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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.
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
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.
degrees of swelling and jaw stiffness will be noted,
depending on the difficulty of the extraction.
Management consists of the following:
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.
Nausea may be due
to one of the following and can be properly managed:
1) MEDICATION: Take with milk or food.
SWALLOWING OF BLOOD: Avoid swallowing of bloods by keeping gauze
3) IMPROPER NOURISHMENT: If you can't cat, at least
drink liquids to stay
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL THIS OFFICE IF QUESTIONS
OR PROBLEMS ARISE at (405) 455-2552 during
daytime or (405) 919-8934 after hours.