How to take care of your mouth after surgery
Following oral surgery, Dr. Aulino and our team will be following up with you to ensure that you are taking care of your mouth to help ensure your comfort and to promote optimal healing. Proper home care is crucial following oral surgery, and it is very important you follow the instructions provided to you by Dr. Aulino. Taking proper care will help prevent infections, reduce bleeding and speed up the healing process. Here are a few tips to help your recovery:
After surgery, bleeding is completely normal and expected. Mild bleeding is common during the first 24 to 36 hours following your surgery. Your saliva may also become discolored from the blood clot, don’t worry! If your bleeding is heavy, place a dry, sterile gauze, moistened in cold water, directly over the bleeding area. Bite down on the bag with firm pressure for 30 minutes. Sit upright, and do not spit or talk while biting on the gauze. Continue to replace the gauze, as needed. If this does not considerably slow excessive bleeding, call our office. It is important to know that a properly formed blood clot is essential for healing, and disturbing the area around the surgical area for the first 48 hours following your surgery must be avoided. This means you must not drink through a straw, spit, and explore the wound with your tongue or finger.
Do not rinse or brush for 24 hours following your surgery, as this may interfere with the healing process. The day after your surgery, you should start rinsing gently with one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. This allows the mouth to begin healing, as well as gets rid of messy bacteria and dried blood. Do this three to five times a day, and keep repeating until the soreness is gone. You can begin brushing your teeth the day following surgery, but be sure to use caution in the area surrounding the surgical site.
A certain amount of discomfort or pain following oral surgery is both normal and expected. For mild discomfort, you can take medications like Motrin or Tylenol. For more severe pain, take the medicine that was prescribed to you by your doctor. You can also crush the tablets if they are hard to swallow.
If an antibiotic has been prescribed for you, it is very important to take it exactly as instructed. If you develop a rash, or feel uncomfortable due to the antibiotic, contact our office immediately.
Swelling is always expected, especially after difficult extractions and other oral surgeries. Swelling can be minimized by using an ice pack immediately. Place the ice pack on your face for 20 minutes, and then remove it for five minutes, for the first four to six hours following your surgery. Do not use cold after the first day, unless specifically instructed to do so. Swelling and bruising normally heightens around the second to third day, and then gradually recedes.
Do not use a straw for five days following your surgery. If your stomach is not upset, you may progress to soft foods (scrambled eggs, applesauce, frozen yogurt, mashed potatoes) about an hour after surgery. It is very important to remember that your food needs to be room temperature or cooler for the first 24 hours because hot foods and liquids may cause bleeding to resume or increase.
Always remember, if pain or swelling occurs after the surgical area seems to have healed, or if you have any concerns during your healing process, please contact our office immediately. We’re here to ensure that your surgery and healing process are as quick and comfortable as possible.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the trained and advanced staff of Dr. Carmelo J. Aulino at 239-333-1140.