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Things To Expect
This is normal following a surgical procedure in the mouth. It should reach its maximum in 24-48 hours and diminish by the fourth postoperative day.
The most discomfort will be experienced during the period when sensation returns to the mouth.
Bleeding or “oozing” for the first 12-24 hours is to be expected.
Things To Do
Bite on the gauze placed in your mouth at the end of the procedure for at least two hours. Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding. If bleeding is more than slight, follow these directions with gauze, remove excess blood clot. Place dampened gauze over the bleeding area only. Hold this pack in place firmly for twenty minutes so that no blood escapes. Repeat this procedure as necessary. A blood clot will form on the extraction site and this clot is vital to the healing process. To keep the clot intact, avoid touching the extraction site with your tongue or fingers, do not drink liquids through a straw and do not spit or swish. Keep your head elevated with pillows to control bleeding.
The swelling that is normally expected is usually in proportion to the surgery involved. The swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice or cold packs. Apply ice to the side of the face over the operated site. Place pack on face for fifteen minutes and then remove for fifteen minutes. Continue for one hour. Prolonged use of ice is of no value.
Wait one hour before taking fluids by mouth. Avoid chewing for two hours following surgery or until the numbness has completely worn off. A liquid or soft diet may be necessary for the first two days. This would include soups, soft drinks, cereals, mashed potatoes, etc. An adequate fluid intake of at least two quarts a day is essential.
Take all medication as directed. This is essential. The medications are prescribed principally to control pain and to prevent infection.
Do not rinse on the day of surgery. Thirty six hours following the procedure, you can rise gently with mouthwash or a warm saltwater solution around the affected area. Use one teaspoon of salt to an eight ounce glass of water. Rinse two to three times each day for the week following the extraction especially after meals. This will speed healing by maintaining a clean wound.
Things Not To Do
- Do not apply heat to the face at any time. This will increase swelling.
- Avoid spitting. This creates a negative pressure in the mouth.
This tends to dislodge the blood clot and could lead to additional
- Avoid smoking or allowing food particles to pack into the tooth’s
socket. This will significantly affect the healing process.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity for twenty-four hours. Physical activity causes the blood pressure to rise and my cause a renewal of the hemorrhage.
The removal of impacted teeth is quite different than the extraction of erupted teeth. The following conditions are not uncommon with the removal of impacted teeth.
- Difficulty in opening the mouth
- Pain while swallowing
- Earache on the side of the surgery
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, just 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 a mild ointment (Vaseline).
The space left by the tooth will feel a bit strange at first. Eventually, new bone and gum tissue will grow into the gap left by the extraction.
If your postoperative course is marked by an excess of pain, swelling, or hemorrhage do not wait for your next appointment to return. Call Dr. Edlund at 253-863-0444.