Home Care Following Oral Surgery

Pain

Discomfort may persist for a week to 10 days even following simple extractions. Pain may extend to the ear, under the lower jaw and into the temple region. Medications have been prescribed for your comfort – follow instructions closely. Some pain medications may cause drowsiness and operating a motor vehicle or other machinery should be avoided for a minimum of 18 hours. Reactions such as rashes or diarrhea should be reported to the office immediately. Additionally, some pain medications may cause nausea and/or constipation, and should be reduced if this occurs.

Bleeding

Some oozing may be expected for the first 24-36 hours. Do not actively rinse the mouth the day of the surgery since this may dislodge the blood clots and interrupt normal healing. The following day, rinse with warm salt water solution (1/2 teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water), 4 times daily for one week. If you have been prescribed a mouth rinse, please use it between rinsing with the salt water solution. Ice packs should be applied to the side of the face for the first 48 hours. Prolonged bleeding should be treated in the following manner. Place a wad of moistened gauze over the bleeding site and bite on it to exert firm pressure for 30 minutes. This may be repeated. If the above is not successful, contact the office.

Swelling

This usually follows Oral Surgery and reaches a maximum in 48 hours, slowly disappearing over the next 4 to 5 days. Apply an ice pack to the side of the face for 48 hours, (20 minutes on, 10 minutes off). Discontinue ice after 72 hours. Bruising may occur and will gradually resolve in 7-10 days. Swelling also affects the chewing muscles and difficulty in moving the jaw may be experienced for several days.

Activity

Rest with the head elevated and avoid excessive activity for several days.

Diet

Cold or warm soft foods and liquids are suggested for the first 48 to 72 hours. Liquids should be taken frequently. Avoid carbonated or alcoholic beverages for a minimum of 18 hours. Do not use a straw. Hard crunchy foods should be avoided for several weeks. As swelling and discomfort decrease, return gradually to a normal diet. Tooth brushing should be started after 24 hours. Avoid smoking.

Sutures

Dissolving sutures are generally used and do not require removal. They gradually loosen and are lost anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks after surgery.

Dentures

If new dentures have been inserted, please do not remove dentures for the first 24 hours, then only very briefly for rinsing, then immediately reinsert.

Helful Information

Summary

Dr. Casciato’s office Kitchener Office Phone Number 519-741-5069 should be contacted if the following situations occur:

  • bleeding which does not respond to pressure packs as instructed above
  • pain which is not controlled by the prescribed medications
  • swelling which increases several days following surgery
  • a markedly elevated temperature
  • generalized itching or skin eruption
  • if you feel the healing is not progressing normally
  • if you have a more urgent problem after office hours, please proceed directly to the Emergency Department at the hospital

The following situations should cause no concern:

  • slight oozing of blood 24-48 hours
  • swelling which occurs within 48 hours of surgery
  • moderate discomfort which can be controlled by medications
  • discolouration of the skin adjacent to the site of surgery
  • slightly elevated temperature
  • unpleaseant breath odour or a “bad taste” in the mouth for several days

Note: If you have received a sedation or general anesthetic, you are not to operate a motor vehicle nor hazardous machinery and not to consume alcohol for 24 hours after surgery.