Post Operative Instructions

Common sense will often dictate what you should do. However, when in doubt follow these guidelines or call our office for clarification.

Before walking out of the office, gauze is placed on the surgical area. The gauze may be gently removed after 20 minutes. DO NOT KEEP GAUZE IN MOUTH FOR LONGER THAN 20 MINUTES AND DO NOT REPLACE.

NO SMOKING, NO RINSING, NO SPITTING, DO NOT USE STRAWS FOR 48 HOURS (2 DAYS) AFTER SURGERY. This will cause suction in your mouth, remove the blood clot too early, and you could get a secondary infection called a “Dry Socket”. Continue brushing your teeth after surgery, but do not spit toothpaste out, lean over sink, and let it fall out. Do not use mouthwash for two weeks.

Instructions For Two Days After Surgery

BONE GRAFT(lf Applicable): Membrane will dissolve or fall out within 5 days, the bone will remain in the socket.

HEAVY BLEEDING: Bleeding/oozing will occur throughout the day of the surgery and even continue the next day. Heavy bleeding means it’s gushing and it’s not controllable. At this point, place TEA BAC (soaked in warm water, squeezed dry) for 30 minutes. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.

OOZING of intermittent bleeding or oozing overnight is normal. No need for extra gauze. Do not sleep with gauze in your mouth. This blood clot is a soft blood clot and is very normal for you to ooze blood for 3-4 days after surgery.

SWELLING: It can be minimized by using a cold pack and applied firmly to the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied twenty minutes on and off for the rest of the day.

PAIN: Please take 800mg Ibuprofen every 4-6 hours for the first 24 hours to help with swelling. If you take a narcotic in addition to Ibuprofen, continue taking 800mg of Ibuprofen. You can take them together as they do two different things for your body. Remember that the most severe pain is usually within six hours after the local anesthetic wears off; after that your need for medicine should lessen.

NAUSEA: Nausea is not uncommon after surgery. Sometimes pain medications are the cause. Nausea can be reduced by preceding each pain pill with a small amount of soft food and taking the pill with a large volume of water. Try to keep taking clear fluids and minimize dosing of pain medications. Classic Coca-Cola or ginger ale may help with nausea.

DIET: Once the numbness goes away (2-4 hours after surgery) you can eat; In the meantime, you can drink liquids and shakes. Avoid extremely hot foods. (puddings, yogurt, milkshakes, soft chicken, pasta, eggs, pancakes, etc.) AVOID FOOD like nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, pretzels, chips, etc., which may get lodged in the socket areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to more solid foods. It is important not to skip meals! If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor.

Flipper(lf Applicable): A flipper is a cosmetic temporary appliance that is placed after a tooth is extracted. DO NOT REMOVE FLIPPER FROM MOUTH THE FIRST 24 HOURS AFTER EXTRACTION, including sleep. Please keep in mind removing it before 24 hours might cause swelling, therefore your flipper may not be able to be placed back in. After 48 hours, remove after each meal to rinse with warm salt water and start removing appliance before sleeping.

EXERCISING: Do not lift anything heavy for the first 24 hours after surgery. (over 100 pounds) You could dislodge the blood clot and start heavy bleeding with the possibility of getting a dry socket. Regular cardio is ok.


MOUTH RINSES: Start warm salt-water rinses after each meal, and after you’re done smoking (to remove the nicotine). 3-4 times a day is best. Do not use mouthwash for 10 days after surgery. Continue doing salt-water rinses for 10 days. If food gets stuck in the socket where the tooth was, the food will start to rot, and you will have discomfort. If this happens use a Q-tip in the area to remove the food. If you start to bleed that might help the food get dislodged.

BRUSHING: Begin your normal oral hygiene routine. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.

HOT APPLICATIONS: You may apply warm compresses to the skin over the areas of swelling (hot water bottle, hot moist towels, heating pad) for 20 minutes on every hour to help soothe tender areas. This will also help decrease swelling and stiffness.

NOT BEING ABLE TO OPEN YOUR MOUTH FULLY: This is very common after extractions in the mouth. Best advice is to chew gum. You may also open and close your mouth with your help from your fingers.

DRY SOCKET: Most commonly on lower jaw. It occurs 4-5 days after surgery. If your pain is consistent after you take any type of pain medication, and the medication doesn’t help at all please call the office. You will have to see the doctor so he can place a medicated paste to help.

SHARP EDGES: If you feel something hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling the bony walls which once supported the extracted teeth. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or so.

HEALING: Normal healing after tooth extraction should be as follows: The first two days after surgery are generally the most uncomfortable and there is usually some swelling. On the third day you should be more comfortable and, although still swollen, can usually begin a more substantial diet. The remainder of the post-operative course should be gradual, steady improvement.

It is our desire that your recovery be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Following these instructions will assist you, but if you have questions about your progress, please call the office.