Care of the Mouth After Oral Surgery

  1. Bleeding – You have just had one or more teeth removed. Naturally, there will be some bleeding. The pressure from biting on the gauze will help it to stop. Bite down on the gauze until you arrive home and then remove it. If there is any oozing, place a new piece of gauze over the site and bite down for 45 minutes. Repeat these steps until the bleeding stops. It is normal for the gauze that is removed to be red. This does not mean that the site is still bleeding. You will also have a taste of blood and a pinkish color in your saliva for 24 hours. If the bleeding persists after several gauze changes, call the office.
  2. After the bleeding has stopped – You may start with some liquids or soft foods. Do not rinse or spit the rest of the day. This will dislodge the clot and bleeding will persist. Return to your normal diet and chewing over the next few days.
  3. DO NOT SMOKE for 1 week. Smoking may cause a dry socket/pain and slows the healing.
  4. Tomorrow – rinse mouth gently every 3 to 4 hours (especially after meals) using one-quarter teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water. Continue rinses for one week. Gently start brushing and return to regular brushing in the next few days.
  5. Swelling – Swelling may start after surgery but is no cause for alarm. Use an icepack applied to the cheek, one half hour on and one half hour off for the first 24 hours.
  6. Discomfort – If you are not allergic to it, take 2 ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) when you get home. Continue to take 2 tablets (400 mg) every 4 hours until everything feels better. If additional pain relief is needed, then you will need to use the prescribed pain medication. Take it as directed along with the Ibuprofen. The combination of the 2 medications works well together. When things feel better, return to using only ibuprofen. Medications should be taken with food to avoid nausea. Do not work, drive or operate machinery if you are taking prescribed pain medications. Refills for narcotics can only be done by computer during office hours. Unused narcotics should be disposed of properly.
  7. In case of unusual difficulty, call the office at any time.

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