Post-Operative Instructions

  • Any gauze pads placed by our office staff should be removed 45 minutes to one hour after you leave our office. Some bleeding after oral surgery is normal and not usually anything to worry about, though it can hassle you at times. As a general rule, any amount that is being spit out is nothing to cause concern. If the bleeding is more brisk so that it is not being spit out, then it may require additional gauze pad pressure or additional attention by your doctor. However, if you feel you may need more gauze pressure or treatment, a call to your doctor is advisable to instruct you on how this should be done.
  • If you had any sedation or intra-venous anesthesia, you should not drive, operate machinery, or attempt any activity that requires mental alertness for the next 24 hours following your procedure. You may need assistance at home if it requires you to climb stairs, or to perform any tasks that place you in danger of falling or otherwise injuring yourself. Please ask for help if you are in doubt. Once an accident occurs, it is too late to avoid.
  • If part of your mouth has been numbed by a local anesthetic, then your initial eating should be confined to very soft foods or liquids until the numbness has worn away. Otherwise, you can injure an area unknowingly. Usually a milkshake is a good, safe crowd favorite. Once there is some food in your stomach (the more, the better), then some pain medicine is a good idea, prior to the “wearing off” of the numbness. However, you should not take a narcotic or prescription pain medicine on an empty stomach or you risk nausea and vomiting. Once the numbness is gone, then your diet may return to normal. However, the soreness at the surgery site(s) will often dictate a softer diet, but you will not likely cause any harm by eating. Remember that eating is the key to preventing any nausea or vomiting from the prescribed medicines. After you eat, and several times per day, simply rinse/swish your mouth with tap water, salt water, or mouth rinse (diluted, if necessary). Brush and floss your teeth as normal as possible within the limitations of your soreness. Remember that the soreness at the surgical site(s) is nature’s way of protecting it and is always a good guide for decisions on diet, cleaning, and activity level.
  • Swelling, and sometimes a lot of it, can be normal after a surgical procedure. If swelling is expected from your procedure, you can minimize it with a few simple steps. Keep your head slightly elevated (higher than your heart) when sleeping, and apply cold to your face over the surgical site(s) whenever possible. The swelling will usually maximize in the first three days before slowly subsiding. Once the swelling starts reducing, you can help more by applying heat to your face instead of cold. Swelling that increases again after 5-10 days may indicate infection and should be evaluated.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call your doctor at 512-454-6744 (Austin location) or 512-667-7676 (San Marcos location). Your doctor can also be reached after-hours through the Medical Exchange at 512-735-3066.

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