Instructions to Patients Following Oral Surgery
Close and keep pressure on gauze pack for 1 hour. If heavy bleeding persists, fold the gauze into a firm wad and place it directly on the bleeding area. Maintain firm pressure by biting for 20 minutes. The gauze may be substituted by a wet tea bag. The acids in the tea have a clotting effect. It is normal for saliva to have light streaks of blood for a day.
Keep fingers and tongue away from the operated area. While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite your cheek, lip or tongue. The numbness should subside within a few hours (call if it does not). Limit strenuous activity for 24 hours after the surgery.
Do not rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours, although it is permissible to drink cold or lukewarm liquids. Smoking should be avoided for 24 hours. After 24 hours, rinse your mouth gently with a solution of ½ tablespoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Continue the rinses for a few days.
Cold or lukewarm liquids may be taken for the first 4-6 hours. After this, maintain a healthy diet of soft food for a day. No hot liquids such as soup, tea, or coffee in the first 24 hours. No carbonated liquids (coke, sprite or any soft drinks). Do not drink through a straw.
Swelling and discoloration may be expected in the area, usually reaching its maximum, two days after surgery. It will disappear gradually and is no cause for concern. Icepacks may be applied for the first 4-6 hours only by alternating 20 minutes on, and then 20 minutes off.
If you have any discomfort, take whatever you normally take for a headache every few hours. If necessary, the doctor will prescribe stronger medication for you.
Sutures (stitches) if required are self-dissolving. They will loosen and fall out in 3-5 days.
Continue to brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily. The tongue should also be brushed. Following an extraction, avoid cleaning the teeth next to the healing tooth socket.
If pain begins to intensify after days of initial improvement, you may have a dry socket. Call the office to see if a dressing needs to be placed.
Do not hesitate to call the office if you have any questions.
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