Post Op Instructions

Post Operation Instructions

Home Instructions Following Oral Surgery


After surgical procedures are preformed in your mouth, such as a tooth extraction or removal of an impacted tooth, you can expect some bleeding (oozing), swelling, pain, and discomfort. These conditions can be minimized and your post-operative period shortened considerably if these instructions are followed carefully.


THE HEALING PROCESS: The socket of extracted teeth is healed by a blood clot. This clot forms and hardens during the first 24 hours after surgery. It then slowly matures into healthy bone and tissue. Care should be taken to insure that a healthy clot forms. Do not disturb the clot by sucking, spitting, rinsing forcefully, smoking, or drinking alcoholic beverages for the first 24 hours. Also, avoid heavy work or exercise. The above listed activities may affect the clot and thus delay healing and prolong discomfort.


CONTROL OF BLEEDING: Bite down firmly and maintain pressure on the gauze pad for at least an hour. Then, wash your hands thoroughly and take out the gauze pad. If brisk bleeding begins, place another gauze pad directly over the bleeding site and bite down for another hour. After two hours, if brisk bleeding is still noted, wrap a wet tea bag in a gauze pad and bite on it for one hour. Chemicals in the tea will assist in clot formation. Slight bleeding from an extraction site is normal for 24 to 48 hours.


CONTROL OF SWELLING: Some swelling is normal, but may be minimized by placing an ice bag on the outside of the face as soon as possible after surgery for the first twenty-four hours. Keep head elevated 30 to 40 degrees. Beginning three days after surgery, you may apply heat to the outside of the face. The longer the heat is applied, the more rapid will be you recovery, but be careful not to burn yourself.


DIET: Do not skip meals! Once “feeling” returns to the tongue and jaws, you may eat and drink freely. However, a soft diet for the first day or two is recommended. Avoid chewing in the area of the surgery. Increase your fluid intake to at least two quarts of liquid a day. If you take nourishment regularly, you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort, and heal faster.


PAIN MEDICATION: Take pain medications only as directed. Discontinue pain medications if there is no discomfort.


ORAL HYGIENGE: Beginning 24 hours after surgery, rinse every three hours with warm salt water (one teaspoon salt per glass of water as hot as comfortable). DO NOT RINSE WITH MOUTH WASH OR PEROXIDE. Rinse very gently for the first few days. After 24 hours, you must begin brushing your teeth gently to remove bacteria which may complicate healing.  If non-dissolving sutures (stitches) or dressings were placed, return at the appointed time for their removal. 


BONE FRAGMENTS: During the healing process, small fragments of bone may loosen and work through the gum. These fragments, which are not roots, usually work out on their own, but if they bother you, return to the office for their simple removal.