small roll and placing it over the extraction site, biting down firmly for 30-40 minutes. Some bleeding is expected for the first 24-36 hours after surgery. If bleeding persists or is excessive, clean out any large blood clots which have collected beyond the surgical site with moist gauze or cloth, then place a moistened teabag for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues after this, please notify our office.
ACTIVITY: After leaving our dental office today, we suggest you consider relaxing or at least limiting your activity as much as possible for the remainder of the day. Avoid strenuous activity and all aerobic exercise for the next 3 days .
DISCOMFORT: Some discomfort may be present when the anesthesia wears off. You have been given a prescription for an anti-inflammatory(NSAID) analgesic. Please take this every 4-5 hours or four times per day for the first three days. This drug will greatly decrease the possibility of post-surgical swelling and pain and has been shown to accelerate healing. After the first 3 days, 1-2 Tylenol, or 1-2 Advil taken every 4-6 hours as needed, should keep you comfortable. Should intense discomfort occur at any time after the surgery, please take the narcotic medication as directed. You may take the narcotic medication and the NSAID together.
INFECTION: If you have been given an antibiotic please continue taking it, one tablet every 5-6 hours, or three times per day until all of the tablets have been taken. If you notice that after a few days, pain or swelling are increasing or that you are experiencing an elevated temperature, please call the doctor.
SWELLING: It is normal for some swelling to occur after surgery, particularly in the lower jaw. To minimize swelling after surgery, apply an ice pack wrapped in a handkerchief to the outside of your face over the operated area. This should be left on your face for about 5 minutes, then removed for 5 minutes, or alternated from side-to-side, between operated areas, for 2-3 hours after surgery. The use of both ice and the NSAID analgesic as described above will reduce the amount and duration of facial swelling.
BLEEDING: It is common to have slight bleeding for a few hours following surgery. If bleeding persists, apply a tea bag to the surgical site with firm pressure for 15-20 minutes. Let yourself rest for 15 minutes then repeat the application of the tea bag for a second time if you still have slight bleeding. If excessive bleeding continues, please call our office. Remember, most of the blood you may see in your mouth is actually a little bit of blood mixed with a lot of saliva – blood is a very strong “dye” and a little bit of blood will color your saliva dramatically.
ORAL HYGIENE: Brushing and oral hygiene procedures should be performed as usual in all UNTREATED areas. In exposed, operated areas limit your oral hygiene to brushing using a soft toothbrush. In areas covered by periodontal dressing, brush only the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Avoid dental flossing in operated areas during the first two weeks following surgery. No undiluted mouthwash, salt water or peroxide rinses should be used during the first week following surgery. Also avoid the use of water irrigation devices such as Waterpiks for 1 month following surgery. The exposed operated areas should be gently swabbed with a Q-tip saturated with Peridex rinse as a last oral hygiene procedure at bedtime and again in the morning, after eating and drinking.
EATING AND DRINKING: Do not spit or use a straw or rinse your mouth for 24 hours after surgery. If there is something in your mouth like bloody saliva, don't spit it out but "drool" it out into a basin or sink for the first 24 hours. The day following surgery begin warm saltwater rinses 6 or more times a day (use only 1/4 teaspoon salt per glass of warm water). Continue the saltwater rinses for at least 1 week. Do not try to eat until all anesthesia (numbness) has worn off. A reasonable diet must be maintained -- even on the day of surgery. Try yogurt, pasta, fish, eggs, mashed or baked potatoes, cooked soft vegetables, tamales, soft meat, stews, soups or milkshakes. Patients should avoid hot liquids for 12 hours after surgery. Lukewarm foods and liquids are OK. Please refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages the day of surgery.
CARE OF THE DRESSING: A silicone putty-like material may have been placed in the area operated on. Its purpose is to “protect” this area so as to minimize bleeding or discomfort. If small pieces of the dressing break off, do not be concerned. If large portions of the dressing are displaced or lost during the first few days and discomfort is experienced, we may need to replace the dressing – please contact the office. If the dressing should fall off after 4 days, and you are comfortable, replacement of the dressing is unnecessary.
USE OF REMOVABLE DENTAL APPLIANCES: If you normally wear a removable appliance which replaces missing teeth, and it rests on the operated area, it is best to minimize use of this appliance as any pressure on the surgical site could be detrimental to healing and cause discomfort.