General Extraction Post-Op Care
Please not that any specific instructions given to you by Dr. Wallace or his staff supersede the following. If you are experiencing prolonged bleeding, nausea or intense pain, please contact our office immediately at 519-884-2500 to assess if a post-operative assessment is necessary.
In most cases, healing takes place quickly and without complications following an extraction (s). Following these guidelines for your care at home should help minimize discomfort and swelling. Rest and avoid any excessive activity until you fell you are back to normal. This will vary from person-to-person from a few hours to a day or two.
Some discomfort following extraction is normal, but the degree of pain may vary with each individual and is not necessarily related to the difficulty of the extraction(s). A prescription may have been given to you to control and manage pain. This prescription should be filled and used as directed. Please see the medication section for information regarding your pain medication.
Occasionally antibiotics are indicated following extraction (s). See the medication section if this applies to you.
Varying degrees of swelling may occur as the body’s normal response to the extraction(s). Again, as with pain, the amount of swelling does not necessarily correspond to the difficulty of the surgery. If the extraction required drilling the tooth (teeth), apply ice to the extraction site for 24 hours. Ice the sites for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Use an ice pack covered with a cloth to prevent frostbite on the skin. Small bags of frozen vegetables make excellent ice packs, as do small bags of rice (uncooked).
It is normal to experience some bleeding from the surgical sites. There are holes over the surgical sites, the stitches are not sewing the holes closed. The stitches are holding the gum tissue together. These stitches are dissolving and will fall out within 5 to 10 days. Bleeding is usually controlled using firm pressure over the surgical sites. This is usually achieved by biting firmly on gauze for an hour. If you suspect bleeding, have someone look in your mouth – if blood is coming out of the bottom holes or seen dripping from the upper sites, apply gauze as directed above. If this fails, use a dampened tea bag (the tannic acid promotes clotting) over the site and hold firmly for an hour. If no improvement, please call our office.
A soft diet is recommended following oral surgery. As soon as you get home, we suggest you have something to eat or drink; a milkshake (no straw), yogurt, Jell-O, ice-cream or juice. It is important to take in adequate nutrition to help with healing and to prevent weakness and low blood sugars. During the first 24 hours DO NOT drink hot liquids or eat hot foods. They must be at room temperature; luke warm and cold items are fine. We suggest you limit foods to things that are easy to chew.
Gradually increase your diet as you can tolerate it. DO NOT EAT NUTS, POPCORN, POTATO CHIPS OR SEEDS UNTIL SURGICAL SITES FILL IN COMPLETELY.
Rinsing and Hygiene:
Good oral hygiene is one of the best ways you can avoid infection following oral surgery. Do not rinse, spit or use straws in the first 12 hours following surgery. These actions can result in the clots being displaced from the surgical sites and may activate bleeding. If a smoker; avoid smoking for several days, as this dissolves the clots which insulate and protect the surgical site.
After 12 hours, gently start rinsing with warm water mixed with ½ tsp. salt per glass or cup. Do not use anything stronger. Rinse after each meal and before going to bed, this mechanically flushes the holes of any food or debris. You may start brushing your front teeth when you start your rinses. Use a soft brush, an infant toothbrush is ideal as it has a small head and very soft bristles. Avoid the surgical sites for 48 hours, but then gently try to brush working further back in your mouth each day. Keep the rinses up until the hole closes in. If you feel you have food trapping or have an unpleasant, foul taste in your mouth, please call us.
Please keep Vaseline or chap-stick on your lips to prevent them from cracking or blistering.
PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE (519-884-2500) AT ANY TIME IF EXPERIENCING A PROBLEM.