Dental surgery is any type of procedure that involves cutting or removing tissue in the mouth. This might include procedures such as removing a tooth, surgery on the gums or getting dental implants. But sometimes, dental surgery includes removing tissue from the mouth when it has become diseased, correcting problems with a jaw or repairing conditions like cleft palate. Your dentist will give you specific instructions which include some things you should and shouldn’t do following an oral procedure. But there are also a few general guidelines that may be of some help.
Take any Prescribed Medications
It is likely your oral surgeon or dentist prescribed some medication to help you manage the pain. Make sure to tell them about any other medications you may be taking as they could interact negatively. Take the medicine exactly as prescribed by the dental professional. These instructions are usually printed on the bottle by the pharmacist. If your pain does not improve inside of 48 hours, or it seems to get worse, call the oral surgeon to discuss it.
Try to Get Some Rest
Your dental professional likely gave you instructions for the few days following your dental surgery, and they probably included resting. It is very important to take time to rest and heal. If you start moving around a lot, you may start to feel more discomfort. Resting will help slow down the circulation of blood so the bleeding can stop naturally. You should limit your activity the first day following surgery and resume light activities the next day. While you are resting, keep your head in a raised position. If the bleeding hasn’t lessened significantly about four hours following the surgical procedure, call the dentist to discuss it.
Food and Drink
You may rinse your mouth out very gently with warm water after your surgery. You can also rinse your mouth out with salt water solution to help ease the pain. For two days following your dental surgery you can drink liquids and eat soft foods. You may try milkshakes, yogurt, cooked cereals, smooth soups and mashed potatoes for example. On the third day after your surgery you can eat soft foods that do not need to be chewed too much like noodles, scrambled or poached eggs, or soft sandwiches. It’s important to avoid foods that are crunchy or tough like pizza, popcorn, hamburgers, or rice.
When to call the Oral Surgeon
There are some symptoms that may occur after dental surgery. Some pain, swelling and bruising are normal, but there are some symptoms that may be indications there are serious problems. Call your dental professional if any of these occur:
- Continued bleeding if it’s been over 4 hours since the surgery
- You start to feel like you are going to throw up
- You have started throwing up
- You start running a fever
- If the pain doesn’t get better and it’s been longer than a day after the surgery
- The swelling gets worse and it’s been two or more days since the dental surgery