What to Expect After Surgery + Post-Op Care
If you have further questions or concerns, please call our office at: (416) 484-9944
Swollen Face and Bruising:
It’s common for the face and neck to swell for up to 72 hours after surgery. After approximately one week all swelling should subside —to help aid the process, use ice packs or cold towels in 15-minute intervals for the first 36 hours. Avoid using any heat.
You may also find that the neck and chest are bruised, which is common after an extensive dental surgery.
The dentist may have used stitches to help in the overall healing process after surgery. Stitches will easily dissolve in about five days. If sutures need to be removed, expect a simple, minute-long procedure that offers no discomfort (needles and anesthesia are not required).
If a suture becomes dislodged for any reason, remove and discard it.
Finding blood in the saliva is normal, but if there is a significant flow it is best to find the bleeding source and treat it with a fresh gauze pad. Other remedies include biting or applying pressure to a moist tea bag wrapped in gauze.
Stick with softer foods, including ice cream, Jell-O, bananas, etc., until the bleeding has completely stopped.
Stiff and Sore Jaw:
Jaw muscles tend to get very sore and stiff after oral surgeries — do not be alarmed if you feel that you have limited mobility in opening your mouth. Try some light massage with a warm cloth to relieve the muscle pain, and eat foods that require minimal chewing effort.
Soft pastas, kiwis, applesauce, eggs, juices and milkshakes are easy to consume during this pain period.
You may feel that your temperature is a bit raised for up to two days following your surgical procedure. Most report a spike to 102 degrees F or 39 degrees C — there is no reason for alarm, but if the fever lasts for longer than a couple of days you should call the office: (416) 484-9944
After surgery it is best to avoid smoking for as long as possible. The sucking motion that is involved in smoking can disrupt the blood clots and lead to severe healing complications.
Keeping Your Mouth Clean:
Practising good oral hygiene is important in your post-operative care routine, but don’t begin any rinsing until the day after your surgery. Rinse your mouth out gently for about one week with a ½ teaspoon of salt in a ½ glass of water. If the dentist has prescribed a specific rinse for your post-op care then use that prescription instead of the home rinse.
You should brush your teeth only when you feel comfortable. Dry, chapped lips should be tended to with a lubricant, such as Vaseline.
Food and Drink:
You want to eat! Give yourself three hours after surgery before you eat or drink anything as your mouth and throat may be very sore. After three hours avoid dehydration by drinking lots of water and/or juice — avoid sipping through straws as the sucking could cause your mouth to bleed.
No hot liquids on the first day, but once comfortable you may drink chicken/veggie broth for nutrients and hydration. Stick to eating softer foods that are gentle on the mouth until you feel ready enough to ease back into your diet.
Always take prescription medicine according to instructions. Antibiotics should be taken until all medicine has been finished. Use Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin or 222s for mild pain issues.
Do not operate a motor vehicle while taking pain medications as these prescriptions can often leave you feeling dizzy and/or lightheaded.
For those with sensitivity to some medications prescribed, take Gravol to ease any nausea. Milk of Magnesia can be helpful for those experiencing constipation due to the codeine found in most pain medicines.
Birth control pills may become ineffective when used in conjunction with antibiotics. Women using birth control pills as a method of contraception should seek out other methods while on prescription medication.