Instructions Following Oral Surgery

Pain Reduction Protocol:

You may have moderate discomfort after the anesthetic wears off. Most discomfort can be controlled with a combination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ibuprofen (2 tablets Advil, 400 mg in total) and analgesic acetaminophen (2 tablets extra strength Tylenol, 1000 mg total). These should be taken every 8 hours. If you have any contraindications to taking either of these medications, please check with your physician.

Post Operatively

  • Do NOT rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours following the procedure
  • Discontinue your usual exercise regime for 1-2 days
  • Keep your head elevated during the first evening
  • Restrict yourself to a soft diet
  • Do NOT smoke which delays healing and irritates the tissues.


  • Do not be concerned if you see traces of blood in your saliva for several hours after the procedure. It is not uncommon to have slight bleeding.
  • If the site continues to bleed apply constant pressure with gauze or a moistened tea bag for up to 1 hour and repeat if necessary.


Some swelling is to be expected. To help reduce this, ice packs may be applied to the outside of the face over the area of surgery for twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off for the first 24 hours following surgery. (Ice cubes in a plastic bag work as nicely as an ice pack). If swelling and discomfort persist, warm wet compresses may be used over the area on the second and subsequent days. These are to be applied for twenty minutes on and forty minutes off for three hours each day. However, if swelling persists and continues to increase, you may have an infection. Call your dental office.

Oral Hygiene

After surgery it is important to keep your teeth and mouth as clean as possible. Beginning the day after the procedure, warm salt-water rinses (1/2 tea spoon salt mixed with 6 - 8 oz. of warm water) can be used 2 times a day. During the first week, please carefully brush the treatment area. Please practice excellent oral hygiene as instructed for the rest of your mouth.


Antibiotics may be prescribed depending upon the surgical procedure. It is important that they are taken as directed.


Maintaining an adequate diet after surgery is important. Chew on the opposite side of your mouth and avoid extremely hard or spicy foods. Select foods that provide nourishment with little, if any, necessary chewing. Avoid the use of straws for drinking to prevent blood clot dislodgement.

Post-Operative Appointment:

You may be seen for a post-operative appointment within 10 days – 2 weeks following surgery.

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Susan Astorga
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Holly Forsyth
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