Swelling of the face following oral surgery is quite normal. Apply ice packs during the first 24 hours. Swelling will usually reach its peak during the first 48-72 hours. After 38 hours, if swelling or jaw stiffness has occurred, apply heat on the outside of the face, using a warm, moist dressing. If you use a hot water bottle or heating pad, protect the skin with a moisturizing lotion and place a thin towel the between the heat source and the skin. Do not use this heat continually. Rather, apply it for about 20 minutes, then remove for an equal interval. If swelling appears to be increasing rather than decreasing on your 4th day from surgery, you should call the office. This may be an indication of a wound infection.
Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach. Take your pain medication as prescribed. Usually, take one of the prescribed pain pills within an hour following surgery. This will allow the pain pill to dissolve and get into the blood stream by the time the local anesthetic is wearing off. Prescribed pain medications are generally needed during the first day. After that, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is generally sufficient.
If pain persists or causes you undue concern on your 4th day from surgery, please notify the office. Again, prolonged pain may be a warning of a wound infection. If you have been placed on any antibiotics (you will be told of this), take all of the tablets or liquid as directed. The drugs you may be given will minimize swelling, reduce discomfort, prevent infection, and promote healing. Although most patients benefit from the prescribed drugs, occasional side-effects (such as dizziness, rash, nausea, excitement, constipation, or diarrhea) can occur. Should you experience any of these side effects, stop the drug immediately and notify the office.
You must guard against dehydration after oral surgery. Follow a liquid diet on the first day. Drink at least the equivalent of eight glasses of water, Orange juice, tomato juice, soups, milk shakes, ginger ale, or milk the first day. Avoid using a straw since the pressures involved may dislodge the blood clot. Also, avoid smoking, as the hot smoke will easily irritate the fresh oral wound. Return to a normal diet within two or three days. This is not the time to initiate a new diet trend. You will feel better, have more strength, have less discomfort and heal faster if you continue to eat.
NOTE: If you are diabetic, maintain your normal caloric requirements and take your medication as usual.
DO NOT RINSE your mouth until twent four hours after surgery. On the day following the surgery, brush as many teeth as best you can as soon as you can. Do not be overly intimidated by the presence of the sutures. Brush very lightly over the stitches. Good hygiene is imperative to good wound healing. Food left in the wound retards healing and invites infection. A mouth rinse composed of 1/4 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water will sooth the wound.
· DO NOT RINSE blow up balloons, play a wind instrument (trumpet, flute, etc.) in the immediate postoperative period, and refrain from excessive pressures within the mouth for two weeks.
· If an opening into your maxillary sinus was noted at the time of this surgery (you will be told of this), do not blow your nose, and if you sneeze, open your mouth. The object is to avoid forcing pressure back through the sinus and out into the wound -this will cause the soft tissue closure over the socket to open up.
· If, prior to your oral surgery, you had been taking medication prescribed by another physician or dentist, continue to take that medication unless you are advised otherwise.
PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF SIDE EFFECTS VARIES FROM PATIENT TO PATIENT AND CERTAINLY VARIES WITH THE DIFFICULTY OF THE SURGICAL PROCEDURE. SEE “Possible Side Effects After Oral Surgery “, ALL OF WHICH ARE CONSIDERED NORMAL.