CARE OF THE MOUTH FOLLOWING ORAL SURGERY
Philip B. Sallberg, D.D.S, P.A
Surgery of the mouth is similar to the surgery in other parts of the body and requires careful attention to postoperative instructions.
- DO NOT DISTURB THE WOUND- Do not rinse the mouth or use a mouthwash the day of surgery. Do not smoke for at least four days following the surgery. Avoid probing the wound. A WaterPik should not be used during the early healing period. The above activities will dislodge the blood clot and a painful “dry socket” condition often develops.
- SWELLING- Facial swelling occurs following most extractions and oral surgery procedures. To help control this, apply an ice pack to the face for 20 minutes; removed for 20 minutes. Repeat this altering procedure during the first day only. To be most effective, the application of ice packs should begin as soon as possible. The maximum amount of facial swelling normally occurs two days after surgery.
- PAIN- A variable amount of pain follows most extractions and oral surgery procedures. If you are given a prescription for pain tablets, please use as directed. If not, one or two pain tablets of your choice should be taken every 3-4 hours as needed. Excessive or increased pain after the third day following surgery is not normal. Should this occur, please return to our office promptly for treatment.
- BLEEDING- A light amount of bleeding or oozing is to be expected, even up to 24 hours. These conditions are no cause for alarm. Following your oral surgery, a small sterile gauze compress was placed on the wound and you were asked to maintain steady biting pressure on the gauze. If excessive bleeding should occur, the patient should a) gently wipe excess blood from the mouth, b) place a clean sterile gauze pad directly over the area which is bleeding and maintain steady firm biting pressure on the gauze for 30 minutes; if not successful, repeat procedure with gauzed soaked in a strong solution of tea (or bite on a tea bag) for 30 minutes, c) remain quiet, sit upright, and apply an ice pack to the face, d) if these measures do not succeed, call our office number.
- DISCOLORATION- Facial discoloration (black and blue bruising) often follows many extraction and oral surgery procedures. It will disappear after a few days. Discoloration is normal and is no cause for alarm.
- JAW STIFFNESS- For several days following most oral surgery procedures, the jaw becomes stiff.
- DIET- Soft foods and liquids are recommended. Try not to skip any meals and keep up with normal fluid intakes.
- MOUTH RINSES- The day following surgery, begin using warm salt water rinses after meals and several times throughout the day for one week following the surgery. ½ teaspoon full of table salt in a full glass of water is recommended.
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND REST- Keep physical activity to a minimum. Avoid athletic and strenuous activity and get plenty of rest.
- STITCHES- Following many extraction and oral surgery procedures, stitches are placed in the gums. Your doctor will advise you if a return appointment to remove the stitches is necessary.
- DRY SOCKET- Despite the best of care, a small percentage of patients who have teeth removed will develop what is called a “dry socket”. This is a condition where the normal blood clot does not form properly after the removal of a tooth. A “dry socket” usually develops about three days after removal of the tooth and the patient experiences an aching pain where the tooth was removed. The aching pain, which steadily worsens, radiates along the jaw and into the ear. If the patient develops the aching painful symptoms of a “dry socket”, they should immediately return to the clinic for treatment of pain.
- POST-OPERATIVE TREATMENT- There is no charge for post-operative care.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL US SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS REGARDING YOUR POST-OPERATIVE RECOVERY AT (218)463-1070
FOR AFTER HOURS EMERGENCIES, PLEASE CALL THE SAME NUMBER AND THE ANSWERING SERVICE WILL GET AHOLD OF DR. SALLBERG.