Post-Op Instructions
General Post-Op Instructions

1. Surgery of the mouth is similar to surgery in other parts of the body and requires careful attention to post-operative instructions. Only by doing so will there be minimal amount of after-effect.

2. Maintain biting pressure on gauze for at least two hours following surgery, then carefully remove. Replace with fresh, clean gauze only in case of continued or excessive bleeding.

3. Do not disturb the wound with fingers. In doing so you may invite infection and bleeding.

4. During the first 24 hours following surgery, DO NOT rinse your mouth vigorously or brush your teeth. Do not smoke for several hours.

Should slight bleeding continue, put a fresh, clean gauze compress on the bleeding place, large enough so that it maintains pressure when the jaws are closed tightly. Hold it thus 30 minutes by the clock. This may have to be repeated 3 or 4 times. Slight oozing will persist for 24 hours or more and should not be cause for undue concern. If brisk bleeding persists, consult us for advice and further instruction. Remember that the bleeding may appear to be more than it actually is because of dilution in the saliva.

You can expect swelling following oral surgery. An ice pack applied to the affected area after surgery will frequently ease the discomfort post-operatively and help prevent undue swelling. A plastic bag of ice chips wrapped in a thin towel makes a convenient packet to place on the involved area continuously for the first 24 to 36 hours following the surgical procedure. Keep your head elevated while sleeping or lying down for the first couple of days. After the first 36 hours, use warm moist compresses continuously, or for several hours at a time, to decrease whatever swelling is present. The maximum amount of swelling normally occurs on the third day after surgery, and thereafter slowly subsides.

Most post-operative discomfort can be controlled by taking two ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin), two aspirin tablets, or two acetaminophen tablets (Tylenol) one 1 hour before the anesthetic disappears. Thereafter two tablets every 4 hours should be taken as needed. If a prescription drug was given, take only as directed. The prescription may make you drowsy; you should not drive a car or operate machinery while taking it. Do not exceed recommended dosage of any pills.

This may be caused by swallowing blood, taking pain pills on an empty stomach, or occasionally, due to the surgery or anesthetic. For relief, a soft drink (Ginger Ale, Coke, etc.), may be sipped slowly. If nausea persists, call the office.

Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Beginning with the day after surgery, rinse your mouth often with warm salt water(¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) until the area has healed. You should brush your teeth as usual, using caution in the healing area(s). Be sure to rinse your mouth vigorously after eating, thus keeping the surgical sites as clean as possible. You may use a commercial mouthwash.

Drink plenty of fluids; an adequate intake of liquids is essential at all times. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Nutritious liquid foods such as milk, juices, malts, soup, and liquid food supplements may be eaten the first day or two. Follow this with soft foods such as soft boiled eggs, chopped meat, and custards as tolerated. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible.

Reduce your physical activity. Avoid strenuous exercise.