Post-Op Care for Oral Surgery

Oral surgery, like any surgery, can seem daunting–especially when it comes to recovery. To have the best chance at a quick recovery, it’s always smart to be prepared. In this blog post we’ll cover the basics of post-op care so that you’ll be ready if you or a loved one goes in for a procedure.

Post-Op Care

There are a variety of different types of surgery that you may encounter. Common procedures include extractions–the removal of decayed or damaged teeth–wisdom teeth removal, bone grafts, or jaw surgeries. In any of these situations, careful at-home care will ensure a smoother recovery.

red headed woman applying an ice pack to her jaw after oral surgery

First Things First

Once the surgery is over and the patient heads home, they’ll want to manage the pain with medication–over -the-counter NSAIDs, like Advil or Tylenol, unless otherwise specified by the doctor. Gauze should be on hand to address any bleeding. If the affected area does bleed, the patient should bite down on moistened gauze for 30 minutes at a time until the blood flow stops.

Ice Baby Ice

With many oral surgeries, swelling in the face can be significant. With swelling often comes pain. An ice pack, or another frozen item such as a water bottle or a bag of frozen veggies, can provide relief and help bring down the swelling.

How to Heal

As always, healing is a gradual process, but there are some things you can do, and avoid doing, to help move it along. Avoid smoking during recovery, and don’t use straws, which can dislodge the blood clot. When it comes to your diet, stick to soft foods, especially within the first day or two. As the wound begins to heal, you’ll be able to gravitate back to your normal diet.

Oral Hygiene

Surgery is no excuse to lapse on your oral health care routine. In fact, it’s more important during healing than ever, since you’ll have an open wound in your mouth. Continue to brush and floss the majority of the mouth, avoiding the area affected by the surgery. If you weren’t prescribed a mouthwash, talk to your dentist about what you can do to keep the area clean–they may suggest a warm salt rinse, or some other method of gently cleansing the healing area.

Oral Surgery in Washington & Oregon

Here at Smiles Dental, we offer fantastic dental care in a variety of different forms, including oral surgery. To learn more about the services available at our practice, visit our website or give us a call.

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