Do not disturb the wound. If surgical packing was placed, leave it alone. The pack helps to keep the tooth exposed. If it gets dislodged or falls out do not get alarmed.
Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding which results in your mouth filling rapidly with blood can frequently be controlled by biting with pressure on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call for further instructions.
Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack, a plastic bag with ice or towel with ice cubes on the face in the area of the surgery. Apply the ice in cycles of 30 minutes on and fifteen minutes off, as much as possible while awake, for the first 24 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids may be eaten on the day of surgery, but do not chew in the area of the surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as comfortable unless otherwise directed.
Discomfort is a consequence of most oral surgical procedures. Local anesthesia is usually administered and typically provides several hours without pain. As the numbness subsides the pain will usually increase. It is best to address the discomfort before it becomes significant. For adult patients who can tolerate aspirin/ non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) two or three 200 mg tablets may be taken every 4 hours. In addition, or for patients who do not tolerate aspirin/NSAIDs, one or two tablets of acetaminophen (Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol) may be taken every 4-6 hours. Most children are permitted to take ibuprofen and acetaminophen, but the dose must be adjusted according to age/weight (follow the instructions on the bottle).
You may have received a prescription for pain medicine. This medication should be used only if necessary and should not be taken on an empty stomach. For moderate-severe pain, take this medication as directed. This medication can be taken in combination with ibuprofen, unless otherwise notified, but should not be taken in addition to acetaminophen (Tylenol) as the prescription pain medication will likely already contain acetaminophen. The prescribed pain medicine will make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes. This may be exacerbated by alcohol and some other prescription medications. Do not drive an automobile or operate hazardous machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Application of ice to the face adjacent to the surgical site should also help alleviate pain. Pain or discomfort following surgery should subside more and more every day. If pain persists, it may require attention and you should call the office.
Mouth cleanliness is essential to good healing. Clean your mouth thoroughly after each meal beginning the day after surgery. Brush your teeth as best you can without irritating the surgical site. Rinse with mouthwash or warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) 4-5 times/day especially after each meal. Continue this procedure until healing is complete.
REMEMBER: A clean wound heals better and faster.
Keep physical activities to a minimum the day of surgery. If you are considering exercise after the day of surgery, throbbing or bleeding may occur. Be aware that your normal nourishment intake is reduced. Exercise may weaken you. If you get lightheaded, stop exercising.