General Instructions Following Oral Surgery

General Instructions Following Oral Surgery

Surgery of the mouth, like surgery in other parts of the body requires careful attention to post-operative care in order to minimize the normal after effects.


  • Some oozing is normal for 24-48 hours. Excessive bleeding can frequently be controlled by biting with pressre on a pad of damp sterile gauze directly on the bleeding wound for 60 minutes.
  • Change gauze every 60 minutes as needed until bleeding subsides. If bleeding starts again, it’s often controlled by these above measures.
  • Keep head elevated, minimize activity, avoid spitting. Do not touch or brush the wound in the first 24 hours.


  • Some swelling may occur several hours after surgery, reaching a maximum within 3 days
  • Apply an ice pack on cheek as much as tolerated for 48 hours to 72 hours. After the third day, warm packs applied to cheeks may help to diminish swelling and stiffness


  • Before the anesthetic diminishes and the sensation starts to return, begin to take the prescribed pain medication, only as directed.
  • Experience in pain is extremely variable. Take prescribed pain medication as needed.
  • Taking your pain medication with food helps to prevent nausea.
  • If antibiotic is prescribed, finish the prescribed medication.


  • Soft cool food and liquids will be easier to eat. Return to a normal diet as tolerated unless otherwise directed. Avoid hot fluids and the use of a drinking straw for 1 week.

Oral Hygiene

  • Mouth and wound cleanliness is essential to good healing. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water) on the evening of surgery and continue to rinse after eating until healing is complete. Brush your teeth normally on the evening of surgery, avoiding the wound. The day after surgery, brush the teeth normally and also gently brush the wound, even if stitches are present.
  • Stitches will dissolve on their own
  • Avoid antiseptic mouth wash for 1 week
  • Continue to rinse with salt water after meals until wound is completely healed
  • Start using the syringe on day 7. Flush the surgical area with warm salt or tap water until the area has completely healed. This may take several weeks.


  • DO NOT DRIVE for the remainder of the day. You are legally impaired.
  • DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE MACHINERY if taking Tylenol #3 – can cause drowsiness


  • Difficulty in opening and closing the mouth, bruising and difficulty swallowing are conditions which sometimes occur. These are normal post-operative conditions and will resolve in time. Avoid smoking for 1 week to prevent complications in healing, such as dry sockets. The trend should be improvement beyond the third day. If after the third day, there is obvious worsening of the symptoms, please call the office.

Please feel free to call on us at any time