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SERVICES: Post-Op Instructions

What to Expect After Your Dental Surgery

It is normal to feel some pain after the anesthetic has worn off and for the first 24 to 72 hours after oral surgery. There may also be some soreness or discomfort for up to 3 to 5 days. The pain and discomfort vary depending upon each individual’s tolerance for pain and or the type of operation they undergo.

For the first couple of hours, you may experience bleeding and the affected area may continue to ooze for up to 24 hours. The blood combines with saliva in your mouth and this will make it look like you are bleeding more than you really are. 

The most common after-effect of surgery is swelling of your mouth and sometimes of the face. The swelling will generally increase for the next 72 hours and may last for 5 to 7 days. Once the swelling starts to reduce, you may notice facial bruising, which can last up to 10 days after the surgery. 

For some, muscles may also be sore after certain surgeries. This will make it difficult to open your mouth for up to 7 to 10 days.

Post-Op Instructions

After oral surgeries, most patients report some pain, bleeding, and swelling. However, proper care will help your mouth heal quickly and comfortably.

Immediately After

  • To stop the bleeding, bite down on the gauze pad with firm and constant pressure. 
  • Change the gauze pad as needed every 30 – 60 minutes.

The First 24 Hours

  • Do not spit or expectorate vigorously.
  • Do not rinse your mouth. You may rinse gently after a full day with warm water, saltwater, or diluted mouthwash.
  • Completely avoid hot liquids.
  • Once the bleeding has stopped, you can have lukewarm or cold liquids. 
  • To relieve discomfort, apply cold compresses extra-orally — 10-20 minutes on, 10-20 minutes off.

48 Hours After Surgery

  • Switch to warm compresses the second day after surgery.
  • Do not exert or strain yourself for the first 48 hours. Rest and keep your head elevated.
  • Do not drink alcohol or carbonated beverages.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Follow a soft food diet and avoid spicy or acidic foods.

General Tips While Healing

  • Do not use a straw for drinking.
  • If your jaw is sore or if you have difficulty opening your mouth, massage jaw muscles gently. 
  • If chewing solids is difficult, use liquid meal replacements such as Ensure® and maintain your normal liquid intake.
  • Take prescriptions as advised.
  • Brush and floss your teeth as usual, without disturbing the wound.




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