The information contained on this page is to be used as a guide only. Please contact your surgeon if you have any Post Operative concerns.
- Gauze pads– keep biting on the gauze pad for 1-2 hours or until you get home.
- No rinsing– do not rinse your mouth on the day of the procedure as this may promote bleeding and cause delayed healing. If you feel any blood is building up in the mouth let it dribble out and catch with a tissue. New gauze pads will need to be replaced and bite down for a further 1-2hrs.
- Eating/drinking/resting– after you have been biting on the gauze pads for 1-2 hours you may take them out and have some liquids, preferably juices or sweetened water (lemonade etc). It is very important to drink as much fluid as possible during the recovery period – up to 2 litres a day to avoid dehydration. Soft cool foods may be eaten on the day of treatment, preferably a few hours after surgery. A normal diet (except hard food) may be eaten on the following days, keeping the food away from the operative site or tooth socket. If you have had dental implants or an apicectomy we ask you to refrain from chewing at the site for up to 6 weeks. After any operation it is important that you rest quietly at home. Avoid physical exercise for the first 3 days. If you are unsure when to resume high energy/contact sports please consult your surgeon.
- Bleeding– slight oozing of blood may occur during the first few hours after oral surgery. If bleeding continues:
- place a gauze swab or a folded clean handkerchief, gauze, or a face washer directly on the wound or tooth socket.
- apply pressure to the gauze swab by biting together or using a finger.
- bite on the gauze swab for 3-4 hours.
- keep head raised; eg head propped up with a pillow if in bed.
If the bleeding does not stop, telephone your surgeon. If you are unable to contact your surgeon please contact one of the other surgeons listed on the Post Operative Information sheet. If all the above are not available we advise you to present to the nearest Accident and Emergency Centre at your local hospital.
- Swelling– swelling and bruising of the face, neck and jaw is common following oral surgery. Ice packs can be used to reduce swelling, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, for the first 8 hours. Swelling is usually maximal 2 days following surgery and takes 5 to 7 days to subside. There is often stiffness of the jaw for about 2 weeks following removal of wisdom teeth.
- Vomiting or nausea – it is not uncommon to feel nauseous or vomit after surgery. It is due to the swallowing of blood and interaction with analgesics and antibiotics on an empty stomach. If nauseous we recommend reducing the number or strength of the analgesics and withholding the antibiotic. There is no problem starting the antibiotics the next day. Try to encourage the consumption of fluids and/or light food. If vomiting do not be alarmed, it is a natural occurrence because the stomach cannot digest blood. After vomiting wait for 30-60 minutes before having something to drink. Try to establish your normal dietary regime as soon as possible. If you have recurrent vomiting you will need to see your medical practitioner or hospital for an injection to stop the vomiting cycle.
- Warm salt water mouth or antiseptic washes – it is important to keep the mouth clean. Encourage healing and decrease risk of infection by using warm salt water, dissolve a half teaspoonful of table salt in a glass of water. If unavailable we suggest an antiseptic mouthwash such as Plax, Savachol, Cepacol, Listerine etc after meals or more often if possible. DILUTE THE COMMERCIAL MOUTHWASHES TO HALF STRENGTH. Gently rinse for about 2 minutes. We suggest using toothbrush and toothpaste 24hrs after surgery as long as you don’t push the bristles into the surgical site.
- Antibiotics– if antibiotics are prescribed take them as directed. It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics, unless they are producing adverse side effects.
Contraceptive pill and antibiotics – It has been reported that certain antibiotics may negate the effect of the pill.
- Stitches– the Surgeon may use dissolving sutures (stitches). These can take anywhere from one week to a three weeks to dissolve, although it is not uncommon for them to take longer.
- Review appointment– approximately two to three weeks after surgery it is customary to come and see the doctor for a post-op check-up. Our office will make an appointment for you and will let you know the details on the day of your surgery. If this appointment is unsuitable please advise our consulting rooms as soon as possible to make an alternative appointment.
- No smoking– no smoking for at least 7 days following the procedure as this increases the risk of infection and dry socket.
- Other factors– it is quite normal to experience numbness of the lip, chin, nose and cheek areas. This normally disappears once the local anaesthetic has worn off, but may take as long as two weeks for sensation to fully return. It is rare that numbness lasts more than two weeks.; Stray bone fragments sometimes do appear. There is nothing to worry about if bone fragments do appear; they generally fall out of their own accord.
Please contact the surgery or the surgeons if there are any further problems you would like discussed.