Transportation

  • Drowsiness will last for a few hours following your surgery; therefore you cannot drive yourself home.
  • Someone has to give you a ride home and stay with you at all times for at least 24 hours after your surgery.
  • No paid or public transportation such as Uber, Lyft, Taxi, or busses are allowed.

Bleeding

  • Mild bleeding or "oozing" is normal for the first 12 to 24 hours following surgery.
  • The first day of recovery will also include the taste of blood in your mouth.
  • Keep in mind that a drop of blood will make your saliva turn red and make it look more exaggerated than what it really is.
  • Place gauze over extraction sites and maintain pressure by biting until the bleeding has stopped. Repeat as needed.
  • If you believe that the bleeding is more than a few drops, biting gently on a tea bag will help stop it.
  • Do not spit excessively. Just swallow your saliva.
  • Make sure to cover your pillow before you sleep in case of drooling.
  • Also, please refrain from blowing into musical instruments.

Swelling

  • Localized swelling on the area of the surgery is completely normal.
  • Swelling may last for up to a week but it will take longer for bruising to go away.
  • Place ice or cold compresses on the region of surgery for ten minutes every half-hour for the first 8-12 hours.
  • Apply heat compresses beginning the second day to minimize the swelling. Heat should come from a wet source, for example warm water in a bottle vs. a hot towel.
  • Do not use an ice or hot pack on your face continuously. Prolong use of packs will cause irritation on the skin.
  • Keep your head elevated when resting.
  • Bruising changes color from dark blue to light yellow as it heals.

Discomfort

  • Some level of discomfort for three or more days is normal. The extent of this discomfort can depend on the complexity of the surgery, the effectiveness of the pain medications you take and of course your personal pain tolerance.
  • Significant discomfort may occur for a few hours after the sensation returns to your mouth. Then, it may gradually increase again on days 3 and 4 and should then diminish on day 5 and on each day thereafter.
  • If our oral surgeon recommended a prescription pain reliever, follow the specific instructions that you are given.
  • Most of the time taking over-the counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil is enough.
  • Mild-to-moderate pain can be relieved by Ibuprofen 800 mg, taken every 6 hours.
  • For more severe pain, take the prescription pain medications, Ibuprofen 800 mg and Tylenol #3 together every 6 hours.
  • Remember that these medications can take up to 30 minutes to one hour to take effect. Therefore, you should plan appropriately to not let the pain start.

Nutrition

  • Nourishing foods that are easy to chew are the best. Soup, pudding and smoothies are great choices.
  • Avoid extremely hot or spicy foods during the initial recovery period.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid drinking anything with a straw for two weeks. The sucking action while using a straw will mobilize the blood clot forming in the socket. See dry socket below for details.

Physical Activities

  • For the first 24 to 48 hours, you should REST.
  • Return to normal activity after resting 1-3 days.
  • Avoid extensive workouts for about a week to protect the blood clot formation in the socket.

Nausea & Vomiting

  • Although nausea and vomiting does sometimes occur after anesthesia, it is usually limited to a few episodes. If this condition persists for a few days, you may need a prescription medication.

Oral Hygiene

  • Expect to see some redness in your saliva (minor bleeding) after brushing on the first few days.
  • If uncomfortable, it is okay not to brush your teeth on the first day after your surgery but start brushing on the following days.
  • Use your manual or electric toothbrush, whichever you prefer.
  • Brush and floss everywhere but the area near the surgery.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash but only hold the water in your mouth, do not swish.
  • Do not spit the water or mouthwash, tilt your head down and let the water fall out. This will help preventing a dry socket.

Tobacco

  • The longer you hold off on consuming tobacco, the better.
  • For smoking, wait at least 3 days.
  • For chewing tobacco, wait at least 7 days.

Avoiding Dry Socket

  • You have to take any possible action to preserve the blood clot forming in the socket. Losing it can cause a significant amount of pain and delayed healing.
  • Do not drink from straw. Drink out of a cup as you normally do.
  • Do not slurp too vigorously from a spoon.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Do not split. Swallow your saliva as usual even if there is a drop of blood.
  • Avoid extensive workouts, jumping motions, wrestling.
  • Do not swish mouthwash. Hold it in your mouth and let it fall out when you are done.
  • In mild cases, simply increasing the pain medication can control the symptoms. For severe cases, you may have a dressing placed to help control bleeding and lessen the pain.

Contraceptive

  • Certain antibiotics and other medications may neutralize the preventive effect of birth control pills, allowing for pregnancy.
  • Consult with your medical doctor for details.