Post-op Instructions

Post-operative instructions

ORAL HYGIENE – No vigorous rinsing during the first 24 hours.  After the first 24 hours you should rinse 3-4 times daily with warm salt water (1/2-1 teaspoons salt in 8ozs. of warm water) for the rest of the first post-operative week.  Brush all unaffected areas starting the day after surgery.

BLEEDING – A certain amount of bleeding is expected following oral surgery, especially with the removal of infected or impacted teeth.  Direct biting pressure on gauze placed over the surgical site for 30-45 minutes stops most bleeding.  Fresh gauze may be used as needed. If excessive bleeding is noted, pinch off any loose blood clot over the socket with gauze or tissue, then place a gauze roll or moistened tea(black) bag directly over the bleeding area and bite down firmly and continuously for 30 minutes.  Repeat this several times as necessary to control the bleeding.  Try to avoid spitting or sucking action as this will prolong the bleeding.  Contact the office if there is uncontrollable bleeding.

PAIN – Please following the instructions written on the vial of the medications. Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as this may result in nausea, vomiting or dizziness.  Do not operate a car or dangerous equipment while taking prescription pain medication.

SWELLING – To reduce ordinary post-operative swelling, apply an ice pack to the face over the surgical site.  The ice pack should be applied to the face for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the first 24 hours as much as possible.  Some swelling is normal and usually increases until it reaches its greatest extent on the second or third post-operative day.

DIET – A liquid or soft diet is recommended for at least the first 24 hours.  Do not disturb sockets or allow food to collect in the wound.  After the first day, eat anything you are able to eat without causing pain or bleeding.  Drink plenty of liquids. Please avoid drinking through a straw for the first 24-48 hours.

IMPACTED TEETH – Surgery of the removal of impacted teeth are quite different than the extraction of erupted teeth.  The following conditions are not uncommon with removal of impacted teeth:

  • Difficulty in opening your mouth as a result of swelling and stiffness. This should resolve in 3-4 days.
  • If a lower impaction was removed you may have numbness of the lower lip on the side from which the tooth was removed.  This is almost always a temporary condition.  It is not disfiguring, but is annoying.  It may last from a few days to many months.
  • After removal, the adjacent teeth may realign themselves, causing some discomfort.  Sores may develop at the corners of the mouth.  These should be covered with mild ointment (Vaseline).
  • If you have reason to believe that you are not recovering or healing satisfactorily from any operation, or are in doubt about anything at any time, notify us by telephone or by coming directly to the office.



  1. The roots of your upper teeth have grown through the bone into your sinus.  Following their removal an opening into the sinus was visible.  This opening will close without complications if you help by following these instructions.
  2. Please take the prescribed antibiotics as directed.  These are essential to prevent infection over the surgical site.
  3. Use decongestants as directed by your doctor.
  4. Do not smoke.
  5. Do not blow your nose.  If necessary just wipe or blot with a tissue or use a ear swab.  You may have some discharge the first few days.
  6. Avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds.
  7. Refrain from sneezing with your mouth closed since this may place pressure on your sinus and delay the healing process
  8. Do not engage in sports such as scuba diving or snorkel swimming until you are seen by the doctor during your post-operative appointment.
  9. Strict adherence to these instructions may prevent the necessity of an additinal surgical procedure to close the communication site. Please call the office if you have any questions.

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