Home Care After Oral Surgery

Diet: Begin with clear liquids and advance to soft diet during the first 24 hours (soups, eggs, pasta, 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 2 weeks. Cold foods can help reduce swelling.

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

Bleeding: A certain amount of bleeding is expected following surgery. Leave gauze in your mouth for 30-60 minutes following surgery. If you have continued bleeding, place 2 folded gauze squares over the socket and bite with moderate pressure for 60 minutes. Blood tinged saliva is expected 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, notify the office or if after hours, my cell phone.

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.

Things that may occur: Sore teeth, earache and/or sore throat, bruising to outside of face, tightness of jaw muscle 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 infection. Keep your tongue away from the surgical area.

Numbness: Due to local anesthetic, you may expect the lower jaw (lip, teeth, gums, chin) to be numb for up to 6-12 hours and the upper jaw for up to 1-4 hours, following surgery.

Mouth Rinsing: No rinsing or brushing around surgical site for the first 24 hours.

Stitches: They will fall out on their own in 5-10 days.

Fever: Elevated temperature for 24-48 hours is normal. Notify our office or my cell phone if you temperature is over 101 F for 2 days in a row.

Antibiotics: If you are given antibiotics, take them until prescriptions if finished.

Pain Medication: The best dental pain medication is 4 ibupren (Advil or Motrin) alternating with 4 Tylenol every 4 hours.

Smoking/Drinking Alcoholic Beverages: Avoid completely.

OFFICE PHONE: 393-4400
DR. ZUERLEIN’S CELL PHONE: 960-5066

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