Home Care After Oral Surgery

DIET: Begin with clear liquids and advance to soft diet during the first 24 hours (soups, eggs, pastas, etc.). Do not drink through a straw for 5-7 days. Avoid milk products until you are taking clear liquids without difficulty. Avoid crunchy foods (peanuts, popcorn, chips) for 1 week. Cold foods can help reduce swelling.

ACTIVITY: Relax and take it easy for the first couple of days. Avoid lifting, bending or stooping. Elevate your head above heart level-this will help to promote drainage and reduce swelling.

BLEEDING: A certain amount of bleeding is expected following surgery. Place gauze over the bleeding socket and bite down with firm pressure.  Change the gauze every 20-30 minutes as needed.  It is not unusual to have blood-tinged saliva for 36 hours.  A moist tea bag may be placed over the area and gentle pressure applied.  If an excessive amount of bright red bleeding occurs despite the above directions, please contact our office or the doctors’ answering service.

SWELLING: It will reach its peak in 2-3 days and decrease over time. To minimize this; apply ice packs for the first 24 hours only, 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Alternate sides if indicated.

PAIN:  A certain amount of pain is normal following surgery.  The worst discomfort should be in the first 2-3 days, after that the pain should gradually decrease. 

THINGS THAT MAY OCCUR: Sore teeth, earache and/or sore throat, bruising to outside of face, tightness of jaw muscles and dry/cracked lips. There will be an opening where the tooth was removed. This will fill in with new tissue. Do not disturb the blood clot; it’s grayish or yellow appearance and slight odor do not indicate an infection. Keep your tongue away from the surgical area.

NUMBNESS: Due to local anesthetic, you may have numbness for up to 12 hours.

MOUTH RINSING: No rinsing or brushing around the surgical site for the first 24 hours.

STITCHES: They will fall out on their own in 5-10 days, unless your doctor re-appoints you to have them removed.

FEVER: Mildly elevated temperature for 24-48 hours is normal. Notify our office or answering service if you temperature is over 101 F for 2 days in a row.

ANTIBIOTICS: If you are given antibiotics, take them until the prescription is finished.

SMOKING: Avoid completely.

DENTURES: Keep dentures in for the first day and night. Expect some bleeding around the denture to occur.

FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY, DO NOT sign any legal documents, drive, or operate machinery for 24 hours following general anesthesia. DO NOT drink alcoholic beverages.

Please contact the office you were seen at if you have any questions or concerns.