Post-Op Instructions

Please call our office if you experience excessive bleeding or swelling, or have questions or concerns.

During the first hour, bite down gently but firmly on the gauze that has been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place. Do not change gauze for the first hour unless the bleeding is not controlled. The packs may be gently removed after one hour. If active bleeding persists, place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 30 minutes. They may then be changed as necessary(every 30-45 minutes). It is best to moisten the gauze with tap water. Intermittent bleeding or oozing overnight is very normal. Bleeding may be controlled by placing fresh gauze over the area and biting with firm pressure for 45 minutes at a time. Keep your head elevated. Excessive spitting will cause bleeding.
Swelling and stiffness are to be expected the first 24 hours after surgery. Swelling around the face, eyes and surgical site is not uncommon. This swelling may not appear until the day following the surgery and may become more noticeable two to three days following surgery. You can help to minimize the swelling by applying a cold compress on the face near the extraction site alternating on for 20 minutes then off for 20 minutes. After 36 hours the ice will have no further impact on swelling. After this period, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face can help reduce swelling.
If you have been prescribed pain medication besides aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), do not drive, operate heavy equipment, work around machinery or tools or engage in any other activity that may be unsafe when groggy, as your reflexes and judgment will be affected by the medication. Medication should not be taken on an empty stomach. If you have been placed on antibiotics, take the medicine as directed. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection.
For 24-48 hours following your surgery, do not suck on a straw, drink from a bottle, rinse, spit, or smoke. Doing so may result in dislodging the clot and cause bleeding. Avoid hot and spicy foods, carbonated and alcoholic beverages. During the first few days after surgery, restrict your diet to liquids and soft foods such as soups, yogurt, juice, and smoothies. Avoid extremely vigorous activity for about one week after surgery. No heavy lifting. You may go back to your normal routine as tolerated.
Do not rinse, spit, or brush your teeth, the day of surgery. Resume brushing the day after surgery, avoiding surgical sites with the toothbrush. After brushing, rinse gently with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt mixed with eight ounces of warm water). Start the day after surgery 3x day for 7-10 days. Rinsing with warm salt water will help keep the surgical areas clean and help dissolve the sutures. An irrigating syringe will be given to you at your first post-operative visit. We will show you how to use it.