We are interested in your speedy and full recovery. Here are some instructions that could help you in your recovery. Remember if any unusual problem arise or you need immediate care, call our office or go to the nearest emergency room. Please read the following instructions carefully. They will help you to understand the normal process and reactions following your surgery and help to keep you as comfortable as possible. Surgery of the mouth requires careful attention to post-operative instructions.
EXTRACTIONS and IMPACTIONS
Bleeding or oozing of blood from the surgical site is expected, and saliva may be tinged for 24 to 48 hours. Firm gauze should be maintained on the extraction sockets for three hours after extraction. If bleeding is persistent, it should be controlled by placing a piece of sterile gauze or a tea bag dipped in ice cold water over the wound and biting on it for one hour. Repeat if necessary.
Do not rinse your mouth or spit out. It is important that the gauze packing is placed directly over the site where the tooth was removed and not over the adjacent teeth. The gauze must be bulky enough to prevent the upper and lower teeth from meeting when biting firmly.
Apply ice to face in the area of the surgery for a period of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 3-6 hours after the surgery while awake. Swelling is not uncommon after surgery. This may last for up to two weeks after surgery. Discoloration of the skin of the face and neck may occur within 10 days following surgery and should be no cause for alarm. Sleeping with your head elevated could help reducing the bleeding and swelling.
3. MOUTH RINSE
Do not rinse your mouth or spit out for 24 hours after surgery. After this time, use one half teaspoon of salt plus two tablespoons hydrogen peroxide in a glass of warm water and rinse gently after each meal. Patients who have had impacted teeth removed should rinse after eating for approximately six weeks. Do not rinse more than 4 times a day. Avoid excessive vigorous rinsing. This should be done 3 to 4 times a day for at least 2 weeks after surgery. Do not rinse or brush on the day of surgery.
Cold, soft and bland foods are advisable for the first 24 hours. Good nutrition post-surgery is essential. Do not use a straw for drinking. Smoking can delay healing. Avoid peanuts, popcorn and other hard foods for 2 weeks or until the sockets have healed. Drink plenty of liquids. If you are diabetic, maintain your caloric intake and take your medication as usual.
Continued proper oral hygiene is imperative. Normal care should be maintained, but the surgical area should be excluded from care involved when brushing, flossing, dental irrigation appliances, etc., until advised. Healing will occur more rapidly when good oral hygiene is maintained.
It will be beneficial to exercise your jaw by chewing sugarless gum starting 24 hours after the extraction and lasting for approximately one week.
An increased temperature of 100-101 degrees F is not unusual for a few days following surgery. If, after the third postoperative day, your swelling increases or your temperature is greater than 101 degrees F, please contact our office.
We use self-dissolving sutures, and they do not need to be removed. They may stay in your mouth up to 5 weeks.
9. PERSISTENT NUMBNESS
Your lips, tongue, chin, gum and teeth are going to feel numb for several hours after surgery. In some cases, numbness or tingling in the lower lip or tongue may last longer. Depending to several factors, such as proximity to nerves or pressure of the roots on the nerve under the teeth roots, you may experience a very prolonged numbness. Although rare, in some cases, this could last several years or be permanent. If you develop this condition, you must be careful not to bite your lip or touch hot food to your lips since this can cause serious harm.
Do not smoke for at least one week after your procedure. This may interfere with blood clot formation and increase the risk of postoperative pain. Nicotine may break down the blood clot.
This is usually due to either swallowing of blood or sensitivity to the medications you are taking. A small amount of carbonated 7-Up or ginger ale every hour for 5-6 hours will usually terminate nausea. Follow this with weak tea or clear broth, avoiding juices or dairy products.
12. DRY and CHAPPED LIPS
The corner of the mouth may become chaffed, and temporary cracking may appear as a result of retraction during surgery. Apply a thin coat of Vaseline to your lips every 3 to 4 hours while you are awake during the first few days after your surgery.
13. MUSCLE SORENESS
It is not unusual to have some jaw muscle soreness and some limitation of opening following surgery. This soreness is temporary and should disappear as the swelling subsides and the diet is resumed.
14. SHARP EDGES
If you feel sharp edges in the surgical areas with your tongue, it is probably the bony wall that originally supported the teeth. Occasionally, small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the first few weeks after surgery. They are not pieces of tooth and, if necessary, we will remove them. Please call our office if you are concerned.
15. DRY SOCKET
Dry socket is a very rare condition caused by an early loss of blood clot from the extraction site. It is characterized by dull throbbing pain, which may radiate to the ear. It can be identified by pain, which increases instead of getting better 3-4 days after extraction. The socket can be medicated to relieve this pain, and it is recommended that you call our office for treatment as needed.
16. BRUISING and JAW STIFFNESS
Bruising (black and blue or yellow) and jaw stiffness or pain in the jaw joint (TMJ) area is common following surgical procedures. These will slowly subside. Stiffness, causing difficulty in opening the mouth, and a slight earache and sore throat even one week after surgery is possible.
17. SINUS INVOLVEMENT
Due to the close relationship to the sinus, surgery in the mouth might affect the sinus. This may have occurred in your case, therefore it is important to follow these instructions.
Do not blow your nose. Do not sneeze through your nose. If the urge to sneeze arises, sneeze with your mouth open. Avoid swimming and strenuous exercise for at least one week. It is not uncommon to have a slight amount of bleeding from the nose for several days.
18. FOLLOW-UP VISIT
Depending to your particular type of surgery, we may need to see you in a week to assess your healing progress. Call us if you had any question or come back for further evaluation. We care for you.
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