After dental surgery, recovery should be your #1 concern. In order to prevent any infection or trauma to the surgical area, make sure that you follow the post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon or dentist. When properly followed, these general guidelines will ensure rapid recover and optimal healing.
Bleeding after tooth extraction
Minor bleeding in the first 24 hours after tooth extraction is perfectly normal. After surgery, the surgeon or dentist will provide you with sterile gauze. Bit down on the gauze with firm pressure at least for an hour after your surgery. After an hour, when removing the gauze, make sure that you do it gently. Sometimes the gauze will stick to the tissue. In this case, take a sip of water in order to moisturize the gauze. This way, when you remove the gauze, you won’t cause any damage to the surgical side and thus no rebleeding.
Your dentist may also suggest that you bit on a moist black tea bag. Substances contained in the black tea reduce bleeding and speed up the clotting process.
Swelling after surgery
Swelling is the body’s natural response to various types of surgery. You should use pillows to keep your head elevated. In addition, you can also use ice packs for the first 24 hours after surgery. Swelling after oral surgery usually completely passes within 7 to 10 days. You may also notice facial muscle stiffness but that should be gone in up to 10 days after surgery. Slight bruising can also happen, especially if you had surgery done on your lower wisdom teeth.
In case you have questions or concerns regarding post-surgical swelling or if the swelling hasn’t reduced in 7-10 days, make sure you contact your doctor.
Post-surgery pain and medication
Depending on the extent of oral surgery, you may experience some pain. It varies from patient to patient. You’ll be prescribed some medication to manage your pain. Make sure that you follow your doctor’s/dentist’s instructions and consult with them before taking any over-the-counter medication. In case your dentist/surgeon prescribes antibiotics, make sure that you take all the medications prescribed in order to avoid infections.
Recover after oral surgery
It’s highly recommended to take the it easy the first two days after oral surgery. And for the first 2-3 days after oral surgery, make sure that you refrain from any strenuous physical activity. Most patients resume with their day-to-day activities 48 hours after surgery
In the first 24 hours after oral surgery, you should avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting. You should brush your teeth gently and floss only if you’re able to open wide enough. You can rinse your mouth with water, but be gentle. Instead of spitting, just let the water fall out of your mouth. Furthermore, avoid using mouthwash.
After the first 24 hours, doctors and dentists recommend rinsing your mouth with either saline or salt water solution. This helps keep the surgical site clean in a natural way and will contribute to faster healing. You can prepare your own saline solution by adding one tablespoon of salt in one cup of warm water. After rinsing, don’t swallow the solution. Just let the solution fall out of your mouth. You can repeat the process throughout the day if necessary.
If you had one of your teeth take out, don’t try to remove anything from the hole (tooth socket). Instead, rinse lightly. Rinsing will remove any food bits stuck in your tooth socket.
Tobacco use after oral surgery
In the first 24 hours after oral surgery, you should refrain from smoking. Smoking slows down the natural healing process. It can also cause a dry socket which is a painful infection, which will in the end require treatment by your dentist. Until the healing process is complete, you should also avoid using smokeless or chewing tobacco. Otherwise, a piece of tobacco might get stuck in the tooth socket, causing pain and discomfort.