After Tooth Extraction

The extraction of teeth whether impacted or otherwise will require the proper care and it is imperative that you follow the instructions closely. You can avoid many complications and side effects if you oblige by the following instructions.

Immediately After Surgery

The gauze pad applied on the site of the surgery must stay in place for about 30 minutes.

You will want to avoid intensively rinsing and/or touching the site area after the surgical procedure. If you do this, you may trigger bleeding by disrupting the blood clot that has been created.

Use the prescribed pain medication as recommended. You should begin taking the medication as soon as the local anesthetic starts wear off.

Limit your activities immediately after the surgery. You can get back to your usual activities whenever you feel comfortable.

Put ice packs on the cheek of the surgical procedure. You can read more in the section on swelling.

Bleeding

After the removal of your teeth, you should expect to experience some amount of bleeding. Slight discharge of blood or redness in the saliva is usual for most patients. Thereafter, you can apply a gauze pad over the surgery site and bite steadily for about half an hour. You can repeat this process if necessary. If blood continues flow, you can bite on a moistened black tea bag (it helps in clotting of the blood) for about half an hour. In case bleeding continues uncontrollably, contact us immediately for more instructions.

Swelling

After tooth extractions, the swelling that is usually anticipated often corresponds to the extent of the procedure. Swelling on the regions around the mouth, face, and eyes is normal for most patients. Swelling is the body’s natural response to any surgical procedure and how ultimately repairing occurs. You will start noticing the swelling the next day after the procedure. And, it will attain its maximum level after two to five days. To limit the swelling, you can apply ice packs on the cheek where the procedure was carried out. You can use two baggies soaked in ice, and they should not be removed when you are awake. If swelling or jaw rigidity has not subsidized for numerous days, you should not worry since this is a common response to any surgery.

Pain

You my have discomfort after your surgery however you will be given a prescription to manage this.  

Diet

Immediately following a general anesthetic or intravenous (IV) sedation, it is recommended you stay with a liquid diet. You should drink using a glass and avoid using straws because the sucking action can intensify the bleeding through disentangling the already formed blood clot. You can take soft foods by concentrating the chewing action away from the area of the surgery. A diet high in calories and proteins will assist you in healing faster. At Westside Oral Surgery and Dental Implants, we have a competent staff who can give recommended diet guidelines. You should take nourishment on a constant basis. Taking plenty of fluids will help you avoid dehydration. The amount of food you consume will be restricted for the initial few days after the surgery. So, you need to make up for the loss by taking plenty of fluids; not less than 6 glasses of liquid every day. Avoid missing any meals. If you eat properly, you will recover much faster and resume your normal activities sooner.

CAUTION: You may experience dizziness if all of a sudden you rise up from lying down. In case you are in a resting position after the surgical procedure, ensure you sit up for about sixty seconds prior to standing.

Maintain Oral Hygiene

You should not rinse your mouth in any way up to the next day after the removal of teeth. On the day following the procedure, you should start rinsing for no less than six times per day, particularly after taking food. When rinsing your mouth, use salt in a glass of warm water.

Discoloration

One of the rare post-operative conditions is the skin changing color following swelling. It results when blood disperses underneath the tissues. In about 2 to 3 days after the surgery, skin sometimes changes color to black, blue, green, or yellow. You can place moist heat to the affected site to help the skin revert faster to its normal color.

Antibiotics

When you are prescribed antibiotics, use the medication as recommended. Antibiotics are important for assisting you to avoid unnecessary infections. You should stop using antibiotics in case of a rash or another adverse reaction and call us without any delay. Contact our office if you have any concerns or issues.

Nausea and Vomiting

If you start to feel nauseous or begin vomiting after the surgical procedure, avoid consuming any food for about an hour, this will include the prescribed medication. You can start eating solid foods and using the prescribed medication once the nausea dissipates.

Other Complications

If you experience lack of sensation in the lip, cheek, or tongue, you should not worry.  This is often short-term and will normalize after some time. You can call us anytime if you have any questions or concerns.

Your body’s temperature may increase slightly after the surgical procedure. In case the temperature persists, contact us immediately. You can use Tylenol or Ibuprofen to help you manage the fever.

When rising up from a lying down position, you should start by sitting up for about sixty seconds before standing up. You could become dizzy due to low blood sugar or drugs if you abruptly stand from a lying down position.

At times, you may feel hard protrusions in your mouth with your tongue. These are not roots of the tooth. But, they are the bony walls that reinforced the tooth into position. And, they normally level out naturally.

To prevent the corners of your mouth from cracking, you should ensure your lips are moist. You can apply an ointment, for example Vaseline, to prevent your lips from drying out.

After the surgery, you may experience a sore throat and discomfort when swallowing. It is normally caused by the muscles getting swollen, which makes the usual act of swallowing a bit painful. However, it normally goes away in a few days.

Your jaw muscles may become rigid after the surgical procedure. As a result, you may not be able to open your mouth freely for some days. If this occurs, there should be no cause for alarm, as it will normalize after some time.

Finally

To limit excessive oozing of blood after the tooth extraction, the surgeon will insert sutures on the surgical site. This will also enhance the healing process. If the sutures become disentangled in your mouth, do not worry. Just take them out and throw them away.

After Placement of Dental Implants

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.

Bleeding

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues profusely, please call for further instructions.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling apply an ice bag, or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice, on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

Pain

You might experience some minor pain however you will be given a prescription to mange this. 

Antibiotics

Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. 

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily; after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day as well, especially after meals. Brush your teeth and the healing abutments. Be gentle initially while brushing the surgical areas.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking in normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing your Prosthesis

You should avoid putting on any type of dentures for no less than ten days following the surgical procedure. You can refer to the pre-operative consultation section for more details on this.