Undergoing any type of oral surgery requires altering your habits somewhat while you give your mouth time to heal. If you’ve had surgery such as a tooth extraction or dental implants, your oral surgeon will give you a list of instructions to follow for proper care. Here are some typical guidelines that apply following most oral surgeries.
You will likely be sent home biting on gauze. When it gets too wet, gently remove it and replace it with new gauze. Continue biting on it for two hours or until bleeding stops, replacing the gauze as needed.
Some bleeding is normal after oral surgery. Do not spit or use a straw, because these actions may promote bleeding. If the wound begins bleeding again, try placing a damp tea bag in the area and biting firmly for an hour.
Avoid vigorous rinsing because it hampers blood clot formation, which is an important part of healing. Gently brush your teeth as directed, avoiding the wound area.
Some discomfort is to be expected after surgery, so your doctor will prescribe medications to make you feel better. Follow the directions and call your doctor if you are experiencing more pain than expected.
It is normal for some swelling to occur after most oral surgeries. Apply ice packs to the area for the first day, holding it on for 30 minutes and off for 30 minutes.
Drink fluids and eat soft foods for the first few days.
Do not smoke for the week following surgery. Smoking can promote bleeding and infection, and interfere with proper healing.
Your oral surgeon will advise you whether any stitches you have will dissolve on their own, or if you need to return to the office for removal.
Avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours following surgery.