Oral Surgery Recovery

Oral surgery may be required to treat a number of issues regarding your mouth.  The best thing you can do for yourself on your road to recovery after having oral surgery is to follow the instructions given to you by your doctor.  If you do not carefully follow your doctor’s instructions after oral surgery then you could be opening yourself up to infection and unnecessary pain and possible complications.

Bleeding, Swelling, and Pain after Oral Surgery

A small amount of bleeding should be expected after you’ve had oral surgery.  If you notice excessive bleeding you should rinse your mouth then place a gauze pad over the area that is bleeding and bite firmly for around 30 minutes.  If you continue to experience excessive bleeding at the site of your oral surgery you can also try biting on a damp tea bag for about an hour.  This should help form a clot at the surgery site.  To prevent the area from opening up and bleeding again try sitting upright and avoiding strenuous activities such as exercise.  If you are unable to stop or slow the bleeding you will want to call your doctor for further instruction.

The swelling associated with oral surgery largely depends on the type of oral surgery that you have undergone.  You may experience swelling of the mouth, cheeks, eyes, jaw, or other parts of your face for a few days.  You probably won’t notice any swelling until 1-3 days after your surgery.  This is normal.  You can combat swelling by applying ice packs during the first 24 hours after your oral surgery while you are awake.  Do not wait to apply the ice packs because they will not be effective if you wait longer than 24 hours after your oral surgery.  When you are 36 hours after your surgery you can apply moist heat to help control pain and swelling.

Your doctor should advise you what your pain management options are after having oral surgery.  They may offer you prescription pain killers to help manage the pain associated with healing after oral surgery. You will want to take the prescribed medication as directed by your doctor.  If you are prescribed narcotics you may be groggy and have slower reflexes.  You should not operate a vehicle and avoid alcoholic beverages while taking narcotics.  If your doctor does not prescribe you any pain medication you can take two Motrin 200 mg pills every four to six hours.  Or, if you prefer, you can take 2 Aleve 225 mg pills every 8 – 12 hours.  If you are not able to manage the pain on your own or with your prescribed medication you should let your doctor know.

Eating after Oral Surgery

Once the general numbness wears off you should be consuming plenty of liquids.  Any kind of sports drink will help rehydrate your body most effectively.  It is very important that you do not use straws while you are recovering from oral surgery.  You will want to drink directly from a cup.  The sucking action from using a straw can cause additional problems and bleeding by dislodging any blood clots that may have formed.

You can eat soft foods after oral surgery but you will want to be sure to chew away from the site of the oral surgery.  Foods that are high in calories and protein are very important during your recovery.  Although your food intake may be reduced it is very important to make sure that you are getting enough fluids to stay hydrated.  The more you can eat and drink, the better you will feel.  You will have more strength and your body will be able to recover from oral surgery much more quickly with the proper nutrients.

You should not rinse or spit the day of your oral surgery, but you can brush your teeth that evening as long as you are very gentle and rinse very carefully. After each meal during your recovery period you should gently rinse your mouth out with a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt.  This will help keep your mouth clean and promote healing.

Other Tips for Oral Surgery Recovery

You may notice localized numbness of your lip, chin, or tongue following oral surgery.  This is normal and typically temporary.  If you are experiencing numbness please pay close attention while eating so you don’t burn or bite yourself.

The corners of your mouth may be dry and cracked following oral surgery.  You can use Vaseline or something similar to keep the area moist to prevent further cracking.  Your jaw, face, and neck may be sore for a few days following surgery.  This is also normal.  If the feelings do not lessen after 3 – 4 days then you will want to consult your doctor.

Be sure to follow all instructions given to you by your doctor carefully regarding the care and medication following your oral surgery.  Straying from these instructions could result in infection, longer recovery time, or unnecessary pain.

If you have any questions about oral surgery recovery, please call us at Progressive Dental Care of Hanover.

250 Fame Ave Ste 206
Hanover, PA 17331
PHONE 717-637-0202
Monday ............... 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday ............... 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday .......... 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Thursday ............. 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Friday .................. 8:30 AM - 4 PM