The success of your oral surgery is dependent on the care you take of your wounds and the time you allow yourself for healing. Be sure to follow after care instructions carefully for your best results and for your comfort. If you experience any complications, please call our offices at 818-696-4425 to speak with Dr. Elias regarding your recovery.
Immediately Following Surgery
- Keep the gauze pad protecting the surgical wound in place for 30 minutes following your procedure, after which you may remove and discard it.
- Avoid rinsing your mouth or touching the wound following surgery to avoid irritation or bleeding. It is important to allow a clot to form over the wound as a part of the healing process.
- Prescribed medication should be taken when you feel the anesthetic begin to wear off to avoid any serious pain.
- Avoid strenuous activity on the day of your procedure. You can resume your normal daily tasks as soon as you feel comfortable and have stopped taking prescription pain medication.
- Bleeding: Some bleeding, oozing or slight redness in your saliva is completely normal following surgery. If you experience excessive bleeding, try gently rinsing your mouth to remove any old clots from the wound, then place a gauze pad over the affected area and bite down for 30 minutes. You may repeat as many times as necessary, but if bleeding continues, try the same method with a tea bag. Avoid exercising or any activity that may raise your blood pressure, as this will only accelerate the bleeding. If excessive bleeding does not subside, call us for further instructions.
- Swelling: You know the chipmunk cheek effect that results from a wisdom tooth removal: that is completely natural following a surgical procedure of the mouth. Swelling will ensue the day following your surgery and will increase over the next 2-3 days. For the first 36 hours, you can control swelling with the use of ice packs. If swelling continues, switch to moist, warm towels after first few days. Anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended by Dr. Elias to help reduce swelling as well.
- Pain: Mild to moderate pain can be managed using Tylenol or Ibuprofen, following the recommended dosing of 1-2 Tylenol OR 2-4 Ibuprofen (200 mg) every 3-4 hours. For severe pain, use your prescription medication as directed by Dr. Elias. While on this medication, avoid drinking alcohol, driving or operating machinery. Your pain should fade away a little more every day following your surgery. If you continue to feel severe pain with no improvement after a few days, you may be experiencing complications and should contact us immediately.
- Diet: Following your anesthetic sedation, it is important to stay hydrated and consume a lot of liquids. Avoid using a straw when drinking to limit excess bleeding from the pressure of sucking. Eating may be difficult for the first few days after surgery, but be sure to keep up with a diet high in calories and protein to fuel your body and accelerate healing. This may include soft foods that should be chewed away from the surgical sites. If you cannot chew, protein shakes and broth-based soups can be beneficial in providing you with nutrients your body needs to recover. Do not consume dairy products the entire day of your procedure to avoid any nausea or vomiting.
- Oral Hygiene: The day of surgery, avoid rinsing of any kind. Before bed, you may gently brush your teeth and rinse very carefully. The following day, begin rinsing 5-6 times per day (especially after meals) with a cup of warm salt water.
- Discoloration: Swelling and the stress on the body from surgery often causes skin discoloration to black, blue, green and yellow. This is a result of blood spreading beneath the tissues to the site of the wound. This can be treated with a moist, warm towel, but will fade on its own within a couple of days.
- Antibiotics: If you have been prescribed antibiotics, use as directed to help prevent infection. If you have a negative reaction to this medication, including a rash or breakout, discontinue use immediately.
- Nausea & Vomiting: If you experience nausea or vomiting after surgery, do not ingest anything for at least an hour, including medication. After an hour, sip on coke, tea or ginger ale and allow the nausea to subside. You may then resume taking your prescription medication. If this medication is causing nausea or vomiting, try managing pain with Tylenol or Ibuprofen, or contact us for further questions.
- Numbness: If your lip, chin or tongue becomes numb, no need to panic. These feelings are normal and temporary. Avoid biting down on these areas if they are numb, as you may cause injury or bruising when you cannot feel the pain. Call Dr. Elias if you have any other questions or if numbness lasts an abnormal amount of time.
- Fever: Temperature elevation is also natural following surgery. Fevers can be controlled with the use of Tylenol or Ibuprofen, but if it persists call our offices immediately.
- Dizziness: Avoid standing or sitting too suddenly; your body has been under stress and without food, so light-headedness is normal when making sudden movements.
- Sutures: Sutures may be placed on the surgical wounds to minimize bleeding and therefore accelerate healing. If your sutures become dislodged, remove and discard them. They will be removed one week after surgery if still intact.
- Other Medications: Note that antibiotics may affect other medications you may be taking, including birth control pills. Talk to Dr. Elias or one of our staff if you have concerns about this.
Although many oral surgeries may seem like common procedures, no two mouths are the same, and, therefore, you may have a completely different experience than your friends and family. For medical advice or complications, seek the help of Dr. Elias and our staff at the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts. We are always available to help and guide you through whatever you are feeling after your surgery.
If you are interested in choosing the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts for your oral surgery, call our offices at 818-696-4425 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Elias.
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