Oral Surgery Post-Operative Instructions

To help stop the bleeding, we will send you home biting on gauze that applies pressure to the extraction site. Maintain firm pressure for 45 minutes. In some cases we will send you home with extra gauze. If after 45 minutes the site is still bleeding, take two squares of gauze, fold them in half, roll them up like a tootsie roll, and again apply pressure to the site for an additional 30 minutes. If you don’t have any gauze, use a moistened tea bag. The tannins in the tea help promote clot formation.  

Avoid eating on the side of the extraction site as much as possible and stick to softer food for at least 7 days. Impacts with harder foods can interrupt the healing process and can be painful and damaging to the tender gum tissue. Foods like bread, mashed potatoes, chicken, rice, noodles, pureed fruit, bananas and ice cream are all great examples. 

Starting the day after surgery and for one week, use a warm salt water rinse after each meal to flush out food particles and debris that may accumulate in the extraction site. Place a teaspoon of salt in warm water, mix and rinse gently - rather than swishing vigorously like with mouthwash, tilt your head back and forth with the salt water in your mouth, and do not spit forcefully into the sink, but rather let the water fall out of your mouth.

Avoid brushing the two teeth directly adjacent to the extraction site. You can brush the rest of the teeth like normal with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and a Q-tip with toothpaste to gently clean the teeth adjacent to the site. 

Avoid strenuous exercise (think heavy weight-lifting) for 4-5 days. Light exercise (brisk walk, jogging) is fine 24 hours after the surgery. 

Alcohol should be avoided for at least 5 days following surgery. 

Smoking should be avoided for at least 7 days after surgery.

Take your medications as directed. Slight swelling and discomfort is normal, and should begin to subside 72 hours after surgery. If it gets worse, contact the clinic.

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