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ORAL SURGERY POST OPERATIVE/DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS
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Most oral surgical procedures, with attendant incision and reflection of soft tissues and sectioning of hard tissues are followed by varying degrees of swelling and stiffness of the jaws and oozing of blood as well as discomfort.  In order to minimize these post-op symptoms it is important for you to carry out these home care instructions to the best of your ability.


1. BLEEDING                  

 

Moist gauze pads have been placed over the surgical sites so that with your back teeth together, pressure is exerted on the surgical sites.  These pads should be left in place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour and then should be removed.  If bleeding is found to be excessive, another moistened gauze pad may be placed over the surgical site and held in place with biting pressure for 30 minutes.  This may be repeated, but only if bleeding is found to be excessive.  Some continued slow pink oozing is to be expected for the next 24-48 hours, so don't be alarmed to wake up in the morning after your surgery and find you have blood in your mouth.



2.
PAIN

 

Pain response to oral surgery procedures varies with each individual and with the procedure accomplished.  The prescribed medication should be started within 30-60 minutes after the surgery has been completed.  Do not exceed the recommended dosage found on the instruction label of your prescription.  Unless otherwise indicated, take the medication with milk or some other food in order to avoid stomach upset.  The medication may make you drowsy, so do not drive, operate machinery, carry a firearm, or drink alcohol while taking it.  As soon as you feel that the strong pain medications no longer needed, mild discomfort is better managed by the use of Motrin, Aspirin, or Tylenol.  Remember, depending on the extraction, you may experience moderate pain for 2-3 days after the surgery.  Should moderate pain persist for more than 3 days, you need to see your dentist.


3. SWELLING AND STIFFNESS

 

Varying degrees of swelling and jaw stiffness will be noted, depending on the difficulty of the extraction.  Management consists of the following:

a.   ICE: Ice packs should be applied to the involved sides of the face for at least the first 8-12
hours: 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off.  Replenish the ice when necessary.  You can fill a plastic bag with chopped ice, seal it with a rubber band, wrap it with a small towel, and contour the pack to the cheek.  Ice SHOULD NOT be applied after the first 24 hours have elapsed.  Swelling usually reaches its peak on the 2nd or 3rd day and slowly resolves over the next several days.  If the swelling increases after the third day, have the dentist examine you.

b.  HEAT: 24-48 hours after the surgery, residual swelling and jaw stiffness may be managed by intermittent application of moist heat (moderate) to the area.  This can be done with a warm washcloth for periods of 10 minutes, no more than 4 or 6 times a day.



4.
NAUSEA

 

Nausea may be due to one of the following and can be properly managed:

1)   MEDICATION: Take with milk or food. 
2)   EXCESSIVE SWALLOWING OF BLOOD: Avoid swallowing of bloods by keeping gauze in place.
3)   IMPROPER NOURISHMENT: If you can't cat, at least drink liquids to stay
hydrated.


5.
LIQUID DIET

  You may experience some loss of appetite after oral surgery.  This reduction in food intake will affect the normal amount of water you consume, contained in solid foods.  It is important to increase fluid

intake to compensate and avoid dehydration.  Dehydration can lead to fever, flu-like symptoms, and slow recovery after surgery.

a.    Drink 6-8 eight-ounce glasses of water, soup, or juice each day.
b.    Do not use a straw when drinking, the suction action may dislodge the clots.

 


6.
DENTAL SOFT DIET


 

It is important to take in nutrients in order for the healing process to progress smoothly.  The surgical sites may affect the chewing muscle attachments causing soreness and difficulty chewing.  For the first few days a soft diet can provide the necessary nutrients to help in the healing process.

a.   Consider naturally soft foods such as: mashed potatoes, rice, eggs, cereals, fruit salads, and soups.
b.   Avoid very hot or spicy foods for the first five days.
c.   Eat three balanced meals each day.
d.   If you experience a loss of appetite it is imperative to drink fluids.


 

7. ORAL HYGIENE

 

Due to decreased mobility of the oral structures in the post op period, as well as the presence of infection prone tissue incisions, special care must be taken to properly cleanse the mouth to promote normal healing.  No rinsing or spitting should be done for the first 24 hours.  Starting the next day, toothbrushing may be resumed, taking care to avoid the surgical sites.  In addition, the mouth should be rinsed at least four times per day with a mild salt solution (1 cup of warm water plus 1 teaspoon of salt).  Continue this for 1 week.


8.
ACTIVITY

 

Activity for the first 24 hours should be minimal, resting on a couch with head elevated, working with ice packs, etc.   Avoid strenuous activities such as jogging, weight lifting, etc., for a week or so depending on the post op condition.

 


9.
EMERGENCIES


 

DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL THIS OFFICE IF QUESTIONS OR PROBLEMS ARISE at (405) 455-2552 during daytime or (405) 919-8934 after hours.

 

 
       
 
 


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