After oral surgery it is important to follow the instructions provided by us, as they will help you to remain as comfortable as possible during the healing process. following the instructions will ensure the process proceeds successfully and as quickly as possible.
While Waiting for the Anesthesia to Wear Off
Wait until the anesthetic has completely worn off before you attempt to eat anything. This is because you could bite the insides of your cheeks, your lips or tongue, causing damage and discomfort once you can feel again.
What to Expect Once the Anesthetic Has Worn Off
Pain: It is normal to experience some discomfort or pain when the anesthetic has worn off. Make sure you take your non-aspirin pain medication(s), and ensure you use these as directed.
Your pain medication might be prescribed or over-the-counter pain killers.
Nose Bleeds: You might find you have nose bleeds after surgery, but these should stop within a few days. Please resist the temptation to blow your nose, and instead wipe it with a tissue.
We know it is hard, but please try not to sneeze and DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE. This will destroy the bone graft.
If you really have to sneeze, keep your mouth open and do not squeeze your nose.
- Salt Water Rinse: Use 15ml(1/2oz.) of diluted salt water ( mix two tea spoons in a cup of water) twice a day, every 12 hours and rinse for 30 seconds each time until your sutures are removed.
- Ibuprophen (unless allergic to Ibuprophen or aspirin): Take one 600mg tablet every 6-8 hours for the next 3-5 days.
- Please make sure you take 600 mg of Ibuprofen or Advil (this is equivalent to 3 tablets of over-the-counter Ibuprofen or Advil), every 4-6 hours for the next 3-5 days.
- Please take this medication as instructed, even if the area does not hurt.
- Make sure you do not exceed 2400mg (12 tablets) in any twenty four hour period. This is very important!
- If you are allergic to Ibuprofen: Please take 1000mg Extra Strength Tylenol (equivalent to 2 tablets of over-the counter Extra Strength Tylenol) every 4-6 hours for the next 3-5 days.
- Please take this painkiller as instructed, even if you are not in pain!
- It is very important not to exceed 4000mg (8 tablets) in any 24 hour period.
- If, or when you are taking any of the following: Norco/Vicodin/ Tylenol#3/ Darvocet, please only take 1 tablet of Extra Strength Tylenol.
- If you have been given a prescription for a stronger pain killer then this can be filled at any pharmacy for use should you find over-the-counter painkillers are not strong enough to relieve your discomfort. If you find Vicodin/ Tylenol#3/ Darvocet is too strong, please cut the tablet in half.
- Please make sure you do not operate any heavy machinery, and please do not drive while taking Vicodin/ Tylenol#3/ Darvocet.
- 12 Hour Decongestant and expectorant Tablets: It is important to use a 12 hour decongestant and expectorant tablet such as Mucinex D.
Please take your first tablet 1 day before surgery, and from then on take a total of two tablets every 24 hours (once every 12 hours).
- Antibiotics: Please take your antibiotics as prescribed. It is important to take the antibiotics as instructed until all the tablets have been completely finished, as they will have been prescribed to help prevent or minimize the risk of infection.
Drug Reaction- if you are experiencing adverse effects from drugs, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hives, itching or other affects, discontinue the drugs and call the office at 713-807-9877.
Side Effects of Surgery
It is quite normal to experience slight swelling or even bruising around the operation site, and it is possible your lips might feel chapped. You can help minimize the swelling through:
- Applying a reusable ice bag or a bag of frozen vegetables that has been wrapped in a towel, to the swollen area. Apply the ice pack to the surgery area for 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off for the first 1-2 days after surgery.
- After the first 1-2 days then apply moist heat to help relieve minor swelling.
- You will help minimize swelling if your head is higher than your heart, so make sure you are propped up rather than lying flat as this will help to reduce swelling.
- If you experience any major swelling then contact your doctor immediately.
You might find tooth sensitivity increases after surgery, especially to cold substances, but these feelings should subside a few weeks after surgery. You can help minimize discomfort by making sure you keep your mouth as clean as possible so plaque cannot build up. If the sensitivity is extreme, then contact your doctor as they can recommend methods for reducing sensitivity, or possibly medications to help keep you more comfortable.
Sore Teeth- teeth adjacent to the surgical area will sometime shift slightly and can be sore for several days. However, if this does not improve, please bring to our attention at your one week post-op visit.
You might notice minor bleeding, for example your saliva might look slightly pink, during the first 48 hours after surgery. Resist the temptation to rinse out your mouth, and avoid eating very hot foods during this time as this could increase the bleeding.
If the bleeding does not stop then apply light pressure to the operation site using a moistened piece of gauze or a moist tea bag (the tannins in the tea bag help to reduce bleeding!). You need to hold the gauze or tea bag in place for 20-30 minutes. We know it is hard, but please resist the temptation to lift up the gauze or tea bag during this time as the pressure needs to be continuous to be effective.
the usual symptoms are swelling and pain. Please start warm salt water rinses and contact our office for antibiotics and/or an appointment
General Precautions to Follow after Surgery
The following are general precautions to follow after surgery. It is important to read this list and to follow these instructions as closely as you can.
- Please stick to eating soft foods that don’t need much chewing, and avoid chewing near the operation site. Easy to eat foods include scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, pastas such as macaroni cheese, and soups. Make sure you have enough to eat to maintain good nutrition, and be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
- Avoid drinking any sort of alcohol, including beer and wine, and do not smoke until you have had your post-operative appointment.
- You should not smoke for the first 1-2 weeks following surgery. If you ignore this then you are likely to take longer to heal.
- Make sure you maintain good oral hygiene in the areas of your mouth that have not been affected by surgery. You can lightly brush just the biting surfaces of your teeth in areas where you have dressings.
- After you have eaten, please rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water. You can do this 4-6 times a day, gently rinsing for 30 seconds each time. Do not vigorously rinse or swoosh!
- From tomorrow onwards please use Peridex, Periogard or Chlorhexidine mouth rinse. Use twice a day (morning and night), making sure you rinse for 30 seconds each time.
- If you have been provided with a clear stent, or with an upper denture that covers up the roof of your mouth, then please leave this in position for the first 24 hours. It is vitally important not to remove this, even if it pools with blood. Instead just leave it in position and rinse your mouth with lukewarm salt water or Chlorhexidine rinse.
- Once the first 24 hours have passed you can wear your denture or stent as much as you like, and you will probably find it more comfortable to do so while eating.
- Please resist the temptation to fiddle with the surgery site with your tongue or fingers.
- Please resist the temptation to pull down your lips or to pull out your cheeks to take a look, or to get someone else to look for you.
- Please do not use a drinking straw as the sucking action can dislodge the blood clot, and if this happens it will slow down healing and could lead to infection.
- Please avoid very hot foods, but it is okay to eat very cold foods such as ice-cream provided you use a spoon.
Some of these precautions might seem tricky to stick to, especially when it comes to no peeking or fiddling with the operation site, but following them as closely as you can, will help the area to heal with the minimum of fuss.
If you have any problems after office hours please call the office number, when the recording comes on do not hang up, there is an option to press 0 to be transferred to a live operator who will contact your doctor.